It takes a smart producer to handle several films at once and one of the first tasks is to judge whether the new film compliments their other current projects.

Producers What ProjectsFirstly there is content to consider; a producer may be looking to build a diverse body of work or a focused one, establishing them as a renaissance man who can handle anything or as a specialist in one particular genre.

Scale is another major consideration. Regardless of how competent and experienced a producer is they may still balk at taking on several multi-million dollar blockbusters at once. It’s not impossible, but it’s probably not wise either, if only because you have so much more to lose if something goes wrong (financially and in terms of reputation). Better then to look at one ‘big’ picture and a couple of smaller ones.

Box office potential sounds like a no-brainer; you pick the prospects with the biggest box office potential. But even the most experienced producers can sometimes be surprised by audience reactions. There are theoretically such things as cast iron hits; sequels to tremendously popular films (The Dark Knight), adaptations of tremendously popular books (Harry Potter); and there are films that will always perform solidly (superhero films seem to always do business at the moment).

But a flop can come from nowhere; no one could have predicted that Pearl Harbour would tank. What every producer really wants is a sleeper hit, something that costs comparatively little, has no hype, and yet unexpectedly catches the imagination of the public (The Artist, Donnie Darko, The King’s Speech etc.).

This is where the real money is to be made and, handily, there’s relatively little to be lost on them, most producers are therefore willing to take a chance on a long shot, hoping for the big return.