When I was little I used to love going to shows. If my dad came home one day and said “We are going to watch a dance show” or a concert or anything related to creative presentations I would literally be so excited I couldn’t sleep until then. There is something magical about shows, they transport you to a different world and they always challenge what you think possible in music, words, visual arts, and movement.
So I was always impressed with everything that I could see and experience during a show. But it wasn’t until I went to college and got involved in the “behind the scenes” work of a show, that I was confronted for the first time with the amount of work it takes to produce one of them. And this was when I came across the work of a creative producer.
A creative what?
Many people would wonder what in the world is the job of a creative producer, but the reality is that even though it is the same concept across the industry, it’s role will still slightly vary depending on the context.
Overall, we could say that the job of a creative producer is to connect, to connect all the different creative aspects of a show making sure that everything is in place for the big picture to be accomplished. The role of a CP is not to control, but ensure the communication between teams is clear and effective. They would be the eyes of the show and the ones in charge of accountability for the different areas.
A creative producer is heavily involved in the creative process of moments. They combine different departments like TV, dance, music, lighting, stage design, to ensure a special moment is exactly that, special.
Linking and gathering details
The job of a produce is not to control the different areas, because each area is of course handled by people who know what they are doing and how to do it best. So they are not that much into technical details. But what they are into, is to communicate what an experience should feel, look, and sound like.
Having the example of a creative producer in a musical, they would ensure that each scene has the right videos, sound/music, set design, lighting, actors, dancers and script to make sure that what they are trying to communicate is effectively and beautifully done. So if they are trying to coordinate a finale for example, they would ask themselves:
- Do we want the finale to be an emotional high or a low?
- What song do we use to make that happen?
- Do we want a live band or a track?
- Do we want dancers, how many? Where would we place them?
- Do we want the audience involved in any form?
- Are there any special effects (smoke machines, confetti, water, balloons) we think would enhance the moment?
- Do we use a lot a props that we need stage hands for? Does the way they do it distract people or compliments the play?
All of those details and many more are things that are going through a CP’s mind. And they ensure that everyone on the team is aware of them.
Master of the big picture
As we already mentioned, producers are very much into details, but they only do this because they have the big picture in mind and are meant to be the masters of it. Individual creative departments are almost 100% focused in their area and what they are supposed to do, and even though each department should be aware of its surroundings and how the part they play fits in the big picture, it is much easier for someone external to the team to point this things out for them.
So in reality, the creative producer reminds every single team that what they are doing is part of something bigger, and that all details combined is what we are looking for. Because their job requires this, a creative producer should always be mindful, respectful and helpful towards the different departments, understanding that everyone is doing their job and that we are always better together.
Have you ever found yourself dreaming of creating something beautiful with different art elements on it? Do you easily break down the big picture into all the things that are needed to make it happen? Then you might consider trying creative producing, combining all the things you love to create something better.
Tell us, have you ever heard about this job? What else do you know about the creative producing process of shows?