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Producing Tomorrow’s Producers: Roy De Giorgio on Love and Diversity


The 13CO founder and executive producer speaks to LBB’s Delmar Terblanche about balancing classic virtues in a changing industry

Producing Tomorrow’s Producers: Roy De Giorgio on Love and Diversity

Roy has spent 25 years working as a producer, executive producer and head of television at multiple agencies and several of Australia’s best production companies. He has also travelled the world as a director/ producer, creating environmental programming for National Geographic Channel - walking, driving (in assorted modes of transport), or scuba diving the waters of over 25 countries.

An active advocate for a green future, Roy is the founder and executive producer of award winning production collective 13CO

LBB> What advice would you give to any aspiring producers or content creators hoping to make the jump into production?

Roy> Do it if it’s what you truly love, not what you think you should love. Lots of upcoming producers and content creators are infatuated by the perception of producing – the reality can sometimes be very different. There’s only one way to find out. 

LBB> What skills or emerging areas would you advise aspiring producers to learn about and educate themselves about?

Roy> There are always emerging prospects in the world of production like artificial intelligence (AI), and immersive virtual production/volume technology, which are great but despite the ever changing technology, good producers will always be those who are the conduits for executing a creative’s vision.

LBB> What was the biggest lesson you learned when you were starting out in production - and why has that stayed with you?

Roy> Always ask questions. I like to think we work in a very supportive industry of passionate people who are willing to mentor and help others – all you need to do is ask.

LBB> When it comes to broadening access to production and improving diversity and inclusion what is your team doing to address this?

Roy> Given my multicultural upbringing and the challenges I faced getting into the industry, we are always trying to be as inclusive as possible and provide opportunities to as diverse a range of people as possible from all backgrounds. Privilege should never guarantee you success. Whether this be bringing more women into the company or increasing the representation of people based on their gender, sexuality, disability and race both on screen and behind the scenes. 13CO has a history of being proactive and using its own resources in this regard from our support for gay marriage with our film project “The Big Deal” (Tomato Sauce Man) or featuring one of Australia’s first openly trans actors Zoe Terakes in our short film “The Craft” a few years back. We try to walk our talk.

LBB> And why is it an important issue for the production community to address?

Roy> Because our industry should always mirror our current society and the production community is stronger when we are inclusive. Diversity will always foster innovation and creativity. To make a lasting change, we should do more every day…period.

LBB> There are young people getting into production who maybe don’t see the line between professional production and the creator economy, and that may well also be the shape of things to come. What are your thoughts about that? Is there a tension between more formalised production and the ‘creator economy’ or do the two feed into each other?

Roy> The creator economy is driven by young people having the passion and better tools to produce content at the same time as production budgets are falling. There is only tension when client’s expectations are not managed in this regard. 

LBB> If you compare your role to the role of the heads of TV/heads of production/ Exec Producers when you first joined the industry, what do you think are the most striking or interesting changes (and what surprising things have stayed the same?)

Roy> We’re constantly hearing the gripes of HOTVs – they’re fast becoming administrative managers of producers and internal budgets – managing more projects with less resources. Some find themselves pressured to do this instead of actually producing jobs. The good ones try to do it all which is a tough ask. Back in the day when I was a HOTV (now I sound old) agency producers were much more involved working with creatives in selecting directors and production partners. Now, whether it be a lack of time, or the changing dynamics of the agency environment, this selection process seems to be more driven by the creative department or, perish the thought, account service. 

LBB> It seems that there’s an emphasis on speed and volume when it comes to content - but where is the space for up and coming producers to learn about (and learn to appreciate) craft?

Roy> Our experience is that junior producers have less time to learn on the agency side due to their increasing workloads. We’re working more and more often with producers who not only don’t understand craft but even the fundamentals of production. Our role has always been to push creative solutions and craft is usually at the forefront of that…so they end up coming along for the ride and hopefully learning in the process.

LBB> On the other side of the equation, what’s the key to retaining expertise and helping people who have been working in production for decades to develop new skills?

Roy> We don’t have any issue keeping senior producers – they are the lifeblood of our industry. They have the know-how to solve problems and the thickness of skin to do with a smile. It’s not about developing new skills but applying their years of experience to crack the code on tougher challenges.  

LBB> Clearly there is so much change, but what are the personality traits and skills that will always be in demand from producers?

Roy> The best producers will always be creative problem solvers who simply love the process of getting magic on screen and who have the capacity to distance themselves from the stresses and toils of the job. A good lunch usually fixes everything….that’s what producers do, right?


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13CO, Wed, 02 Nov 2022 07:11:16 GMT