How to Find The Right Producer for Your Indie Film

How to Find The Right Producer for Your Indie Film

Perhaps the question I am asked most often is "Can you recommend a producer for my project?" In light of this, I’ve decided to share this list of 100+ American independent film producers I’ve compiled over the years. It comes in handy whenever I’m looking for a producing partner on a project, or more recently, for a trustworthy producer to lead the charge and take care of the money on films that Gamechanger may want to finance. Note that this is not meant to be a "best" list; it is merely an objective compilation of all of the producers who have been Independent Spirit Producers Award nominees, Sundance Creative Producing Lab fellows, and Rotterdam Lab fellows from the U.S. (so you should do your homework on each of them).

READ MORE: 10 Tips for Producing a Micro-Budget Indie

But these are just three sources! There are many other good and great producers who aren’t on this list, including some very established indie producer institutions like Christine Vachon, Ted Hope, Anthony Bregman, Ron Yerxa & Albert Berger, Anne Carey, etc. (you should look at Oscar nominees for those!). Other sources you can research include: Film Independent Producing Lab; Berlin Talent Campus; recent film festival program guides; recent project market guides; graduate producing students at film schools like USC, Columbia, NYU, AFI, and UCLA; personal recommendations from fellow writers and directors; and good ol’ IMDb—start by looking at who produced recent films you’ve liked.

Before approaching producers, remember to do your research on them! If your project is micro-budget you should probably skip the folks who haven’t produced a micro-budget film in the last five years. If the producer has recently gotten a new full-time job as a studio executive, an agent, or the like, she’s probably not looking for new projects to produce right now. (Ditto producers who have left the biz…many of us do!) If you’re looking for a producer to help you develop your script, attach cast, and find financing, make sure he actually has that experience, or at least the smarts and hunger to learn all that stuff on the job. Also, don’t pigeonhole a producer—just because she’s never produced a horror film before doesn’t mean that she can’t or doesn’t want to. And remember that not all "producers" are created equal – some are not actually creative/holistic producers, but rather financiers, managers, sales agents, line producers, or writers. Make sure you figure out what kind of "producer" they are.

Finally, don’t unnecessarily weigh down your project with multiple producers from the outset. Like directing, producing is an art, and too many cooks do spoil the broth. Don’t attach producer deadweight, because it’s hard to unattach. Get your lead producer on board first, then decide together whether it’s worth attaching additional producers.

Finding the right producer can be as tough as finding the right spouse. Best of luck to ya!

Mynette Louie is the president of Gamechanger Films. She is the winner of the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award. She produced Martha Stephens & Aaron Katz’s buddy comedy "Land Ho!," which was recently released by Sony Pictures Classics; Tze Chun’s crime thriller Cold Comes the Night, starring Alice Eve, Logan Marshall-Green, and Bryan Cranston (Sony/Goldwyn 2014), and Chun’s critically acclaimed Children of Invention (Sundance 2009); Marshall Lewy’s California Solo starring Robert Carlyle (Sundance 2012, Strand Releasing); Patricia Benoit’s Stones in the Sun starring Edwidge Danticat (Tribeca 2012); and Doug Karr’s Art Machine starring Joseph Cross, Jessica Szohr, and Joey Lauren Adams (Woodstock 2012). Follow her on Twitter.

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Comments

john e malchiodi

Jack

Sherdarika Johnson

I’m looking for a director, and producer. Please email me

Lanre

I am looking for a producer to help tell my fictional suspense/thriller story. This is a student film with the goal to submit to the festival circuit. If you are interested to hear more, please feel free to contact me via my email contact, Alithetaxidriver at hot mail. Thank you.

Lanre

I am looking for a producer to help tell my fictional suspense/thriller story. This is a student film with the goal to submit to the festival circuit. If you are interested to hear more, please feel free to contact me via my email contact. Thank you.

muhammad

Hi,
I hope you are doing great. I have a story to make movie on it. It is new story of a international doctor who came to USA for residency and faced difficulty to find job due to his by birth speech dysarthria. Would you like to do it.? I will wait for your reply.

    Dalila Guerra

    A real story about a women who went to prison in Mexici

Winn Jeanet

I have a screenplay. And I sell it. It’s about a teen girl who finally realized that she has a six-sense after she had a car accident and had an out-of-body experience. I sell it for about $500k or less. Please contact me if you are interested. Thank you

Elton Bellinger

O would love talk about on the phone if who’s willing to

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Call me at 8323627668 im in Houston tx

Melinda Dennis

I need a producer to help me tell my story of medical negligence Surgical malpractice and many subsequent surgeries wound care for over 8 months and the lifetime of continuous chronic pain as an outcome

tymia

hi am tymia i need a proudcer for singing and fliming me so please email me and tell me i can find a prioucder that wnats to flim me that u

Sophie

Thanks for the article, Mynette! I would love to hear any advice on what may attract a very good producer to a first time filmmakers project, and how to go about the actual approach? Don’t these people get approached regularly? Do most indie producers accept "blind" emails or submissions? Would love to get some info on this part of the dilemma!

Alpha Jallow

Hi i have a story about an African boy who embark on a back-way journey and the reason he took the risk. please if interested contact me

Robert A Brown Sr.

how does an 85 yr old guy get produced?

Christopher zajac

Hi. I am looking for a producer for a feature length low budget horror/suspence thriller. Set in NJ. Please e-mail resume or links with contact information to zcszajac@yahoo.com

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