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Meet Your Makers: The Need for Good Storytelling with Alex Bronner


Camp Lucky producer on starting out as a PA, being a sucker for a good puzzle and the need for a proper focus on post production

Meet Your Makers: The Need for Good Storytelling with Alex Bronner

Camp Lucky producer Alex Bronner has been on the production side of the creative process for over a decade, working alongside major brands and agencies. His producing experience includes projects for Yeti, Whataburger, Salvation Army, Levi's, Garmin, Samsung, Orvis and many others. Alex is an Austin native who studied Commercial Planning and Development at University of Texas, ultimately applying many of the same tenants and understanding to the world of filmmaking and production. Having worked his way up from production manager and coordinator before becoming a Producer, Alex has a deep understanding and appreciation for the collective process of creating content.  

LBB> What first attracted you to production - and has it been an industry you’ve always worked on or did you come to it from another area?

Alex> The first thing that attracted me to production would have to be the creative problem solving inherent in the department. I’m a sucker for a good puzzle, and mixing creative with a budget can make for all sorts of fun puzzles. 

LBB> What was your first role in the production world and how did this experience influence how you think about production and how you grew your career? 

Alex> I did it the old fashioned way. Starting off as a PA, I would take any job I could get my hands on. The beautiful thing about PA'ing is it can give you a chance to work with almost every department in some capacity. And this really helped me to initially understand the true collaborative nature of this industry. How every department plays a role in the creative process, and has to play it well for the project to succeed. 

LBB> How did you learn to be a producer? 

Alex> Is it too cliché to say that I’m still learning? That’s one of the things I love about this job. Every project seems to present new challenges that you may not have seen before. You can anticipate and prepare as best as you can, and that all comes with experience, but there will always be problems to solve and fires to put out.

LBB> Looking back to the beginning of your career, can you tell us about a production you were involved in where you really had to dig deep and that really helped you to grow as a producer? 

Alex> One of the projects that had the largest impact on my growth as a producer was actually a hybrid live event production for a popular music streaming service during SXSW. There was a massive content output needed for concert highlights and recaps, interview and promo spots with the artists that were performing over the three days. Longform stories following artists around town. Multiple editors/finishers working in a hollowed out motorhome in shifts straight for 72 hours. And on top of it all we had the actual live concert production to stream online and feed to the screens around the venue. I had only been producing for a year or two, and I had never produced anything like it before. By the end of it, I felt like we had gone to war. But to pull off what we did, while learning so much of it on the fly, really helped me to grow as a producer. And they even became a long time commercial client of ours because of it. I’m a firm believer that there is always a way, and this job was my first real testament to that. It not only taught me to embrace the challenges this industry presents, but to learn and grow from those challenges over time. 

LBB> A good producer should be able to produce for any medium, from film to events to digital experience. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why/why not?

Alex> See above! Haha. You never know what type of project will present itself to you. We’re seeing more and more crossover within this industry. Especially if you aren’t living/working in LA or NYC, diversifying your experience and knowledge across mediums can only help you to grow, and will make you more valuable as a producer. 

LBB> What’s your favourite thing about production and why? 

Alex> Creative problem solving. Hands down. There can be an adrenaline rush that comes with having to solve problems on the fly. And we all know this industry likes to work on a time crunch. It goes back to my belief that there is always a way. The fun part for me is finding it. 

And then getting to work with some insanely creative and talented people has to be up there as well. The directors here all have such unique and powerful styles, and the crew is the best you can find. 

LBB> How has production changed since you started your career? 

Alex> As the need for more content continues to explode, we’ve seen a large growth in the number of outputs and deliverable requests across the board. The single :30 commercial shoots have become far more of a rarity than they used to be. More often than not we’re shooting for multiple spots, cutdowns or variations. For broadcast and for social. For horizontal and for vertical. One :30 script can now mean 24 different deliverable outputs. And I imagine it’s here to stay. 

LBB> And what has stayed the same? 

Alex> The need for good storytelling.

LBB> What do you think is the key to being an effective producer - and is it something that’s innate or something that can be learned? 

Alex> Flexibility, anticipation and attitude. I certainly think those things can be learned and/or massaged over time - they’ll only get better through experience. 

LBB> Which production project from across your career are you most proud of and why?

Alex> Honestly, it’s probably the SXSW project. It’s not the final product that I’m the most proud of, but the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. And I haven’t really crossed paths with live production much since, but it was the first major challenge of my career. And it led to a really unique ongoing relationship with some amazing folks. 

LBB> And in terms of recent work, which projects have you found to be particularly exciting or have presented particularly interesting production challenges?

Alex> Our most recent Yeti campaign comes to mind here. I always love the outdoor brand work we do. More often than not it means finding locations and talent in remote places, which can present its own challenges. But you always meet the most incredible people along the way. We spent two weeks travelling between the Gulf Coast, Hawaii and the Rockies this fall for one of their holiday campaigns. Making a handful of match-cut :15s with some insanely talented athletes and anglers, all in their own backyards. And the Yeti folks are always so great to work with. It was easily one of my favourite projects last year. 

LBB> Producers always have the best stories. What’s the hairiest / most insane situation you’ve found yourself in and how did you work your way out of it?

Alex> I may need a drink or two before I can answer this one…

LBB> What are your personal ambitions or aspirations as a producer?

Alex> To always love and enjoy what I do, and to find ways that I can continue to grow and be challenged. 

LBB> As a producer your brain must have a neverending "to do" list. How do you switch off? What do you do to relax?

Alex> The best thing I can do is to keep the other parts of my brain busy. Might be playing the piano, some woodwork, or even a game. And I seriously do love a good puzzle. I try to find something I enjoy doing that can offer a distraction. If I’m scrolling on my phone or watching a show, I find my thoughts creeping back to that “to do” list all too easily. 

LBB> Producers are problem solvers. What personally fuels your curiosity and drive?

Alex> Navigating through unpredictable situations. Not only finding a way to accomplish our goals, but finding the best way to do it with the resources we have. 

LBB> What advice would you give to people who are interested in becoming a producer?

Alex> Produce anything and everything you can. Your friend’s short or spec project. The student film or music video you were messaged about. So much of this job is about experience, and how you learn/grow from it. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone does. It’s how you react and adjust to those mistakes that will really help you to grow. 

LBB> From your experience what are the ingredients for a successful production?

Alex> A good concept, a good director, a realistic budget and the PROPER FOCUS ON POST PRODUCTION!! Which includes a good budget for music! It makes a world of difference. 

LBB> What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship?

Alex> Listening/understanding, open and honest communication, flexibility, and offering solutions. And some good crafty : )

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Camp Lucky, Mon, 13 Mar 2023 14:47:02 GMT