Exclusive Interview conducted by Jody Michelle Solis
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: What are the most important skills every aspiring producer should learn?
Dustin Morrow: The most important skill for any producer is the ability to communicate clearly. You are overseeing so many different types of practitioners, and you must collaborate with them in such a multitude of ways, that you are constantly having to shift the way you communicate with your team. You have to understand what each collaborator needs from you and be ready and able to provide that.
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: What was one of the most important things you learned on set?
Dustin Morrow: The most important thing I have learned from more than 25 years of working on sets is that preproduction will make that process as easy or difficult as you want to make it. Often, if you have a problem on a set, it’s too late to solve it. Thorough preproduction anticipates challenges on the set and solves those challenges before you even get to the set. Plan, plan, plan, and then plan some more.
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: What was the most challenging problem solved on set?
Dustin Morrow: Because I do thorough preproduction, I luckily have not run into too many enormous problems on my sets. Time management (that is, production schedule) and budget restrictions will always be the biggest hurdles on most of my projects.
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: If you could share your Top 3 Tips for aspiring producers, what would they be?
Dustin Morrow: Not to keep belaboring the same point, but engage in as thorough a preproduction process as is possible.
Be responsible to your cast, your crew, and to the subject of your production. Media production is a powerful art and form of mass communication, and to quote Spider-mans’ uncle: with great power comes great responsibility.
And to the degree that you can, try to tell important stories, about human beings, that matter to the world and make the world a better place.