1) What advice do you have for new directors? 

2) What advice can you offer to up-and-coming producers? 

3) Learning is an ongoing process even for the most seasoned producer. Would you share a recent lesson learned on the job, perhaps related to a project involving new technology (i.e., VR, AR, AI, etc.) or another experience? 

4) What recent project are you particularly proud of—and why? You can include a direct link to it. 

Kira Carstensen
Global Managing Partner

1) There are a lot of directors in the market vying for the same jobs. Competition is stiff. You must find a way to separate yourself from the pack. Find a niche that is true to you. Develop a style that speaks to your talents and interests. Don’t make things you think other people want; make what you want. Only when you are authentically yourself can your differences shine through. There will be an audience that wants YOU. You need to show them who you are.

2) I’ve been a producer for 20+ years, and I still can’t explain what I do in a way my mother can understand it. Because as producers, we do a bit of everything. You are talent manager, problem solver, crew leader, location finder, accountant, casting aggregator and host to clients and agencies with high expectations. Your job is to determine what is most important about a piece of brand communication, and find ways to make that message clear to your audience. There is no one right way to produce a job. Be nimble. If your first idea doesn’t work, try another approach. There is almost always a way to execute your director’s or agency’s vision. You have to constantly be learning and exploring new technology and methods than can help get you there.

3) I am really intrigued by the benefits of AR for educational and travel films. We are currently developing a multi-media project for a client that has a full narrative story, an AR gaming app, and an immersive theater experience activated by GPS technology on users’ phones. One of the big lessons I learned was that with AR your point of view is outside looking in; with VR it is inside looking out. So designing shots in AR has been totally different and challenging. But the possibilities are so endless that your story can go anywhere. And maybe that is the biggest lesson I’ve learned through it all – it doesn’t matter what technology you employ, story is most important. If you don’t grab a viewer with compelling characters and their journey, the technology can’t hold on to them.

4) We produced an interactive film for IBM Mobile with Ogilvy that was shot as an action thriller. We helped ideate and execute a narrative story that was told in chapters, where users could choose their path of action. We shot it like an episode of TV, with a TV crew and award-winning director Brad Turner from “24” and “Homeland”. It was the perfect example of working together as a team – agency, client, and production company – to achieve an ambitious, common goal. Check it out: https://www.ibm.com/mobile/takeaction

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