7 Solid Reasons Why an Art Producer Should be on Every Set

Recently, an art producer friend reached out to me in the hopes of me sharing my opinions on why I thought having an art producer on set was necessary.  She was trying to shed some light on the value of her presence at a shoot with the head of production at her agency and needed some extra ammunition.  After I wrote back to her I realized I had a blog post in the making.  

There are of course so many reasons why an art producer should be on a shoot but here are the top 7 that came to mind.  If I missed one, let me know and I will for sure add them to the post.

1) Art producers are the translators between the studio and the agency as well as the agency and the client.  Without them wires get crossed and ideas are not always effectively communicated

2) Art producers know the project inside and out, from start to finish.  I know as an agent how much I dislike coming onto a project that I did not start and how confusing it is to figure out the history. Having someone from the agency representing that history is important and often saves a lot of time.

3) There have been countless times that an art producer- because of the knowledge of the job – saves the day. There are constant client and agency changes on set and the art producer can manage those changes, re-adjust expectations and keep the money conversations civil and offline if necessary.

4) If something goes wrong, it is an art producer I want to talk to and strategize with first – not a client and not a creative. Creatives need to concentrate on creative and clients have a different agenda.  It always works out better to have  a united front and strong plan when sharing bad news.

5) In my experience, the money it costs to send an art producer on a trip is pennies compared to what it will cost if something goes wrong.  It is worth the investment.

6)  Having an art producer on set lends credibility as well to the art buyer in the mind of the client.  So much so that when the art buyer speaks up on another project, the client will remember the value this person brought to table on previous projects.  Art producers need an opportunity to make relationships too.

7)  And speaking of relationships, it is very important for the art producer to have their own relationship with the studio as well.  You know those favors the clients are always asking of the art producer and the photographer?  Well, they are more likely to be granted for an art producer that is known and liked.

If you have any points to add, please do send them along.  I would love to add to this list.

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6 thoughts on “7 Solid Reasons Why an Art Producer Should be on Every Set

  1. I’ve always found your blogs informative and educational. As a photographer, it’s interesting to see the photo world through the eyes of a rep. I just need to comment more as you have some wonderful postings.

    I was having a discussion with a good friend who is also a photographer and he was complaining about art directors in his studio. He said they constantly interrupt his flow and he gets easily confused. I told him they serve a purpose in keeping everyone on the same page and everything going in the right direction.

    Thanks for this and I’ll send him a link to it so he can read it for himself.

    Thank you for all the wonderful posting.

  2. Thanks again, Heather, for putting this out in the world. Having been on two very different shoots recently – one where the Art Producer wasn’t able to come and one with a fantastic Art Producer who attending from the very first day of scouting – I have to say that Art Producers should share this with all their clients. The value to the client of having the Art Producer along is immeasurable compared to the overall budget of a large shoot.

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