Job title: Producer and location consultant
David Broder is a producer and location consultant. He has worked as a location manager on films like Contagion, The King's Speech, (for which he won LMGI Award for best locations in a feature film)The BFG and The Imitation Game. In 2016, David and his wife Simona Hughes set up their production company Loupe Film to support up-and-coming directors. Other credits include Let Me Go and County Lines.
Describe your job in your own words
I’m a producer and a location consultant. Right now I have a few TV and film projects in development at my production company Loupe. I like to try to help talented up-and-coming directors get their work made.
As a consultant I can be advising blockbuster production companies trying to film in the UK. I consult on the length of shoots, costs of crew and facilities, things like that. Last month I was talking to a studio hoping to do a remake of American Werewolf in London and helping them budget for a two-week shoot.
How did you get into the industry?
I studied film at college and did a little work in post-production. Contacts through friends enabled me to start as a runner and on-set truck driver. I got experience and contacts that way, and through that made it to assistant director. I was offered my first major film feature as location manager on Enigma.
After spending time working as a location manager and production manager, it’s a natural progression to producer. I produced a few short films and then found people started contacting me about projects, asking if I would be interested in producing them.
What training or education did you find most useful?
When I was making the shift to producer I took a Production Guild course, which was really helpful. I was on the course with 10 or so other aspiring producers and, as is often the case with these things, you start talking and connecting with other people, discussing and learning from each other and gaining experience that way.
How do you find projects you want to produce?
Mostly from word of mouth. One came to me through other colleagues, one project I’m developing now is an adaptation of a book I bought the rights to, which the BBC is interested in.
How do you think the industry has changed since you started out?
Massively. It’s increased 10-fold, and been brought into the digital age. When I started all you had was a phone and that was it. It’s easier now, but it does mean that people expect things straight away. They want a reply to your email not within the day, but within the hour.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Just keep going. It’s difficult, so you have to be persistent.
I think it’s hard for people starting out to know what they want to do. I realised early on that you can’t start right from the top. There are too many people who coming in saying, ‘I want to be a producer,’ or, ‘I want to be a director,’ where you might have skills better suited to being a location manager or arts director and then maybe later you will be better placed to make the shift. You need to be realistic.
I’ve started doing mentoring through the BECTU Mentoring Scheme now, and that’s what I look out for in people coming through.
What are your plans for your future career as producer?
To produce projects I think are worthwhile, and with integrity. It’s not easy, but you just have to keep working at it.