As a verb, the word “produce” as we commonly know it means simply to manufacture, make, construct, fabricate, assemble or create some thing.
I have spent my life producing things. I create ads, brochures, TV commercials, displays, videos and more. I have written songs and books, and even built furniture. In my career, I have benefitted often from the expertise and help of some excellent producers. I like to say, these are the people who get things done! They bring all the added touches that make a good project special. Producers see the big picture you are attempting to create and make sure the details are tended to. Details that tie elements together.
For a TV commercial or show production, some producers take more of an executive role, in that they conceive new programs and pitch them to the network, and upon acceptance they focus on business matters, such as budgets and contracts. Other producers are more involved with the day-to-day workings, participating in activities such as screenwriting, set design, directing, casting, and even sometimes directing and managing schedules and deliverables.
There are a variety of different producers on a television show. A traditional producer is one who manages a show’s budget and maintains a schedule, but this is no longer the case in modern television. There are:
Showrunners, a title that may sound like a “go-for” but to the contrary is more of a “chief executive” in charge of and responsible for everything
Executive Producers are more associated with being the chief creator and writer. These would be the Jerry Seinfeld & George Costanza who created and wrote their very own show about “nothing.” An executive producer seldom has any operational control of the show. Their job is to stand back from the operational aspects and judge the show as an ordinary viewer might.
Co-executive producers are often involved in the writing and narratives and often get involved in the editing of scripts, making adjustments. They can function more like a Chief Operating Officer, making sure all the I’s get dotted and the T’s get crossed.
There are many other Producer titles, such as: Supervising Producer, Producer, Coordinating Producer, Consulting Producer, Associate Producer, Chase, Segment, Line and Field Producers. There are also Post-Production Producers responsible for the overall post-production process, including editing, music dubbing, and grading, and are managed by a post-production supervisor. In film or video productions or a short-form show, the executive producer is almost always given an opportunity to comment on a rough cut, but the amount of attention paid to their comments is highly dependent on the overall personnel structure of the production.
I sometimes think that Producers must be good at assembling jigsaw puzzles. Good ones see the big picture and then get busy managing all the important connections.
In addition to being the Owner and President of a brand marketing agency, www.StimulusBrand.com , I am also a Board Member of Central New Jersey Network ( www.cnjn.org ) and Co-Producer for one of its shows, Mercer Local Influencers, featuring profiles on key leaders in our business community whose positive influence is bringing energy, growth and vitality to Mercer County. Working in tandem with Executive Producer/Director, Mike Johnson, Owner of www.YourTownTube.com, we are creating shows with community relevance, charm, visual interest and excitement.
In creating the show, we felt CNJN presented a fresh opportunity to bring people of influence and their stories into people’s living rooms creating greater visibility and opportunity to make a difference. We were thrilled to secure John Goedecke as our show host. A former Chairman of The Princeton Mercer Chamber of Commerce and Sr. Executive Banker to our region, we knew John would bring a level of study, class and leadership to our program.
Mike Johnson is truly the driving force behind pulling these episodes together. It’s one thing to conduct and record a quality guest interview, something host John Goedecke manages very well. It’s an entirely different thing to secure supporting imagery, b-roll footage and graphics that compliment an interview and make an interesting video package. With Mike’s background in video production and promotion, he strives to make each episode the best it can be.
As a marketer by profession and co-producer to the Influencers show, I support Mike’s efforts in writing promotional narratives on each show. I also research our guests to know them and make sure they are comfortable in telling their story. I look to secure supporting graphics, offer direction on set displays and talent discussions and sometimes provide editing direction. Our contributions in producing these shows are gratis in an effort to support the CNJN network while helping our community be engaged, informed and entertained. Our individual businesses are supporting sponsors of the shows and thereby receive extensive visibility with each airing.
To date, we have produced and aired shows featuring notable Mercer County influencers, Aaron Watson, Deputy Administrator/Director of Mercer County Office of Economic Development, The Momo Brothers, restauranteurs, Bryan Evans, Sr. VP for Greater Trenton, Heather Haggan, GM at Jasna Polana, Aziz El Badaoui, Owner of Casa Aziz Princeton, and John Harmon, Founder, President, & CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Joanne Canady Brown, owner of The Gingered Peach in nearby Lawrenceville, NJ. and most recently, Debbie Shaeffer, owner of Mrs G. Appliances.
Mike Johnson also works extensively with wife Gabi Johnson and Daisy Newson planning, filming and editing all the remote on-location videos for the shows. Gabi and Daisy are also the correspondents for the videos and the Hosts of the Mercer Buy Local Connection™ episodes, another 1/2 hour production supported by www.YourTownTube.com, www.FitFabAndWellTube.com, and www.StimulusBrand.com, that always airs back-to-back with the Mercer Local influencers™. Creating supporting videos takes lots of communication with the people to properly arrange, then hours filming, then many more hours editing before we use each video as only ONE of 2 or 3 segments of a show. It’s a lot of collaborative, behind-the-scenes work that comes together for just brief moments or just seconds in a final show.
For every episode we complete, we then write promotional narrative on that show, gather supporting graphics and turn to an expert team at Creative Marketing Alliance (www.cmasolutions.com) to design and promote the shows through social media channels. By the time they are handling that, we are already producing another show.
On any small operation, team members wear many hats. Station Executive Director, George McCullough is as vital to the operations of CNJN as much as he is in the production of all the programs. George is on set, setting lighting, sound, behind the cameras, in front of the monitors and focused on screen in post editing. His diverse experience and range of capabilities is second only to his friendly and calm demeanor in an otherwise stressful creative environment. In the constant production of new show after new show for the station’s multiple programs, George needs show Producers as much as we need him. He makes that process enjoyable!
Tune in to www.CNJN.org
With local programming as its bedrock, CNJN provides local, national, and international news coverage. It is also one of the largest public producers of original content in New Jersey, delivering programs featuring local business, educational, nonprofits, and legislative leaders delivering perspectives on important, timely topics while answering viewers’ questions. The station also acts as a forum for citizens to produce and broadcast their own shows, films, videos, commercials, and more, providing camera equipment, TV studios and training.
Programming includes new talk shows and a broad line-up: The Gab, Mercer Buy Local Connections, Mercer Local Influencers, Riverwatch, Money Thoughts, Guitar Tales, Real Talk on Racism, I am Not Cancer, The Tom & Doug Show, Café Improv, Profonde TV, Free by Design, Empathy In Action, The Geeta Chopra Show, Clear Speak, The Nonprofits Showcase and Local, National & International News.
All CNJN programming is featured on its website at www.cnjn.org and may be accessed over Comcast Channels 28 and 30 in Princeton and Channels 43 & 45 on Verizon FIOS throughout Mercer County. Programs are also carried by streaming organizations: Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire, reaching a potential audience of over 100 million viewers.
Owner & Founder
Board Member & Program Producer
Central New Jersey Network (CNJN)