Our August cover star Connie Ferguson shared the highs and lows of the acting industry. In the issue, the star delved into the difficulties of being a producer in her and her husband, Shona’s production company, Ferguson Films.
Connie shared that in the beginning, take-off was hard. She shared in part: “First of all, having someone believe that you can deliver on the work, and then just getting that first opportunity was hard. That was until Mzansi Magic gave us the opportunity that we will forever be grateful for. We got to prove with Rockville what we could do it. Now we’re doing it with The Queen and The Throne, the two productions we have on air at the moment. They are looking good and performing well.”
She continued: “Producers don’t really have money to produce their own work because the risk is too big. At the moment, we’re playing around with doing independent work where we put in our own money into creating a show.”
Connie also shared that if producers aren’t able to get sponsors or raise their own money for shows, then they will always be dependent on commissions. She explained: “Commissions are not a bad thing; you employ a lot of people and are able to produce work that doesn’t belong to you. But, at least you’re working; telling the stories you wish to. I just wish the industry could move in a direction where producers owned their own content.”
She further shared the implications of not being recommissioned. She shared in part: “For instance, say Ferguson Films is not recommissioned tomorrow; that’s the end for everyone employed on The Queen. It’s going to look like we were never even the producers because the show will continue to play for many years, but we will be getting nothing.”