If you’re in any business, it’s a good idea to get to know your target market. You should also understand those you need to sell to. For writers and directors, that means putting your feet in the shoes of producers.
Over at the USC podcast page, you can find what Suzanne Todd has to say about producing. She gives advice to directors and writers too. Suzanne produced Memento, the Austin Powers films, Boiler Room and Across the Universe. She uses a little shorthand that is best understood by students and almuni. Each course in a specific field has a three digit number associated with it. The method at USC is that everyone works on a film in each of the major roles. As part of the DP course, you DP on someone’s film. As part of the editing course, you edit someone else’s film.
She was one of the few people in her class that wanted to be a producer. Most wanted to be writers and directors. This podcast won’t tell you how to learn from producing many indie movies before getting a studio deal. Suzanne started with a studio deal. She does talk about the division of labour and the nature of development.
One hour 20 minutes in, she talks about how to select what projects to work on, and what to leave to others. She says that although you might think a script or a film will be successful, you should only work on it if you feel that you have something to bring to it personally.
The trick is to get yourself in the position where you have that choice. Some people think it’s a good idea to wait until the right thing comes along.