Formula One has in recent years become big bucks at the ‘box office’. More so the TV box office particular since the arrival of Netflix behind the scenes annual Drive to Survive series. Whilst the Le Mans 66 film (Ford v Ferrari) made just $225m dollars, the fact a film company showed interest in the topic was unusual.
Yesterday Apple announced they intended to jump on the band wagon and acquired the rights to an F1 film staring Brad Pitt with Lewis Hamilton named as the producer.
Hamilton is credited with ‘executive producing’ a 2018 documentary about a competitor in the UFC switching his diet to Veganism. The new Apple Original Films project will be Lewis Hamilton’s first full production credit as movie’s ‘The Producer’.
The difference between an ‘executive producer’ and ‘producer’ is substantial As screenskills.com details: “Sometimes the title of executive producer is a nominal. It’s used to credit an established writer who has signed off a drama but had little to do with its production. It’s a role that applies to TV drama, rather than film.”
Hamilton was credited for the 2018 UFC film, but in reality was not involved in the pre-production, production or post-production aspects of the movie.
Being a full credited producer producer is a far more weighty role as boards.com reveals.
“A film producer is involved in initiating, coordinating, supervising, and managing the production, which can be a television show, a movie, an online series, or commercial video.”
“Thanks to them, ideas ripen, scripts get written and perfected, money flows, talent gets attracted to the project’s vision, contracts are signed, personnel shows up, and production schedules are drawn up.”
Is this really in Lewis Hamilton’s skill set?
Aside from the pre-production work detailed above, the producer
During the production phase, “On and off set, producers work closely with creatives during production, facilitating or making decisions. Their main responsibilities are of a business, financial, or logistical nature and giving approval to script or budget changes,” says boards.com
Lewis will add value to ensure realism amongst the Hollywood set who know little about Formula 1 and a lot about creating ‘a story’. Keeping it real is important for an audience like F1 fans because if the movie becomes ‘too Holywood’ it will quickly be dismissed.
In the post production phase the producer, “prepares the release, which includes arranging test and preview screenings, planning marketing, promotion and distribution, and generating hype and buzz through media contacts.”
It’s evident Lewis Hamilton could certainly “generate hype and buzz” around the release of the movie via his huge social media presence. Yet the rest of the post-production role is surely beyond Hamilton’s remit.
It is farcical to consider Lewis Hamilton will ‘produce’ the Apple TV movie. His role though valuable will be limited.
In reality Lewis will be a ‘line producer’ of some description, subordinate to a professional who has all the necessary contacts within the movie industry.
But hey…… never let good PR stand in the way of reality.