What I've Learned During my Time as a Producer
I produced a daily news show for my campus' television station this past semester. You can take a look at more about this and watch the show here. I took on the role for reasons other than adding it to my resume and gaining news producing skills. My number one goal was to learn to manage a group of people and articulate myself to them. Now that I am a few weeks away from the end of the semester, I want to share a little of what I have learned along the way.
I learned to listen and take advice:
There have been times in the studio where I missed things; missed cues and things that went wrong. Towards the beginning of this experience, I thought "I am the producer, they can't possibly know any more that I do". But as time progressed, I found myself asking my crew members advice about how to advance the show. I am actually very proud to say that many of my show's aspects, came from crew members.
I learned never to underestimate someone's drive:
Students carry a bad rep of wanting to quickly finish things and move on to the next thing. I definitely thought that my crew members wanted to come in, shoot, and leave. As time went on, I realized that they wanted to stay as long as I did. I have heard; "Let's do the take again!" "Do you need any help?" so many times and each time I was shocked. I wrongly assumed that they would not want to put in as much as I did as the producer.
I learned how speak up and articulate what I want:
I could never do that a year ago. Being introverted prevented me from speaking up for a very long time. This role forced me to tell crew members what my vision was without being afraid to. I learned how to say "No, that isn't quite what I directed you to do" in a very hon-hostile way, and each time, my crew gained respect for me as their peer and producer. This brings me into being strong willed in the workplace without coming across the angry woman, but I'll save that for another day.
I learned to assess and motivate a group:
Call me Malcom X (Beyonce reference). Sometimes my crew would have a bad day. I would be able to tell because everyone was quiet and no jokes were being cracked. I learned to get everyone who was on a headset a little perked up by the end of the shoot. I would ask someone "What do you think of this shot?" "Do you think there is anything that would make the show better?". This would pull them into the production process and promote inclusion.