12 May 2015

Met Masterclass: Producer Marc Samuelson Gives Industry Insight

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in News, VIP Guest Speakers

British Film and Television Producer Marc Samuelson joined Met Film School for a Masterclass discussion last week, speaking candidly about the intricacies of his work, considerations to make when choosing projects and the changing face of the industry. Marc was able to offer our students insight based upon an almost 30 year career that has included credits on Arlington Road, Keeping Mum, Me & Orson Welles and TT3D: Closer to the Edge. In addition to his work as a producer, he has also managed the Edinburgh Television Festival, and fulfilled leading roles with PACT, the UK Film Council and BAFTA.

Here are four key things that we took away from the conversation that aspiring Producers should definitely keep in mind…

  1. Know what kind of Producer you are
    The very title ‘Producer’ is a rather fluid term and can encompass the roles of creative, executive and financial producer. In any of these roles he stresses the importance of being a multifaceted individual, because “knowing a little bit about a lot of things is key.
  2. Develop some useful characteristics
    The role of Producer is a position that requires a thick-skinned and decisive leader; someone prepared to overcome any eventuality. Marc discussed the learning curve he experienced working on his first feature film Tom & Viv, saying that he realised after a couple of days on set that simply being agreeable and nice to everyone was deconstructive. What the team required was “someone to say, “This is what we’re doing, this way!”
  3. Know how to manage your talent
    In such a pivotal, central role a producer will be required to collaborate with a variety of people on production. While leading is important, Marc explains that it is essential to be on hand to provide reassurance, particularly to Directors who are often blindsided by being submerged in the project. It is therefore useful to “absorb everyone’s insecurities” to keep up moral and productivity.
  4. Seriously consider a career in Television
    Towards the tail end of the Masterclass, discussion turned towards the current industry as a whole, namely the exciting state of television. Over the last five years, larger budgets, A-list casting and strong scriptwriting has revolutionized television drama and sent “creative ambition spiraling out of control.”
    This is something subscription services such as Netflix and HBO have benefited from early, producing exclusive content that has in turn put pressure on the likes of the BBC to invest more money into developing higher quality drama that can compete. Ultimately this means that working within television could be more lucrative then film due to its increased popularity, multiple season format and audience viewing habit.

Moving forward, Marc is currently working on various TV drama and feature films projects. His full filmography can be viewed here.

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