Andrew Litvin, line-producer on the blockbuster Defiance, tells film editor Rees Arnott-Davies exactly what his line of work entails
RAD: What is it that a Line-Producer does?
AL: Managing the physical production of the film shoot. Budgeting the whole project. Managing the production department who deal with making sure that whatever is needed to film with on any day is there when the director would like it. Helping support the producer. Helping the director achieve their vision for the film. Supporting the Head’s for department (1st Assistant Director, Director of Photography etc) by trying to best allocate time, resources and money to where is best for the film. Firefighting problems and trying to foresee and planing for what can go wrong. Cost reporting to the producer and financiers. Relying on the support of the production team and all the Head’s of department to make sure we stay on schedule. Finally, communication, communication, communication.
RAD: How did you first start doing it?
AL: I started as the runner (making tea and coffee and photocopying) in a production company in Soho after spending several days ringing a couple of hundred companies.
RAD: How does a line-producer fit in with the rest of the production team?
AL: Is one of the Head’s of department managing my own department and also managing and support the other heads
RAD: What are the greatest difficulties with your job?
AL: There is never enough time or money but this usually brings out the best in people.
RAD: What’s the part you least enjoy?
AL: Very long hours and being away from home for long periods of time so not seeing friends and family.
RAD: What’s the part you most enjoy?
AL: Helping create a team that gels and helping the director achieve their vision for the film.
RAD: What would be an average day for you?
AL: There is no such thing as an average day as each day could include all of my answer to your first question!
RAD: How does the job of a line producer affect the film?
AL: Every Line Producer is different but for me its by managing the budget, hiring the best production team and communication with the Head of department, the producer and financiers.