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Dear Producer: Here’s How to Explain the Role of the Studio Producer to Skeptics

The term “producer” can have many meanings across our creative world.. There’s the executive producer, head of production, associate producer, line producer, production assistant, producing director — the list goes on. And the job description changes from one company to the next. But there’s always that one role responsible for keeping every logistical detail of an animation project straight. In the spirit of keeping things simple, we like to call that a producer at our studio, and leave it at that.

So let’s talk about producers.

You might be thinking that sounds familiar. Raise a hand if you are that producer for your brand, or if you know who we’re talking about: the fixer, the constant contact, the glue that holds the pieces together. The animation producer at a production company like MOWE has similar responsibilities, but on the studio side. 

Because there are so many talented client-side producers and project managers out there, some stakeholders might question if  they really need to have a studio producer working on their project. They wonder why their own producer (or someone else on their team) can’t manage the logistics once a bid is signed off on and  production gets going. After all, animation is way more predictable and client friendly than live-action, right?

It is! On the surface. Peek behind the curtain and you’ll witness an animation studio producer keeping all the wheels moving. Because we both know producer’s rock. So allow us to clarify the benefits of having a studio producer by your side throughout your animation project. 

What Producers Accomplish on Animation Projects

The animation studio producer is a reliable lynch pin between your brand or agency, the studio itself, and the talent working directly on your project. They organize and own every aspect of an animation project, including the budget and production schedule. 

Producers also evaluate and help select the talent that will be on your project — from motion designers to sound designers to voice actors and everyone in between. And they ship the final deliverables to you, serving as the last critical QC checkpoint. 

Most importantly, your studio-side producer is your main contact and, honestly, your best friend until the animation wraps. If you need anything during the course of production, call them and they’ll do their best to make it happen. They’re like a superhuman nexus through which all things related to the project ultimately pass. They’ll route any requests you might have and huddle with our creative director to make sure any and all needs are being addressed in short order, even when it means re-tasking specific artists and animators, shuffling the team or re-adjusting which scenes are prioritized first to make it happen.  

If a producer is doing their job, your mind — and the minds of all your stakeholders — should be at ease knowing your project is in their very capable hands. 

Now, we know many of you might do these same things at your company. It’s an essential role on both sides of the process. Our producer is your mirror image or counterpart at the studio, tracking the people and logistical puzzle pieces that aren’t in your purview. Both are critical to keeping the project on track because each has an eye on the opposite sides of the same coin. 

The Benefits of Having an Animation Studio Producer Oversee Your Project

With a clear cut understanding of what an animation studio producer does, let’s now jump into the benefits of having one on board for your animation project.

Producers Are Steel Traps for Animation Production Information 

Producers are intimately familiar with every aspect of the animation production process — from the project’s creative development to its tech requirements. 

Animation production is built on various complicated technical programs. In order to properly plan out an animation project’s schedule and budget, the producer has to understand these advanced tools. That’s because budget and schedules are constructed based on days worked and corresponding day rates. And the animation producer determines those by reviewing the project — including the tech specs — and projecting how much time each person will need for their piece of the project. This work requires much Excel and iCal wizardry (on top of that tech knowledge) to get you the best quality animation that fits your time and budget needs.

Knowing technical animation details also allows the producer to conduct the final QC check and then ship the final video files to you. They’re the gatekeeper, confirming all standards are met before the product is in your possession. 

At the end of the day, producers always want to give you the best solutions. Comprehending the technical details means they can build the most efficient and effective structure for your project. Translation: You’ll save money in the long run with a producer on your side — even if it might seem like an added cost at first glance. 

Producers Are Relationship Gurus in the Animation Industry  

Relationships are everything, and the studio producer is your main daily contact once your animation project gets going. You want someone you can trust. Someone who can problem solve. Someone who knows their stuff. 

But a good producer is so much more than that. They empathize with your responsibilities and the complexities you might be experiencing on your end because they’re your counterpart. Our team has crossed the giant chasm of our industry and worked in agencies and brands as well as studios, so we get where you’re coming from. You’ll probably find you can talk shop, swap war stories, and share wordly recommendations for restaurants, art galleries or more – as a global team that likes to travel, we’re proud of the list we’ve curated so far. After all, producers are situated at the intersection of wacky creatives and nerdy animators. Add to that their flair for logistics and you’ve got a pretty unique, cool person as your new BFF.  

Speaking of relationships, producers pride themselves on maintaining good ones with in-demand freelancers. We’re often able to book talent on on short notice, thanks to our producers’ networks. If you want a specific style or person on your animation project, the producer holds the power to move  mountains to make that happen. 

How MOWE’s Producer Makes Your Life Easier

What do the benefits of a studio producer look like in practice? At MOWE, we’ve built a transparent production process, managed by our producers behind the scenes, so you can know what’s coming down the pike, and how long it’ll take to get to you. That’s why we:

  • Review the entire project calendar and milestones at kickoff.
    • You’ll know exactly what to expect at each stage. 
  • Give you a dedicated webpage listing your project schedule and milestones.
    • We also add each deliverable throughout the process to this page. 
    • This provides a quick-glance source of truth for the project’s status and a single repository of information for anything your stakeholders might ask to see. 
  • Educate your team on the animation production process, as needed. 

We do our best to anticipate your needs to alleviate any stressors you may encounter as your animation is underway. With an expert animation studio serving as an extension of your team, your production process will run as smoothly as possible.

Ruby Valls
Ruby Valls