By Emily Verellen Strom, The Fledgling Fund:
Thank you NAMAC for gathering incredible activists, artists and thought leaders last week in Oakland. On Friday, I moderated a panel on the sustainability of the impact producing field. Spoiler alert: we did NOT solve the problem in those sixty minutes, as fruitful as they were!
We DID have a great conversation about the role of impact producers and the importance of transparency. Elise McCave, Deputy Director of Britdoc, Sahar Driver, Impact Producer, Michael Premo, Impact Producer and Eliza Licht, VP of Content Strategy and Engagement at POV all contributed valuable insights from their diverse work in the field. They agreed that, while the funding landscape for this work has improved, there is still a long way to go before impact producing is sustainable. They also agreed that including expenses for the planning and execution of an impact campaign within an initial film budget is an important first step in sustaining the cost of an impact producer over the course of a campaign. We also discussed the importance of filmmakers understanding their own strengths and commitment level, when it comes to the campaign planning and execution. Because every film team is different, the role that an impact producer plays changes with each project they work on, as do their fees. Because this can be both incredibly challenging (and also rewarding!) work, turnover and demand in the field remains high.
Thank you Eliza, Sahar, Michael and Elise for a productive conversation and for your great work.