Some People might say Line Producers (LP) are mean. But the truth is we weren’t born with a ‘mean gene’ – we carefully developed it over many series and many seasons in defense against the dreaded and continual ask on productions. An ‘ask’, quite simply, is when someone asks you for something and on a production, it always has a dollar amount attached. Since we are sworn to defend and protect every dollar in a budget, we tend to be over zealous in our approach toward managing the budget.
For a better look inside the mind of an LP you have to understand that we all have the shared philosophy that while many things are needed during a production, there is a world of difference between what you need and what you want. A want – is a ‘nice to have’ it’s not a necessity. When you approach us with an ask we are mentally posing the question – “Is this a need or a want?”
You need camera gear. But, it would be nice to have 5 extra lenses. You need transportation, but it would be nice to have an upgrade for extra legroom. You need lighting, but it would be nice to have a whole truck for grip and electric so you can pull whatever you want at a moments notice. We’ll pay for and find the money for a need, however, a want will undoubtedly go to the end of our endless ‘I –will-get-to it” list.
So to make your LP happy:
- Unless the network has added a scene, don’t ask for more shoot days. It just makes us twitch, gets us a little crazy, and bad words start swimming around in our heads.
- Don’t just hand us receipts in a pile. Seriously? We’ll laugh. And it’s really not the ha ha funny kind of laugh.
- Don’t ask us to buy the liquor you feel you must consume to forget the day of production you just finished.
- Don’t ask for more edit time on top of the additional edit time we’ve already given you. This falls into ‘blood from a stone’ category.
- Don’t ask to leave the set early because you need to have dinner with your girlfriend. I haven’t seen my family in 12 years – you don’t get dinner.