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Growing up with two producer parents who worked on everything from TV miniseries to movies of the week, Sam Baerwald knew one thing—he never wanted to do what they did.
But look where he ended up. As executive producer at L.A.-based 72andSunny, he produced two of the year's best ads in Nike's "The Next Level" and Discovery's "I Love the World." Prior to that, he started out as a design assistant at Pittard Sullivan before moving to TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles. Some might argue that commercial production isn't that far removed from his parents' gigs, but Baerwald believes "advertising allows me to make creative, entertaining films without having to fully immerse in all the Hollywood bullshit."
It still takes a lot of skills to be an effective producer, however, even minus the Tinseltown B.S. Baerwald says common sense and a good amount of street smarts rank high on the list. "Two other important things a good producer does are stay calm and provide solutions," he adds. "I've never seen it be beneficial or productive to have a loud, panicked producer. The team you work with on a production should be confident in your creative instincts as well as production knowledge."