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10 Things I Learned From Producing My First Feature Film

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Soon after launching her own production company, Rizk Pictures, Alex teamed up with writer / director Ryan Eggold on the feature film Literally, Right Before Aaron.
girl first film producer
Founder, Rizk Pictures

1. When things are busy in your personal life, it’s helpful to funnel your energy into work. While producing the movie, I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married and my husband was sent on a 6-month deployment. It was difficult to be apart from my husband for such a long period of time, but it was helpful for me to have so much to do at work. I was able to channel my focus on work and produce a movie!

2. There’s so much more to a movie than just the creative vision. As a producer, you’re responsible for helping people work as a team, managing the budget, ensuring the cast and crew are happy and work well together, and a million other tiny decisions. Be prepared to go above and beyond your job description. It’s tough to manage it all, but worth it in the long run.

3. Teamwork makes the dream work. While making this movie, I realized that it wouldn’t have ever come together if everyone on our team wasn’t going above and beyond the status quo. There are so many tasks to complete and hurdles to clear every day on a movie set, you’ll learn quickly that it’s a team effort! You can’t do it alone.

film producer and director hugging

4. People want to hear a story they can relate to. The reason I was drawn to making this movie in the first place was because the story is so human and relatable. Should you invite an ex to your wedding? (Spoiler Alert: I didn’t…The movie showed me it would be too messy!) I wanted to be a part of a film that people of all ages and backgrounds could relate to and relationships are something EVERYONE can relate to, for better or worse.

5. To be successful, you have to be willing to learn as you go. Nothing can fully prepare you for the daily grind of producing a movie, but openness and a willingness to learn will help you along the way. There are so many people on set with you who are experts in their field. As a producer you need an understanding of every field, so be ready to learn and never hesitate to ask questions!

6. Even through all the challenges, you have to stay positive. Sure, there are a million little things to worry about on a movie set, but negativity is contagious. Always keep the big picture in mind and remember it’s not supposed to be easy, you’re working toward achieving your dream! Keep it lighthearted, make some jokes, and have fun! You’ll look back on the challenges and laugh once you’ve reached the finish line.

7. If you underestimate yourself, you limit yourself. I would say to any individual out there to strive above and beyond your dreams and reach for the stars, because if you underestimate yourself, you’re never going to achieve what you could with self-confidence. If you can keep your mind open and your
confidence high, you can do anything. It might sound cheesy, but look at me! I never expected to produce a feature film by 25!

Photo by Michael Moriatis

8. Surround yourself with a support system, in both your professional and personal life. Everyone needs a solid support system to be able to reach their highest potential. Make sure you surround yourself with people who understand your goals, support your dreams, and believe in your
potential and phase out those who don’t.

9. Take risks where you see potential. When I was approached with the script for this movie I knew that, like any film, there would be some risks. But I saw potential for success, took a chance, and it couldn’t have been a better decision. Sure, it could’ve gone amiss, but I didn’t let the fear of failure blind
me from the joy and sense of achievement of producing my first feature film.

10. If you love what you do, it shows. This applies to everyone on the movie set: the producers, the actors, the writers, and the director. You could tell they all loved their jobs and it showed. It was really inspiring to be surrounded by so much enthusiasm, creativity, and positivity. TC mark

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