SHORT BIO OF THE PRODUCER:
Sanja is a producer based in Slovenia. She is best known for producing the TV/On demand series Truplo, which was picked up by the leading Slovenian streaming service Voyo and is based on the characters from her debut movie as a producer – Štokholm. Truplo was the highest rated Slovenian series at the time of its release and thus received a second season. Her latest project is the short movie ’91, released in 2021, which is currently on its festival run receiving excellent responses so far.
- A producer is a leader or a boss?
A producer should always be a leader, but a lot of times he/she needs to be a boss. A producer should also be a fair share of a psychologist in order to be able to make the correct decision on when to be a leader and when to be a boss.
- What qualities or attributes do you look for in people you are looking to employ or work with?
First and the most important one is reliability. If a person is a genius, but I can’t rely on him/her, it means nothing to me. You can also only afford to include someone new, if you have a solid base of people you already depend on, otherwise things will fall apart. In an artistic field, a new coworker will always be a wild card and if you mix too many new components, the result might be chaos. People may come recommended but nothing is certain until you see how the chemistry is when working on a project together. That’s why I like working with the same people if possible, if they have proven to be a good match for our team in the past.
- What do you look for in a script?
Something that excites me, but doesn’t in the same hand absolutely annoy me when I have to think about making it happen. I like a challenging script. As long as it truly brings extra value to the final product, I’m willing to consider even the craziest ideas.
- How do you select a director?
I work mostly with director Luka Štigl, who is my life and business partner.
- Would you recommend writers think like a producer when writing their script? Or, just write with reckless abandon and then worry about the cost, or whatever, after they’ve grabbed a producer’s attention.
I would certainly recommend writers to think about the execution of the project while they write… but in the same hand I also understand, that (some) writers don’t think like producers and, in order to create the best story, many times they shouldn’t. One should always strive for the best story first and worry about the costs later, but if they can think of a way to write the script that makes it easier to produce and not compromise on the story while doing it, the producers will love them more for it.
- How involved in the writing of a project do you get? Are you more involved in the initial development?
I tend to get very involved in all aspects of the project. My partner and I write most of the scripts together and we enjoy making the movies and shows that we developed ourselves the most.
- How much influence as a producer do you have with the choices made by the director and/or DP?
- What is the most important thing you have learned during your career?
That you have to evolve all the time. That there are no definite rules. That you have to adjust yourself to every project, person and situation to make the best out of it. That there are 100 people with 200 sneakers, which means that you can’t expect the same result from giving the same treatment to different individuals.
- If you had an unlimited budget at your disposal, what would be your dream production project?
Turning Gibson’s Neuromancer into a movie.
- What does the future of film look like?
VOD platforms will hopefully enable a lot of film projects to be executed, since they are in constant demand of fresh new content. If they will leave the creators enough creative freedom, the future might be interesting. But I do hope that cinema in its original form survives, there is no greater feeling than watching a movie on the big screen.