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Ira Glass Still Hates Producing

One of my favorite Filmmaker video interviews is one from 2012 where, spontaneously, This American Life creator Ira Glass goes on a rant about the job of film producer. As you can see and hear above, his jeremiad is both passionate and quite specific — Glass is not going off about a job he hasn’t done. No, anyone whose name sits — or deserves to sit — above-the-line on a call sheet will recognize the laundry list of tediums and indignities that comprise a substantial chunk of the glamorous job of the producer.

But, as noted above, Glass gave this monologue in 2012. Surely things must be different now, correct? At the time, he was reacting to having produced Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me, and since then he’s done another Birbiglia picture (Don’t Think Twice) as well as a forthcoming movie from Joshua Marston (Come Sunday). But, as evidenced by this just-posted Variety interview, Glass’s producing scabs are continually repicked and raw. Says Glass:

You’ve produced two movies with Mike Birbiglia: Sleepwalk With Me and Don’t Think Twice. Do you enjoy doing that?

I hate it. I really hate it. I love working with Mike.

Why do you hate it?

With Mike, I’m basically in there as his editor. We have a third film coming out now with Netflix. But no, I really hate it. I keep trying to get out of the movie business, and some story from the radio show gets picked up to be a movie. I don’t like it because being the producer is just not interesting. Being a director of a movie would be fun, being a writer on a movie would be fun, being an actor, being an editor. When you’re the producer, you’re herding people to do stuff. You’re organizing money. You’re dealing with people’s feelings. You don’t get to do the fun part of it, which is, like, making the product. It’s sort of like all of the unpleasant parts of creativity with none of the exciting parts. It’s a horrible job! I don’t know why people do it. I don’t understand why Scott Rudin would want to have that job. It seems like an awful job. God bless him for doing it.

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