This is perhaps the most dangerous producer of all time; emotional, manipulative, and sweet as sugar. They just want to learn the ins and outs of the business but education… How dare you? They always have an excuse about why something is screwed up, but it was never their fault. It was yours for not teaching them. They’ll cry crocodile tears to you but as soon as your back is turned, not only the knife is impaled, the entire set of Ginzu knives plus steak knives is strategically placed for anyone else to see.
They will tell you how much they are learning. They will praise you from the highest of heavens but like snakes, they just slither onto the next project. They seem sincere, but they have a way of subtlety undermining those who have power. They don’t want to learn, they are on a power trip. They have usually worked their way onto their first project with either money or ties in the community. The ties will be loose, but these producers are affable and affectionate until they have gotten what they want.
Once they have moved on from the project you know them from, they will ride on your coat tails. They’ll run through your facebook, using your reputation to gain friends to manipulate. For them, each connection is a chance to manipulate higher up the food chain.
From the beginning they choose looks of haughty derision at the idea of starting at the bottom. They aren’t PAs. They don’t get their hands dirty. They are producers, dontcha you know. They have dreams… They are going to be directors… they are going to have a career in the movies. Before their first film has heard its final “That’s a wrap. Go home people”, they are forming their own production company. They are getting business cards with their name and fake production company.
Eventually, they screw enough people that their name becomes mud. Whenever you meet someone eager who wants more credit when they are done, politely turn them down. They are people who do want to learn. In fact, I was one of them. I just never asked for more credit. I was humble when I got my first producing credit. I was also in school, and I was taking the hard road to learn how to behave on set. I did not expect to be given special stature because of who I know. I worked hard for my reputation.
Don’t get down to their level. Always hold your head high and be able to say “I did that” even if its terrible because someone somewhere will enjoy it. Movies are a business but they are the business of experience. Always remember what matters is inside the box.