Joke, Biagio, Syd the Demon, Magician/Producer Andrew Mayne, & Scream Queens Supervising Challenge Producer Matt Laesch.
As a producer, you have one job: make stuff. In whatever field you’re in. When it comes to showbiz, that means taking film and TV projects from beginning to end. It’s a grueling job, with 17, 18, 19, and 20 hour days.
And sometimes those hours still aren’t enough.
A scary thought.
It can make you afraid to take on daunting projects.
To overcome those fears, it helps to love what you make.
We Love Scream Queens
Getting to make a show that blends our love of docu-style Reality TV with our passion for movies is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We feel like the luckiest producers in the world.
Of course, we spend a lot of time feeling, well, scared–and not because the show’s called Scream Queens.
To make a TV show that’s a perfect blend of “docu-style” reality and “movie-style” screen tests is a huge challenge. It’s only right to feel a certain amount of nervousness taking it on. Just a couple reasons:
Entire episodes are shot in three and sometimes only two days. There’s no room for error.
Movies are expensive. Reality TV shows have small budgets.
On a film set, sometimes you take an entire day to shoot one scene.
On Scream Queens, we have to run up to 10 girls through the same scene in a half-day (after all, we need the other half to film reality.)
Sometimes, making our days seems impossible.
If it Feels Impossible, You’re on the Right Track
If your dream project is the easiest thing in the world to produce, you’re not trying hard enough.
Want to make something great? You have to cross the line of what’s comfortable, what’s “do-able” and figure out how to do more. How to be bigger. Better. More amazing.
Get to the place where what you want to accomplish is so huge, it scares the crap out of you.
Then you’re officially where you need to be.
You are the Sum of Your Frightening Experiences
Putting together a project that seems “undoable” gives you a lot of confidence. Why? Well, the truth is, many times the project actually IS undoable…as originally planned.
So you improvise. Roll the dice. Take some chances. Make some mistakes. Fall down. Pick yourself up. Keep going. Find a solution. Become a lot smarter.
In the end, you’re a better producer for it.
Scream Queens is Scary
And we’re not just talking about watching the show.
Sure, all these pics from the FX shop we visited today are pretty freaky. We get more freaked out about the incredibly tight schedule. Even tighter budget. Difficulty balancing house drama with tent-pole moments. Hoping our actresses are every bit as good in their scenes as we believe they can be. Packing a challenge, an acting class, a “scare the actresses” moment, a screen test, the revealing of “the list” and an elimination into 42 minutes. Oh, and having good reality scenes to tie it all together, too.
A tall order.
Scary as hell to pull off. But totally awesome to take on. We’re so grateful Scream Queens has helped make us the producers we are today.
Don’t Pass Up a Project Because You’re Scared
A project feel too big for you? Maybe it is. Maybe it’s time to walk away. On the other hand, if you never push yourself to the next level, you’ll never move beyond where you are today.
We all find ourselves in situations where we fear we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. It’s a natural by-product of ambition, and that’s a good thing.
When you get overwhelmed, and you’re terrified you can’t pull off the production you’ve already set in motion, it’s time to…
Face Your Fears Head-On
The best way to handle a project that feels undoable is to dive in head first, and figure it out as you go.
Yes, you prep.
Of course, you plan everything to a tee.
Do everything possible to get each piece of your project’s puzzle in place.
When you figure out that’s still not enough, put on a smile and get ready to dance.
Like many adrenaline junkies have said on far more dangerous outings, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.”
The experience will be terrifying at times.
It’ll also be one-hundred percent worth it.