This is daunting. Even on a short film like The Alpha Invention, once you've read the script from a production point of view and identified the amount of hurdles and challenges that lie ahead the first thing you realise is that you need help. Moreover, you need extremely reliable and highly skilled help.
I am therefore very fortunate that I met Michael Spry. I'd placed an ad on shootingpeople.org for a Producer and out of the applicants Michael seemed the most genuinely interested in the project and the most capable. He is primarily a Director of Photography but from the very first meeting I knew he was my producing partner, the reason being (apart from that he has indeed produced projects before) is that Producers simply need to be problem solvers. That is what they are, the Mr. Wolfe's of the filmmaking business.
They look at your script and analyse challenges that you maybe haven't foreseen and then, crucially, brainstorm with you solutions in order to overcome them - is this something we can shoot on location or do we need a studio? Do we need extra space on one side of the studio to place lights at a distance in order to create defined shadows of the Venetian blinds? If the set has wooden floorboards then smooth dolly shots are going to be a problem, however if we cut the floor into four quadrants we can take one of them out and run the dolly over the studio floor.
Producers also help you schedule the shoot and the added bonus is with Michael being our DP he can say with a lot of confidence how long each setup will take and the equipment and budget required. The communication between camera department and the Producer is removed, saving time, miscommunication and money. It's a great combination.
You can see some of Michael's previous work at michaelspry.com and follow him on twitter @michael_spry.