Profile: series producer
Danielle Peck is a series producer. She has worked on a range of BBC science and history documentary series, including Wonders of the Solar System and Battlefield Britain.
Series producers, or SPs, have overall responsibility for making programmes happen. They begin work in the pre production stage and work right through until the series is delivered to the channel. A key part of the role is ensuring that the series has an overall look and style, even when different directors are making individual episodes. It’s a senior editorial role and SPs will usually have worked as producer/directors for a number of years.
"We have to have great teams, and we can help create them." – Danielle Peck
Danielle outlines the key features of the role. The first of these is having a clear vision for the series that is communicated to all team members. In the scripting and edit stages, an SP needs to be able to give directors clarity about what they can do to improve their films by helping with shot choice, graphics or voiceover. Overarching all this is the ability to manage people. This is not just managing your own team, but managing the expectations of your executive producer and the commissioners of the series.
Inspiring creativity and encouraging people to do their best possible work is the aspect of the job that most satisfies Danielle, but, as she explains, this has to be supported by a pragmatic and practical approach. Increasingly, she finds the biggest challenge is balancing audiences’ desire for top quality series against downward pressure on budgets. As Danielle stresses, the major issue facing series producers today is making better programmes for less.