A hypothetical friend is interested in pursuing producing.  She has helped out on some other people’s productions and she definitely appreciates what she has learned from those experiences.  She has a strong desire to start gaining hands-on experience in producing her own projects since these are skills she has yet to develop.  She is open to hearing advice on this.

Here are the key things to consider:

1. The budget is $20K using a combination of equipment rentals, costume and prop rentals, locations, permits food, transportation as well as having a few low paying positions , pulling in a number of freebie favors from friends and working with some unpaid, inexperienced people.

2. She is going to have to pay $20K out a combination of her savings, gifts and loans from family and friends and of putting as much as she can on her credit cards.  She is willing to go into debt to help gain the producing experience she is seeking.

3. She doesn’t expect to make any money off of this project, and anything that could ever come in from it would be used to pay off her debts in making it.

4. There are about 30 people on the crew and about a dozen in the cast.  She wants to make the arrangements with everyone as simple as possible and places a priority on easy deal making.

5. She finds it highly unlikely that her very first short is going to be some sort of critical and/or financial breakthrough.  She doesn’t want to promise that the short is going to turn out great, get into festivals or have any life after it.  She is doing it for experience and wants to work with others who feel the same

6.  She often reads on various social media forums that people should not work for free.  She is conflicted because she is putting in so much risk on her end, but doesn’t want to take advantage of people either.  She feels offering some inexperienced people (herself included) opportunities to gain some experience is of value.  She wishes she had more money, but she can’t borrow any more.

WHAT ADVICE AND/OR QUESTIONS MIGHT YOU OFFER THIS PERSON?