This month we chat to Executive Producer of Homebrew Films, Jaco Louber about what’s it like being a producer and how he got into this exciting role.
Tell us about your job and what a typical day looks like for you?
My job is about taking responsibility and managing people and relationships. My day is consumed by meetings, viewings and budgets. I have a lot of viewing of content and episodes with the editors and also planning new content. Managing the relationship with the broadcaster, commissioning editors, marketing and social media strategies is also something that keeps me busy. A lot of my time also goes into nurturing and mentoring new talent and colleagues.
Why did you decide to be a producer above all other industry roles?
It happened by default as I progressed in the industry, but also because it was a very small company with 3 staff members and I enjoyed the business side of the company.
What was your first job in film and how did you progress to producer?
My first job and also how I entered the industry was to do research for 50/50 inserts (I am actually a zoologist by training).
You’ve been involved in big local studio productions (Suidooster) and intimate shorts (Nantes). How does the role of producer change when the scope of the production is different?
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread probably… If you have the right partners and colleagues then you approach everything with enthusiasm and passion to do what you can, with what you have. I was lucky that people believed in me and gave me opportunities and access, so I want to do the same for others.
I love working with enthusiastic and positive people and the team at Suidooster are absolutely focussed and passionate about the project and how these stories should be told. The amazing crew and cast, the support of the channel and the partnership with Gambit is the success of the soap – it is really a team effort and coming together of like-minded people.
Similarly the first Silwerskerm production where we supported Rene van Rooyen (ne Spies) to realise her dream of making a movie was also about her passion and hard work to realise this dream of hers. Not only did she win the first Silwerskerm award for best director and best film, she has gone on to become a leading writer and director of incredible films and TV series. She has an extremely successful company, alongside her husband Corne, and we still collaborate when we get the opportunity.
What advice would you give to those hoping to pursue a career In producing?
You have to have an understanding of all aspects of making a TV series or show – preferably you should have been in involved in all aspects of making a show hands on. You have to enjoy working with people and sit in meetings and you have to understand what every line item in a budget means and how and if you see it on screen. You also should be able to manage relationships on all levels – from the cleaner to the commissioning editor – and treat both with the same respect. And it must be fun and a challenge that you look forward to every day.
What’s your all-time favourite movie and series?
Movie – The Hours on the one hand and Four Weddings and a Funeral on the other
Series – Designated Survivor, The Bodyguard, Madam Secretary, Vera and CSI
Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know?
That I am actually a zoologist…