What is a producer and what does he or she do? I’ve always been confused. Films like The Butler, with its end-credits listing some 30 odd producers, don’t help clarify matters. But James Cotton does. As he says, he’s practically a Pokemon catcher in the field, having worked in almost every capacity: line producer, co-producer, associate producer, producer and executive producer. Having built up a very nice list of credits in various capacities: a writer/producer on Tom Ludlam’s Rule Number Three; producer on The Magnificent Lion Boy, Possum, Powder Room and many others; executive producer on The Chop; Line Producer on Tell it to the Bees, etc. He’s now directed a stylish and exciting action film called Tiger Claw, part of his ongoing process of learning how to be a better producer. I was lucky to catch him on the eve of sharing the film at a private industry preview and asked him to explain those jobs and clarify those very confusing credits to me. Which he does, beautifully.