I started “producing” at a very early age having contracted what I call “Garland-Rooney Syndrome” from watching Judy and Mickey make all that magic in the barn. If you don’t understand that reference (because you are way too young to remember) check out some classic MGM flicks with titles like Babes in Arms and Babes on Broadway. I was always producing little plays on the school yard and at the tender age of 14, had my own Drill Team marching in local parades! Now I have a very long list of productions to my credit including CD’s, DVD’s, TV programs and a huge string of live events. (See the bottom of this post for a representative list.)
What does a Producer do? This is a question that is often posed to me and there is both a long and a short answer. I’ll give you the short answer first and then if you want, you can read on for details. The short answer being “Everything that needs to be done to successfully complete the job.” The long answer depends largely on the demands of each project. Most of my production work has fallen into three categories: Audio Production, Video Production and Event Production. Let’s start with what still to this day remains my favorite…
Audio Production: Ideally, I prefer to come onto a project from the beginning, helping the Artist hone the overall concept, select the music and musicians, find the right match of studio and engineer and finally assist in the design, manufacture and release of the finished product. My role is a delicate blend of mid-wife and trail boss. Oh, I must also mention that a top priority of every project is to have as much fun as possible while getting the most bang for the buck for my clients? Even though many artists start out thinking they can’t afford a producer, over the years I have proven time and again that having a good producer can actually save the Artist money while improving the quality of the final product.
Video Production: I learned my video production skills as a broadcast commercial producer for Wyse Advertising in Cleveland, Ohio. When CEO, Marc Wyse got involved as executive producer on a quiz show pilot project, he selected me from the production department to produce what came to be called The Family Bowl. This was long before the days of Family Feud and of course, I jumped at the chance to do something other than Smucker commericals (no disrespect to Smuckers intended.) From there, Marc and I formed a production company we called Bread ‘n Jam Productions and we produced among other things, quite possibly the first-ever concert TV show called New Release with singer, Michael Johnson ( www.michaeljohnson.com)and a man-on-the street interview show, Stokes, starring Cleveland’s former mayor, Carl Stokes. On that show, I worked with Teletape in New York (in the Sesame Street control room) and really learned what it takes to produce top of the line TV. The basic principles remain the same as any kind of production but the list of details that the producer tends to is much longer and far more costly. High stakes but also very high adventure!
Event Production: The years I spent as the Promotion Director of WIXY Radio in Cleveland turned me into a top-flight event producer. Thousands of people showed up every time I staged something with my DJs, the WIXY Supermen, on our high energy climb to the top of the ratings heap. (This chapter of my life appears in a new book by my dear friend, former Superman, Larry “The Duker” Morrow, This Is Larry Morrow…My Life On and Off the Air, Gray & Company, publishers) My daily task at WIXY was to create buzz and organized chaos. I learned pretty quickly that nothing was impossible because my boss, Norman Wain, a p.r. genius, wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Again, it’s all about details and then it’s about more details and finally, it’s ALL ABOUT DETAILS! No doubt, production details will be the death of me…but what a terrific way to go!
So, if you’ve got a project in your mind, you might want to consider contacting me to explore the possibility of us working together. That number is 415.279.5443 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on for a list of some of my producing credits. For information about my own recordings of my own music, see the Children’s Music page:
Lua Hadar with Twist – World jazz vocalist, Lua Hadar; pianist/music director Jason Martineau; Andrew Higgins, electric and acoustic bass; Jim Zimmerman, percussion; Tony Malfatti, reeds; Patricio Angulo, Latin percussion; Dave Miotke, accordion. www.luahadar.com
Lua Hadar, It’s about Time – Lua Hadar, vocals; pianist/music director Jason Martineau; John Witala, bass; David Rokeach, percussion.
Albin Suffys, Don’t Come Back to California – Albin Suffys, electric bass with special guest Daniel Fabricant, acoustic bass. www.myspace.com/albinsuffys
Make Like A Prince, Song by Paul James Frantz – Paul James Frantz and Chavé Alexander, vocals; pianist/music director Sean Bart; Josh Srago, Bass; Taylor Still, percussion; Annelise Zamula, reeds; Dae Miotke, accordion. www.bakerbeachmusic.com
Roots and Wings – Linda Hirschhorn, vocalist; www.lindahirschhorn.com
Viva Concha! Rose of the Presidio – a chamber musical by Candace Forest, starring Aimée Puentes and Codrut Birsan as Concha Arguello and Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov. A live recording of the opening night showcase in 2006 at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco. www.vivaconcha.com
Kidcity – children’s television show, City TV, Toronto, Canada
New Release – music concert with live audience, Cleveland, Ohio
Viva Concha! Rose of the Presidio - a chamber musical, cast of 27, San Francisco, CA. www.vivaconcha.com
Divas & Desserts, an Opera Noir event at Stag’s Leap Winery in Napa, CA. www.operanoir.org
The Living Legacy Benefit Concert – cast of 30, Cleveland, OH.
Whole Life Expo, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA.
WIXY Christmas Parade, Cleveland, Ohio