It takes a lot of manpower to make a movie, not to mention good talent, a good story… and money. That’s where executive producers come in. The role of an executive producer varies depending on the project that’s at hand. Is it a television series? Is it a blockbuster movie? Is it a documentary? In the general sense of the word, executive producers are responsible for the quality of the production itself. They’re part of a big team of people that chooses the most marketable projects, the ones with the most possibility for big profits. Executive producers are also in charge of actually marketing and promoting the projects they’re involved in, so attending national events and festivals as well as other public relations events isn’t uncommon.
Executive producers such as Braeburn Entertainment founder Richard Iott are well-versed in business aspects and have a lot of legal, financial and practical knowledge overall. They’re well-liked, have a huge network of colleagues, friends and acquaintances and have a passion for the silver screen. “I was President and CEO of Seaway Food Town for a huge part of my life. I just took on the family business, but my true passion was always the movies,” recalls Executive Producer Richard Iott. “In high school, I created many short films. In college I majored in drama.” These days many celebrities are able to cross over into movie and TV production and have production companies of their own, just like Richard Iott’s Braeburn Entertainment. Stars like Tim Allen, Drew Barrymore, Tom Cruise, Nick Nolte, Jodie Foster and Sally Field join the cast of producers.
“The 70s Show” and Demi Moore’s famous ex, actor Ashton Kutcher, is also well-known for his production chops. He’s created, produced and hosted MTV’s “Punk’d” for a number of years. “In this TV series hidden cameras catch celebrities reacting to pranks,” says Executive Producer Richard Iott. The former Calvin Klein model also produced “Beauty and the Geek,” “Adventures of Hollyhood,” “The Real Wedding Crasher,” “Killers” and “Opportunity Knocks.” “Ashton Kutcher’s production company is called Katalyst Films. He runs it with his partner Jason Goldberg,” says Executive Producer Richard Iott. These days he’s playing Walden Schmidt in “Two and a Half Men” and is believed to earn $20 million for the year.
It seems like a lot of the celebrity world are Democrats, or maybe they are just the ones that make the most noise. There are plenty of stars that believe in small government, tax deduction and conservative values. In other words, there are plenty of celebrities that are Republican. Actor Stephen Baldwin is one of these famous Republicans. He called Sarah Palin “fantastic” and threatened to move to Canada if Barack Obama was elected. The Texas-born Jessica Simpson, known for her beautiful voice and beautiful clothing line, also joins this list of popular Republicans. She, allegedly, doesn’t mix her career with politics, but she infamously turned down an invite from President Bush back in 2006 to a GOP fundraiser.
For Republican Rich Iott, becoming a politician was never part of his career goals. The longtime Ohio resident and Chief Executive Officer of Seaway Food Town kind of fell into it. In 2010, Rich was the endorsed Republican candidate for the U.S. Congressional seat in Ohio’s 9th District. He was not elected but carried over 41% of the vote, with the best performance of any candidate in the nation running in a plus-10 Democratic district. “I never had the desire to be in politics, I only had the desire to serve my fellow man. Things weren’t good and I thought I can make a difference by bringing something new into office, Rich Iott says. For this ex-politician, going up against Marcy Kaptur in 2010 was more of a sense of duty.
Louisiana-native and pop star sensation Britney Spears joins the famous Republican list. She was a big supporter of President George Bush and various GOP House representatives. Who’s the Boss’ Tony Danza, a registered Republican, is known to have contributed donations to Republican nominees. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Clint Eastwood and the ultra-conservative Mel Gibson, are all Republicans. Actor Kelsey Grammer said in a FOX interview that he’s a Republican because he believes that the individualism is the most sacred thing. He’s also signaled toward a possible senate run. Comedian and the host of The Price is Right, Drew Carey, who’s also from Ohio just like former politician Rich Iott, has been touted as a Republican senator, but actually leans more towards Libertarian. In 2008, he spoke out against McCain/Pain.
It takes a whole lot of people to make a movie happen. It takes a whole lot of (non-Hollywood) stars to align to make it great. The task list is never-ending when it comes to making a movie get off the ground, and even more work to make it a hit. Movie producer Richard Iott should know, he was Executive Producer on many successful movies including “Insight” which he co-produced with GC Pix as well as “Happily After,” “Separation Anxiety,” and “Glass City” which he collaborated with Glass City Films. As founder of Braeburn Entertainment, producer Rich Iott knows that in order for a movie to be successful, it has to be marketable. “If you want to make it big in the movie industry, you have to convince other people to finance it, if not, you might find out it’s not such a good idea after all,” says Rich.
A movie involves various locations, actors, costumes, music and so many other things. But one of the key ingredients of making a movie is passion. Without it, the hard work can’t really be justified and it makes it harder for the team to keep going. Making a movie takes long hours on a day-to-day basis, which can equal months or even years before it appears on the silver screen. Without passion which leads to motivation, it’s practically impossible to make it happen. Passion is required from the movie producer, the movie director, the actors and other people that are supporting the endeavor. “Making a movie is truly a team effort. Every person relies on another individual. The actors can’t do their job if the writers don’t do their part. The director can’t implement his vision if the actors don’t do their job and so on,” says Executive Producer Rich Iott. “It is the ultimate team sport.”
Great acting, of course, is another crucial part of making a great movie. Great acting means the audience can’t really see or feel that the actor on screen is actually performing. The “act” feels real, allowing the audience to believe the dialogue, monologue, story and reactions of other characters involved. “For a little while, the audience forgets that what they’re seeing on the screen is a story for the sake of entertainment. If the acting is great, to the audience, everything that’s happening is real,” says founder of Braeburn Entertainment. Think of Heath Ledger in the “Dark Night” and his portrayal of madness. He truly epitomized “being crazy.” He did not “act crazy”, he just was. Great actors are truly invested in their roles, sometimes having to learn and acquire new skills to really play the character. This includes performing their own stunts (to the dismay of the insurance companies), learning new skills or even a new language or accent. There are ‘players’ and there are ‘actors’. Think John Wayne versus Johnny Depp. They were/are both extremely good at what they do; but what they do is totally different.