Tuesday with the Pros: Brad Levine

Tuesday with the Pros is an ongoing blog series featuring experts in the wedding and event industry. Today's authority is Brad Levine, event producer and owner of B. Levine Productions.brad levineLI: What is the difference between an event producer and an event planner?Brad: I believe many of the tasks are actually the same, however I think the title "producer" is more often assigned to someone who is in charge of a lot of the production aspects of an event and less of the design.  For example, most event planners are seen as figureheads who oversee the management of timelines and local independent suppliers and designers, like photographers, stationary, flowers, etc.  A producer is more involved in the logistics of the overall production, so flowers, linens, entertainment etc is brought in under the production company instead of independently hired by the client, and there is a better handle on audio, video, and other production levels so the event comes together more "as one" instead of piecing it together bit by bit.LI: How would you describe your business?Brad: B. Levine Productions is production design and logistics for corporate, entertainment, and social events.LI: What sets your company apart from other production businesses in the industry?Brad: I like to take a "boutique company" approach and stay on the smaller side of things so I can keep the focus on my clients and their details instead of taking on huge jobs and ignoring other, more intimate jobs.  I work within my limits and take special care not to drop the ball on anything.LI: How did you get your start as an event producer?Brad: I got my start in restaurants, working my way up from bussing tables to restaurant management to special event catering management in New York City. In fact, at one point I was offered a job as a catering manager at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City.  Unfortunately, the job was offered to me on 9/10/01, and by the following day---obviously---the job no longer existed for the time being.  So I went back to school and worked in banquet halls until a professor of mine introduced me to event design and I moved out to Los Angeles with his company.  After about six years with An Original Occasion, I launched my own production company and here I am today!LI: What are some of your favorite things about what you do?Brad: I truly enjoy the service industry.  Even back when I was waiting tables, I always had a blast.  I also really love the production element---the technical aspects, the pressure, the unity when you bring everyone together...all of it, an event to me can be like a living thing!For more about Brad and B. Levine Productions, check out:The B. Levine Productions official site