Film Job Description – What Does a Producer Do?
A producer is responsible for managing the creative and logistical aspects of a film production. This includes developing a script, getting financing, and hiring the director and other key team members.
Producers also handle set operations, such as breaking down a script into line items for the budget and planning a production schedule. They also work closely with the director on artistic matters.
Developing a Screenplay
Producers organize all the details of film production and are ultimately responsible for launching a project. They may come up with their own ideas or choose and secure rights to a script, a process known as optioning.
Once a project is in development, producers pitch the script to companies and investors for financing. They usually have up to an hour to pitch the idea and must be confident and clear in their presentation.
Producers also collaborate with the director and screenwriter to bring the script to life. They help to create and manage the budget and oversee the shooting schedule. They will also solve any problems that arise during the shoot.
Producers must find the initial cash to fund a film. They might pitch their movie idea to studios, production companies or investors to try to secure financing. They can also choose and option a script to make it their own, and then work with licensing representatives to secure the rights.
Once they have funding, producers set a budget and manage it throughout the filming process. This includes assigning where money goes, identifying and solving problems and handling logistics. They might even work with a distributor to secure distribution once the film is complete. Depending on the scale of a project, producers might also get involved in hand-selecting director and screenwriting staff members.
Hiring a Director
While the Producer wears many hats on set, the Director takes more of a creative role. This includes working with the Cinematographer and Production Designer to create “the look” for the film as well as instructing actors on set.
The Producer hires department heads and often helps to choose the Director. She may also be involved with casting. She must ideally be able to separate her producer hat from her director hat.
When hiring a Director or department head, make sure to get references. Experience on IMDb doesn’t always equate to quality. Also, remember that people can put all sorts of credits on their IMDb page.
Managing the Crew
Producers are the ones who set the whole project in motion, so they are responsible for a lot of different tasks. They work on every stage of production, from the pre-production phase all the way to distribution and they are responsible for setting the high level organizational guidelines.
They are in charge of hiring the crew members and they create and manage the budget for the film. They also problem-solve any issues that may come up during filming. On the set, they are often referred to as the “line producer,” although they do not always directly supervise other producers. They work with the 1st assistant director to plan out the shooting schedule and they are a general diplomat, safety advocate and go-between for all the departments on set.
Managing the Budget
Producers are true jack-of-all-trades because they have their hands in every facet of film production. They help develop the script, hire the director, manage the crew, coordinate schedules and meetings, and handle financial management.
They are responsible for creating a budget and tracking expenses to make sure the film stays on schedule and within budget. They also handle logistical issues such as finding a location and handling transportation for cast and crew.
Sometimes producers have assistant producers or co-producers who assist with the administrative tasks. These people are like their right hand and can take on tasks such as sourcing a crane for a specific shoot or tracking down office supplies.
Managing the Post-Production Process
Once filming is over, a producer’s job still isn’t finished. It’s up to them to work out the distribution of the final product and handle any legal issues that may come up.
The producer is also responsible for hiring key personnel such as a director and screenwriters. In addition, the producer will work with a line producer to create and manage the film’s budget. Finally, the producer will be tasked with ensuring that all scenes are filmed on time and within budget. They will also be able to troubleshoot any problems that may arise during filming. This is a role that requires someone with a lot of experience in managing large-scale film productions.