I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Paige Dorian, but I am excited for the day that I do. I haven’t even worked with her yet. We have bid together together on few jobs though and I know we are getting closer to working together. Even with never having produced a job together or even meeting, I knew I wanted to feature her on the blog. Everyone loves her and speaks so highly of her as a producer, I wanted to spread the word.
So, in an effort to get to know her better, we asked her if we could interview her for our blog.
Being an on-set producer is such a unique position. You do not really learn about it in college and many tend to discover by means of another job. How did you discover what the role entails and how did you know you wanted to hold this position.
I came from the world of personal & executive assisting. After over 15 years I woke one day and wondered what would happen if I decided to change direction. I literally didn’t know if I would be qualified to do anything else. A dear friend is a rep, and explained how similar my skill set was to production. I started to to PA and was immediately hooked. I was determined to learn everything I could and make a new career for myself.
Growing up, what were your creative interests and what things interested you most that led you to your current position as a producer?
I grew up wanting to be an actress actually, and was involved in some form of theater up until my early 20s. Because of living in LA and my first career, I was always somehow connected to arts and entertainment. I’m not dancing around on set, but I do believe that having a light hearted attitude and keeping things upbeat helps to ease the stresses we sometimes face. I don’t get thrown off by sudden changes or last-minute requests and I really love creating an environment where everyone can enjoy the work we are doing.
Did you ever consider becoming a photographer yourself?
I wish I could take a decent photo! I would love to learn more actually. So far my son is the photographer in our family. I’ve directed some episodes of a web-series that I wrote with some friends, but that’s as close as I get to being behind a camera in that way.
How did you describe your job to your mother or someone else not in our industry?
A lot of times if I tell people I produce photo shoots they immediately ask if I’m a photographer. I have to explain that essentially I’m responsible for creating all the conditions so the photographer can come in and shoot. I tell them that I have to help find the locations, the talent and the crew, and make sure to feed everyone very well 🙂
What one thing has changed in the industry since you have started that you think makes for a better production experience? What do you love about your job? What is the most challenging?
With most companies being a bit more cost conscious these days, it forces us to be really on our toes and really look for efficiencies which I think is a great way to go. What I love most about my job is being able to create an environment where the creatives don’t have to worry about details and problems, but rather that things are taken care of so they can be free to truly create. I love the talented people I get to be around and watch them work. The most challenging thing can sometimes be managing people’s expectations when what they ask for is a bit too far from what they can afford but we always work it out.
What one thing would you want someone looking to become a producer themselves to know about the skills needed to get the job done?
You have got to be able to roll with changes, act fast and never let them see you sweat!
Photographers tend to find a producer or team and use them consistently making it hard for a new producer to get noticed. Do you find that most of your clients are long term? And, if so, how do you handle new photographer requests?
I’m really fortunate that many of the photographers I work with keep calling. I think I’ve come to have a good reputation and have been so lucky to work with incredible clients. If someone new calls I’m thrilled and hope that we connect and work well together. Sometimes it takes a time or two in order to really understand a photographer’s rhythm and how he likes a production to run but I think if everyone does their job well and your personalities gel, you will work together again.
What are you known for in the production world?
I think it would be my attitude. I really love what I do, and I think that love manifests itself in all aspects of my productions. I’m the first to arrive and that last to leave, and I’m always trying to give everyone a memorable and smooth experience. I go the extra mile and pay attention to everything, details both large and small.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
An impromptu brunch with friends, catching up on some things around the house with my fiancé, and a cozy night in front of the TV watching HBO.
Instacart! This is my favorite app in the world. I genuinely would be happy to never go to another grocery store ever again. On Instacart, I just click on what I want and they go get it for me. I love it!