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"One of my greatest lessons has been learning the dark art of compromise"

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Caroline Deeds • Producer


- Caroline Deeds, Emerging Producer 2016 from the United Kingdom, works for production company Pitch Black Films and decyphers being a documentary producer

Caroline Deeds • Producer

Caroline Deeds, Emerging Producer 2016 from the United Kingdom, works for production company Pitch Black Films and decyphers being a documentary producer.

Cineuropa: What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
Caroline Deeds: It’s important to be able to hold onto several projects in your head at the same time. I like to be the producer I always wanted to have: Encouraging, hands on, supportive. Someone who cares enough to debate, argue, to be strong headed and passionate about the ideas presented. To be able to inspire be inspired. Flexibility is key; you need to learn how to play the long game and see an idea through to the end.  In increasingly competitive markets it’s essential to be creative and flexible in thinking abut how to finance that journey. One of my greatest lessons has been learning the dark art of compromise – getting a good sense of what various parties expect from the collaboration from the get go. Understand what you are willing to compromise and what you have to compromise on!....that is important.

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To what extent do you, as a producer, get involved in the creative process?
I like to get involved from the start if possible, from the ideas stage, it’s important for me to get a feel of the director and collaborator's personal motivation and investment in the project or the idea. I like the stages of development from the film’s early inception to each new development.  It’s rare that a ready formulated great idea falls in your lap.  I get excited about the idea that instinctively feels like it’s going somewhere interesting and matures through several generations until it hits the spot that you know feels like it's got the layers and structure to make it something really special. 

What projects do you have under way?  
I’m developing two feature docs. A Time to be Silent & A Time to Speak: in a journey to discover his voice, a Transgender Rabbi travels back to the community he grew up in order to confront his past. There he uncovers a secret that impacts his family and shakes the community. And My Home My School about a small rural school in the Northeast of Nigeria that is threatened by the presence of Boko Haram, It’s about the teachers and children who risk their lives for an education. And my first foray into the Nollywood market with a fiction short.


Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2017 edition is 31 March, 2016. Click here.



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