Common Producing Mistakes

Q&A: What Are Your Most Common Producing Mistakes?

This question comes in from Nery.

What Are Your Most Common Producing Mistakes?

The most common mistake I’ve made while producing is not focusing enough on story.

When I first started in video production, I had no concept of what a story was… let alone how to tell one. Most of my focus was on learning how to use the tools like cameras, lights, microphones, and editing software. That was ok, for a time, because I really did need to learn how to work with the video production tools. But eventually, when I started getting paid jobs in video production, I knew how to use all of the tools but I didn’t know why I was using them.

I should have started focusing on storytelling, which would have given my videos purpose, much earlier, but I didn’t know how or where to start. It wasn’t until I graduated college and started working in television that I really started thinking about storytelling… and I’m glad I did.

See, storytelling is at the heart of all film and television, so without good storytelling skills it becomes very difficult to make a good film or television show that people actually want to watch.

When I started learning about storytelling, reading books like The Writer’s Journey (my favorite, must-read book on film/television story), it completely changed the way I thought about production, and it upgraded my producing in a major way.

Even now, I can get too focused on the technical aspects or the business of producing at times, and have to remind myself that I am here to tell a great story.

The good news is, storytelling is a skill that we all can practice and get better at. I highly recommend reading a book like The Writer’s Journey early in your film/television production studies so you can start thinking about the concepts in it. Storytelling will help you whether you want to produce films or television shows, or go into marketing or sales… It’s a universal skill and it’s something I certainly wish I would have started thinking about years earlier!

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