Todd Garner (@Todd_Garner) is a Hollywood veteran who has overseen 170 films (and counting) — including Anger Management, xXx, 13 Going on 30, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Black Hawk Down, Punch Drunk Love, Con Air, and Hellboy. He also hosts The Producer’s Guide on PodcastOne.

What We Discuss with Todd Garner:

  • What does a Hollywood producer actually do?
  • Why are details about Todd Garner so hard to find online even though he’s been making movies for decades?
  • How to balance being an inspiring leader with being a butt-kicking drill sergeant when the need arises.
  • How someone who operates with integrity can create a career in a cutthroat industry.
  • Creativity and productivity habits of a highly successful Hollywood producer that you can apply to your own personal and professional life.
  • And much more…
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For those outside the entertainment industry, it can be hard to imagine what a Hollywood producer actually does. In fact, even some within the industry might be hard-pressed to give you a definition of the role if you asked.

In this episode we’re joined by Todd Garner, host of The Producer’s Guide podcast and producer of more than 170 films, to give us the skinny on what producers do and share his creativity and productivity habits that you can apply to your professional and personal life. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

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More About This Show

Even though he’s a big-time Hollywood producer and writer who’s overseen more than 170 movies in a career spanning decades, preparing to interview Todd Garner is a task best undertaken by paranormal investigators — because the guy’s a ghost.

Sure, you’ll find Todd represented on Twitter and Facebook, but he doesn’t live there. He’s got an IMDB entry that lists many of his impressive achievements, but it’s far from complete — and doesn’t even feature an image of his face.

“The reason why I’ve been able to work with people over and over and over again is I make their movies, so I don’t need a picture in IMDB!” Todd says. “I’m just one of the guys who’s trying to keep the ship going in the same direction and I’m trying to let the artist get their best version of what they have in their head out. So I’m truly behind the scenes and really just trying to do the best I can with the knowledge that I have.”

Even finding an online mention of Todd’s weekly podcast — The Producer’s Guide — proved elusive, and we’re both on the same network (PodcastOne)! But in it, he strives to answer one of the biggest questions he gets: “What does a Hollywood producer actually do?”

“I’ve been asked that question so many times and I finally thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to answer it in long form and talk to people who do it,’ says Todd. “So I’ve been talking to a lot of really competent, great producers. So the answer is: it’s a title that is a catch-all for a lot of things.

“There are guys who just write the checks, and they are very necessary. We need funding to make movies, so you cannot negate their role in getting movies made — especially independent movies. And they deserve it. They’re taking a massive risk putting their money where their mouth is, so they deserve that credit. Generally it’s an executive producer credit because they are producing that piece of content by writing a check.

“If an actor wants creative control or wants to be there every day and make sure that he or she is being listened to in the marketing and the script and the distribution of it all, then they deserve a producer credit because they’re doing things that are outside of the bounds of a normal actor’s role.

“Directors also take producer credits for that very reason, too. They want to be a part of all of those things rather than…just being on set and editing the movie.

“So that executive producer credit is generally a catch-all for all those different various things. And when you get into the independent world, it gets a little bit more cloudy because sometimes you’re taking money from lots of different people. Somebody helped you get this introduction, this manager got this actor in that got you the financing, so you’re trying to throw all those people their deserved credit.”

Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about the true story behind Anger Management, why catering makes a bigger difference in the production of a movie than you’d think, unforeseeable hitches that delay a movie in progress, the trials and tribulations of making a movie in a remote country, the bonding power of shared misery, ways a movie production is akin to a military operation and how a nice guy musters noncompliant troops in the field, and much more.


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