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As the winners and nominees enjoy some well deserved celebrations, it’s time we all look back on what makes these men and women such great filmmakers. In a video posted by the Producers Guild of America, directors Clint Eastwood, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Richard Linklater sat down to discuss the relationship between directors and producers.
Clint Eastwood kicked the discussion off by stating the ambiguities that come with the title “producer,” and realizing that a producer is ultimately a businessperson who allows the director to work creatively and unencumbered. Recalling his past, the legendary director of “American Sniper” tells the story of his first project, made with a movie budget of only $750,000, and how he had to come to terms with its constraints.
All three directors seemed to agree on the importance of choosing a producer with whom they can maintain a healthy working relationship. As Linklater puts it, “finishing each other’s sentences.” What it seems to come down to is the director’s ability to know which hat (screenwriter, director, producer) to wear and when to wear it, and the ability of the producer to make that possible.