How do you be­come a pro­ducer?

First TV show was Black Sails. Now work­ing on The Alienist

Most pro­duc­ers can’t draw, luck­ily I can be­cause I went to art school (Bournemouth, Bath as a fine art paint­ing stu­dent)

Started mak­ing mu­sic videos in the 90s, ba­si­cally in that time all every­one was were tryng wsa get on MTV. Production Manager for Propaganda Films (Started by Michael Bay, David Fincher, Spike Jonze)

Managing di­rec­tor of Propaganda Europe. Resigned af­ter two years, Propaganda gave me The Match to pro­duce. People want to be in TV be­cause that’s were the in­ter­est­ing, long sto­ries are. Movies have be­come more about spec­ta­cle.

What does a pro­ducer do?

There are lots of dif­fer­ent types of pro­duc­ers: Some find the money, some find the con­tent (scripts, books). People who pro­duce in­die movies have a su­per hard job bring­ing the money to­gether from dif­fer­ent sources. I come in when the show is ba­si­cally green­lit: Here’s the money, here’s the script, go make the show.

I guide the pro­duc­tion, con­trol cost, make the best pos­si­ble film with the money that’s avail­able. Making sure dif­fer­ent de­part­ments work to­gether.

TV can be more chal­leng­ing than movies: You may have 10 scripts, dif­fer­ent di­rec­tors, of­ten the writ­ing is­n’t com­pleted when the shoot­ing starts.

Black Sails: Building Nassau

Black Sails on IMDB

Prequel to Treasure Island, with real pi­rates from his­tory in it. Pirate shows are set on the sea - The first rule of shoot­ing sea-based shows is to not shoot them on the sea. So in­stead you build Nassau 1720 so you can shoot phys­i­cal in­ter­ac­tion be­tween boats, wa­ter and peo­ple. Decided to do thing in Capetown - close to a real beach, good weather, lo­cal pro­duc­tion peo­ple - you only fly in the peo­ple you need. (Presumably also not much reg­u­la­tion). Built a whole beach with sand, fake palm trees etc.

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If you look out to the sea, it costs money be­cause you have to do set ex­ten­sions. The job of the pro­ducer is to stop the di­rec­tor from do­ing that too of­ten.

We also needed to build ships. They built a full ship” (on wheels) and a half ship” (which floated). The one ship was re­painted in dif­fer­ent colours through­out the show to make it look like they had more ships. The mast is a set ex­ten­sion.

Black Sails pirate ships

Wolf Kroeger was the pro­duc­tion de­signer.

How do you shoot a storm se­quence?

Here’s a cool break­down:

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You build a cus­tom wind ma­chine with a v8 truck en­gine, 4 ro­tors but that was­nt’ strong enough. Figured out that Squall (Ridley SCott) and mastr & com­man­der had used jet en­gines. Managed to get 7 old jet en­gines into South Africa.

The Alienist: Recreating New York 1896

The Alienist on IMDB

Period New York does­n’t ex­ist any­more. Budapest was built dur­ing the same time, us­ing the same ma­te­ri­als. Lots of empty houses to shoot in. Started out plan­ning a lim­ited height set, but turns out to be cheaper to build a full height set.

Another break­down:

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