What is a Development Producer?
A Development Producer is at the front of the development team (or on their own in a small independent company), and is responsible for bringing stories to life, in order to generate revenue for the company by securing commissions with broadcasters.
What is the Job?
The Development Producer has to have the creative ability to come up with new ideas, or to help develop other people’s ideas. However, they also need to have business knowledge and drive as they are responsible for pitching to commissioners who are often hard to please. The Development Producer has to know the idea inside out and must be prepared to answer any questions and queries at the pitch.
If the Development Producer fails to sell the idea in the pitch meeting, they will have to think on their feet and they must present alternative suggestions. Put simply: if the pitch isn’t a success, the company risks not securing any commissions, and therefore not making any money!
In this edition of Word of Mouth we talk to Development Producer, Charlotte Davis, about her career in TV, eating doughnuts with Chicago cops, and easing Jimmy Nesbitt into a wetsuit!
What made you want to pursue a career in production, and what was your first job in TV?
I graduated from Glasgow University with an MA in Film, TV and Theatre studies, but I never wanted to get into telly really. I wanted to be a football journalist, but after a few months doing just that at the Daily Record, I realised just how tough that was. I got very confused. I was RUBBISH!
So, instead, I lucked out. I got a place on the Carlton production training scheme, and spent a year making a magazine programme called Shift for the (now defunct) Night Network. Heady, awesome, brilliant times. Alex Menzies (now a commissioning editor at C4), Anne Mensah (Head of Drama, Sky) and Asif Kapadia (ruddy well Oscar winner), were all knocking around the Carlton CPU at the same time. None of them return my calls now though (ha ha ha!).