Interview with producer Anita van Dalen

  • A producer is a leader or a boss?

A facilitator. The director is the leader.

  • What qualities or attributes do you look for in people you are looking to employ or work with?

They must have enthusiasm for the project. Heaps of enthusiasm, first and foremost.

  • What do you look for in a script?

Great storytelling and a meaningful theme.

  • How do you select a director?

Marry one.

  • Would you recommend writers think like a producer when writing their script? Or, just write with reckless abandon and then worry about the cost, or whatever, after they’ve grabbed a producer’s attention.

A filmmaker should have as much knowledge about filmmaking as possible. He should know about the costs, the production side.

  • How involved in the writing of a project do you get? Are you more involved in the initial development?

I choose to work on a fully developed scripts that show their potential. But I do give feedback to the writer, of course. More like a sparring partner.

  • How much influence as a producer do you have with the choices made by the director and/or DP?

None. The director makes his film. Of course, when he is getting over budget, I warn him. Otherwise, he is free to make his film.

  • What is the most important thing you have learned during your career?

Work with people who are willing (and able). If you want to join the project, you must want it badly. It is not just a job, it is a passion.

  • If you had an unlimited budget at your disposal, what would be your dream production project?

The project we are working on at the moment: an animated feature film called Nosferatu Reanimated. Or the animated feature we have in pre production, about medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch.

  • What does the future of film look like?

We will always be telling stories, one way or the other. There will be periods with fantastic innovative achievements (both artistical and technical) and there will also be dark periods with un-interesting formula films, created by people who are only interested in making money. Also, the taste of audiences will change in sophistication, influencing the way stories are told.