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Guess Who's Gonna Be A Producer?

TOTALLY by accident (if anything ever really happens by accident), I will officially become a 'producer' this weekend. I have been writing for many years, and have binders full of scripts (for stage AND screen), poetry, stories, and chapters of a novel in progress. For a while, I assumed that I would produce my own projects so that I could create and have control over the type of stories I wanted to tell. After a couple of years of working in production and actually understanding what producers do, I shied away from it. It just seemed to be more about minutiae, and not so much about creativity. I write, I act, I sing. I can do passable editing. I can see myself directing and casting some day. There are people who produce well and love it - I'm content to do what I do and let them do what they do.

In the meantime I have all of these projects that I would love to get out into the world. I would love to create work for some of my wonderful actor-friends. Wanting it to be PERFECT, but knowing I don't have the skills to make it so, not knowing where to start, and feeling apprehensive about asking people to do a movie for little or no money (because I firmly believe that professional artists should be paid, just like professionals in OTHER areas of expertise get paid), has kept me from moving forward in this area. So...my writing has remained in notebooks in my apartment.

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine told me she was throwing a party for a relative, and said "since you're an actress, put a little skit on tape for me - I'll play it during the event." I said "Okay." and (secretly) hoped she would forget she asked and not ask again. She did ask again, so I talked to a few mutual friends, one thing let to another, and now, the four of us will be shooting two shorts on Saturday! I wrote one (a cool, 2-page film-noir script), and a friend wrote the other. I know nothing about shooting (my vacation footage will give you motion sickness), but one of the guys went to film school. It's a true collaboration, and, if it goes well, my next step will be to get some of my other scripts out of the binder and in front of the camera. I'll let you know how it goes, and post footage when it's done. Wish me luck b/c I'll be wearing a lot of hats and I don't know how they're gonna fit. Photo_4

Sometimes we have to be dragged out of our comfort zone, kicking and screaming. I'm sure I'll thank my friend later, lol.

--Nicole J. Butler

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