Should An Executive Producer Know More About Money Than Story? — Stanley M. Brooks

Film Courage: Shouldn’t an executive producer know more about money than they should about storytelling?

Stanley M. Brooks, Filmmaker/Producer: Well an executive producer (if they are doing their job right) should know just as much about storytellingas they do about money because whoever is giving them the money has an expectation of what story you’re going to tell them. So there is a script that they’ve given you the money for. It’s now your job to deliver that at the price that they gave you. So yes it’s very important to know how you put financing together and know how to deal with banks and loans and tax credits and advances and all of that.

On the other hand the person who is giving you the money has an expectation that the director is going to direct the movie that they bought and the actors are going to act the movie that they bought. So the only person that is going to make sure that that train doesn’t run off the tracks is the executive producer.

A line producer’s real job is What time is it and are we done? The line producer’s job is just to make sure Okay, I have this much money to spend on this day and that is what we’re going to spend. He doesn’t have any creative responsibility or should he. It’s the UPM [unit production manager] and the line producer to get it done at the price. It’s the executive producer who kind of has to be the referee between the part that is pulling for money being saved and that part that is pulling for let’s do the best movie possible. The director’s job is not to worry about…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

 

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STAN BROOKS is an award-winning producer of film and television with over 30 years of industry experience. He has produced more than 70 movies for film and television since 1989, when he founded his first independent production company, Once Upon a Time Films.  

Brooks made his directorial debut with the film Perfect Sisters – starring Academy Award Nominee Abigail Breslin (The Call, Little Miss Sunshine) Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia Series), and Academy Award Winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion).  The film opened in theaters on April 11, 2014 across the nation and in Canada with international release in Fall 2014.  Receiving praiseworthy reviews from both The Los Angeles Times and New York Times, Perfect Sisters continues to dominate on Hulu, Netflix, VOD and digital downloads.   

Most recently, Brooks directed A Life Earned, episode 504 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  In November 2017, it was announced that Brooks would produce, write and direct his next feature, Girl Who Fell From The Sky, starring Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner.    

Brooks directed his second feature with the true-crime drama, The Grim Sleeper, starring Dreama Walker (Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23), Macy Gray (Training Day), Ernie Hudson (Call Me Crazy) and Michael O’Neill (Dallas Buyers Club). The Grim Sleeper follows LA Weekly reporter Christine Pelisek (Walker) as she doggedly investigates the unsolved murders of dozens of women in Los Angeles and soon realizes one person is responsible for many of these deaths that began over 20 years earlier.  The Grim Sleeper aired on Lifetime Television on March 15th, 2014 and Brooks won his 4th PRISM AWARD for the film in 2015  for it’s authentic storytelling of mental illness and substance use issues…(Read more here).


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