Tips for engaging an independent producer (from the archives)

Independent artists sometimes have only a vague sense of how working with a producer might benefit them - or even what a producer does.

‘What do producers actually do, how do I know if I need one, how do I pay one, how do they work with you, how do I find one – and can I just be a self-producing artist and forget about all these questions?’

– Every Artist Who Has Ever Been Told They Need a Producer

The term ‘producer’ has become a bit of a catch-all for a whole range of tasks, responsibilities, experiences and outcomes. Many artists are told they need a producer, or perhaps have only a vague sense of how working with a producer might benefit them. This can make it very difficult to understand where to begin in finding a producer, let alone what questions to ask and how to know you’ve found the right person for you and your work.

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Erin Milne is an independent producer whose practice, Bureau of Works, specialises in the development of contemporary and experimental work. Erin has extensive experience as a producer of live and interdisciplinary performance, and has recently been working on projects involving radio, new media, visual art, music, and literature. Bureau of Works also collaborates with organisations on strategic planning, business development, policy and research projects. The company is currently working with: one step at a time like this, All the Queen’s Men, Jodee Mundy Collaborations, Ridiculusmus, InFlux Theatre, Kate Neal & Sal Cooper, Nat Cursio, Samara Hersch & Collaborators, Triage Live Art Collective, Lemony S, Lara Tumak, Punctum, Slown, Smallened & Son, and Michaela Gleave. Erin also works with a range of organisations on strategic, research & policy projects. In 2015-16 she worked with City of Melbourne to establish Yirramboi, a new First Nations Arts Festival, as well as a range of participatory arts projects for the city. Erin is currently Chair of Elbow Room Theatre and a Board Member of Chamber Made Opera, as well as a sessional lecturer at Deakin University and Victorian College of the Arts.