1. Finding a trusting relationship with the director
All three panel members put heavy emphasis on working with someone you admire. If you're lucky enough to find someone whose work you believe in (+ if they feel the same way about you) then you're much more likely to have more freedom to do your job knowing your working partner trusts you.
These projects take so long to get together that if you don't have that close creative working relationship it would be so hard to carry on.
2. Keeping teams as small as possible
The single hardest thing to deal with is when you have eight voices giving you feedback on what they think the film should be.
If a smaller team isn't in the cards, then your best bet is to make sure all lines of communication between contributors are firmly in place. Free + open communication is vital for any project, but if you're a producer with a lot on your plate then this needs to be your number one priority.
3. Knowing the merits of your unique skillset
The panel insists that there are lots of paths to becoming a producer. However, they're definitely not all the same. Rachel Robey, executive producer of Calibre, came from a physical production background. Although she feels it gave her the ability to produce films way under budget, she found that she had to work against some preconceived ideas to prove that she had the relevant experience to produce.
If you're going particularly into broadcast + you haven't been a script editor or worked through that other side of creative development, then [your] skills might not be appreciated.
4. For young directors: getting a producer on-board
For some, the idea of having a producer may seem like a far-off pipe dream. According to our panel: the most important thing is to actually get up + make something to prove you've got what it takes. Making short films, taking them to film festivals, being prolific—these are the only ways you'll be able to progress.
The filmmaking firepower we all literally have in our pockets...I would expect somebody to have made something. You wanna be a filmmaker, right? Surely you should be filming every spare moment + working on this progression.