Producer speak

I thought I’d spare some time to translate phrases from that marvellous language ‘producer speak’ for your delight and education.

A producer* accidentally copied me into a whole conversation between himself and the rest of the creative team, allowing me this fascinating insight into the workings of the minds behind the movie industry.

This isn’t a definitive guide, but just some of the choicer comments I’ve been able to translate:

Producer: I love the script.

Translation: I haven’t read it.

The director loves it.

He hasn’t read it either.

There are a few problems …

Even though I haven’t read it, I know it’s shit.

But we can sort them out easily enough.

You’re fired.

I’m just structuring the financing as we speak.

I haven’t got the money.

It’s a difficult project to pitch.

I don’t think I can get the money.

I’ve arranged a meeting with the film council next week.

I haven’t got a hope in hell of getting the money.

I wonder, could you create a part for xxxxx?

I’m trying to sleep with xxxxx.

Maybe the female protagonist should be younger?

I’ve already slept with xxxxx, and now I’m interested in her daughter.

I’d rather keep this project under wraps for now.

I haven’t managed to sleep with xxxxx yet, and she thinks I’m working on her vanity project.

You should meet xxxxx, you’d like her.

She still won’t give it up, but maybe if I introduce her to a writer she’ll think I’m actually interested in making that terrible idea of hers.

The director’s being difficult.

I’ve slept with his wife and he’s found out.

Don’t mention xxxxx to the director.

We’re both sleeping with xxxxx, but he doesn’t know it.

I’m going to have to cancel that meeting.

xxxxx’s husband is away that day.

And finally:

I’m concerned about the theme of the movie, does the protagonist’s inner goal compliment his outer desire?

I’m reading this from a book and have no idea what it means.

And that’s about it really. I’ll update this invaluable resource as and when I manage to translate more.


* It wasn’t you, you’re my favourite producer and never ever speak like this. It was some other producer from some other project. Honest.

It is you.

Categories: Random Witterings | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Producer speak

  1. One of my few meetings was with someone who hadn’t read the script. Which does beg the question, why were they there? Painful.

  2. Christ, I was joking – none of this shit has ever happened to me … yet.

    Was there more than one person in the room or was it just you and some numpty who hadn’t got a clue?

  3. One person who had read it, was enthusiastic about it. The other, their boss, hadn’t, and didn’t seem to like me. Me, in the middle, frightened.

    They kept using phrases like ‘I get the impression’. They could have perhaps garnered a clearer impression if they had, I don’t know, read it.

    To be fair, I wasn’t as marvellously winning as I’d hoped to be in the meeting, and of course nobody owes me anything. Shockingly, nothing came of it.

  4. By the sound of it, you’re probably not losing anything.

  5. The more dignified answer would of course have been “Oh. I was… also joking.”

  6. It’s not your dignity in question here, it’s the guy who holds a meeting without reading the script.

    Unless there was some reason why he shouldn’t/couldn’t/didn’t need to read it.

  7. No reason as far as I can fathom!

  8. Pingback: Writer speak « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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