Everyone -- not just in the entertainment industry, but in every working industry -- will go through what I've gone through both as an actor and as a producer. Obviously as an actor, you really have no control of the project unless you become one of the projects' producers.
Producing in the indie film arena, it's almost dog-eat-dog, at least, that is what I experienced in my later years as an indie film producer. But, it is the model of the business especially when a project is looking for money. The more money and resources you bring in as a producer, the more influence you have on the project.
It's unfortunate though that in its earlier beginnings, the core folks I worked with, we had a good synergy going because we had common backgrounds, experience and upbringings. When new people are brought in, sometimes one person's $$$ and ego get in the way of what is true and expected -- good work and healthy positive working relationships.
The last film I co-executive produced in 2010 burned me out. Not because of the creative work on the film but, the one new person brought in -- especially when he thinks he knows how to produce by just throwing money around -- like Ivan Pavlov and his dog. This sneaky-sneak guy getting to the piece of a very, very...very small pie. He has no idea. It gets worse when the creative vs. executive producer start bullying each other behind friendly smiles of who's really in control of the project. Usually I would intervene like a referee but, by that time, I was totally burned out. Because the influence became toxic and I was affected thus turning me into him -- egotistical and power-hungry. It wasn't fun anymore. It wasn't even about business anymore. The atmosphere this guy brought in was more of feeding his own ego, drunk with its own power and believing its own hype. Maybe it was a generation gap thing from the old country; he was a lot older than me. He had a different set of expectations of how a film should be handled which, btw, the film has done poorly since its release. I ended my ten years of producing -- with "Violent Blue."
"Always be reminded to not let people take advantage of you, nor take you for granted. Stay away from toxic people and stay one step ahead of everyone else. Learn to say NO and STOP trying to please everyone. It sucks to be surrounded by leeches and fake personalities. Hang around people who inspire you, who are TRUE, and remember to put your trust solely on God."
It's good to work with folks with the same commonalities and goals. That sense benefits everyone! Leave your ego at the door.
- Edwin A. Santos, Beyond The 4th Wall, Blog 002, 6/16/12