The job of film producer is probably one of the least known and, at the same time, most fascinating of all the cogs in the intricate machine responsible for the manufacture of films. The idea behind The arithmetic of creation; Interviews with contemporary Spanish film producers was to investigate the roots of this profession "in the shadows" through the declarations made by the producers interviewed, to provide a varied and heterogeneous view of the field of activities in which they work in the ever-changing and highly unstable modern Spanish film industry.
The hybrid nature of cinema, divided between purely industrial and economic elements (the arithmetic) and those prioritizing the artistic base (the creative side), means the profession of producer focuses here on its role as a mediator, sitting as it does on the fence between the two sides and at the confluence of both. The producer must be able dispose of a sufficiently robust and stable economic base to foster the freest and most autonomous creative responses possible. By leaning towards one area of activity or another, not only are they defining the modus operandi of the venture, they are also defining the type of cinema being created. That is why the producers involved in this book, all of whom are currently active, have been selected to cover the widest and most varied range possible from different models that define and comprise the multi-faceted and sumptuous realities of Spanish cinema. They belong to different generations, and have different tastes, interests and approaches, from one end of the spectrum to the other, including those with long careers and newcomers, those aiming to create crowd-pleasing box-office hits and those who are more solitary; the risk-takers and outsiders. A large part of what defines recent Spanish cinema and its near future resides in the decisions, ideas, instinct and even the personal tastes of the protagonists of this book. And, to a greater or lesser extent, they all have something in common; their passion for cinema.