A film producer is a person who oversees film production.Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script, coordinating writing, directing, editing, and arranging financing.
The producer is responsible for finding and selecting promising material for development.Unless the film is based on an existing script, the producer hires a screenwriter and oversees the script's development. These activities culminate with the pitch, led by the producer, to secure the financial backing that enables production to begin. If all succeeds, the project is "greenlighted".
The producer also supervises the pre-production, principal photography and post-production stages of filmmaking. A producer is also responsible for hiring a director for the film, as well as other key crew members. Whereas the director makes the creative decisions during the production, the producer typically manages logistics and business operations, though some directors also produce their own films. The producer must ensure the film is delivered on time and within budget, and in the latter stages before release, will oversee the marketing and distribution of the film.
Producers cannot always supervise all of the production. In this case, the primary producer or executive producer may hire and delegate work to associate producers, assistant producers, line producers, or unit production managers.
During this stage of the production process, producers bring together people like the film director, cinematographer, and production designer.Unless the film is to be based on an original script, the producer must find an appropriate screenwriter. If an existing script is considered flawed, the producer can order a new version or decide to hire a script doctor. The producer also gives final approval when hiring the film director, cast members, and other staff. In some cases, producers also have the last word when it comes to casting questions. A producer's role will also approve locations, the studio hire, the final shooting script, the production schedule, and the budget. Spending more time and money in pre-production can reduce budget waste and delays during the production stage.
During production, the producer's job is to ensure the film remains on schedule and under budget.To this end, they must remain in constant contact with directors and other key creative team members.
Producers cannot always personally supervise all parts of their production but will instead delegate tasks as needed. For example, some producers run a company that also deals with film distribution.Also, the cast and film crew often work at different times and places, and certain films even require a second unit.
Even after shooting for a film is complete, the producers can still demand that additional scenes be filmed. In the case of a negative test screening, producers may even demand an alternative film ending. For example, when the audience reacted negatively to Rambo's death in the test screening of the film First Blood , the producers requested a new ending be filmed.Producers also oversee the film's sales, marketing, and distribution rights, often working with third-party specialist firms.
Different types of producers and their roles within the industry today include:
An executive producer oversees all other producers under a specific project and ensures that the entire project remains on track. They are also usually in charge of managing the film's finances and all other business aspects.On a television series an executive or co-executive producer is often a writer and given credit in a creative capacity. In a feature film or movie, the executive producer is often the person directly funding the project or is directly responsible for bringing in investors for funding.
A line producer manages the staff and the day-to-day operations and oversees each physical aspect involved in making a film or television program. The line producer can be credited as "produced by" in certain cases.
A supervising producer supervises the creative process of screenplay development and often aids in script rewrites. They can also fulfill the executive producer's role of overseeing other producers.
Within the production process, a producer can oversee, arrange, manage, and begin every aspect of production. They are typically involved in every stage of the overall production process.
A co-producer is a member of a team of producers that perform all of the functions and roles that a single producer would in a given project.
A coordinating producer coordinates the work/role of multiple producers trying to achieve a shared result.
The associate or assistant producer helps the producer during the production process. They can sometimes be involved in coordinating others' jobs, such as creating peoples' schedules and hiring the main talent.
A segment producer produces one or more specific segments of a multi-segment film or television production.
A field producer helps the producer by overseeing all of the production outside the studio in specific film locations.
The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(January 2022)
Considered executive employees in regard to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 in the United States, producers represent the management team of a production and are charged by the studios to enforce the provisions of the union contracts negotiated by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) with the below-the-line employees. Founded in 1924 by the U.S Trade Association as the Association of Motion Picture Producers,the AMPTP was initially responsible for negotiating labor contracts. Still, during the mid-1930s, it took over all contract negotiation responsibilities previously controlled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Today, the AMPTP negotiates with various industry associations when dealing with union contracts, including the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). In 2012, the AMPTP negotiated over eighty industry-wide union agreements on behalf of 350 studios and independent production companies. Since 1982, the AMPTP has been responsible for negotiating these union agreements and is now considered the official contract negotiation representative for everyone within the film and television industry.
While individual producers are responsible for negotiating deals with the studios distributing their films, the Producers Guild of America offers guidance to protect and promote the interests of producers and the production team in film, television, and new media, offering the framework to provide health insurance and pension benefits, and assists in establishing safe working conditions and vetting the validity of screen credits.
In December 2021, global unions filed a report titled Demanding Dignity Behind the Scenes to attempt to end the "long hours culture" of the television and film industry, citing in part that abuses increased in 2021 as the industry attempted to recover lost time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The unions supporting the report make up over twenty-million television, film, and arts workers worldwide.
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Many producers begin in a college, university, or film school. Film schools and many universities offer degree courses covering film production knowledge, with some courses specially designed for future film producersThese courses focus on key topics like pitching, script development, script assessment, shooting schedule design, and budgeting. Students can also expect practical training on post-production. Training at a top-producing school is one of the most efficient ways a student can gain industry credibility.
While education is one way to begin a career as a film producer, experience is also usually required to land a job. Internships are a way to gain experience while in school and give students a foundation to build a career. Many internships are paid, which enables students to earn money while gaining hands-on skills from industry professionals.Through internships, students can network within the film industry, which is an important way to make necessary industry connections. Once an internship is over, the next step will typically be to land a junior position, such as a production assistant.
Pay can vary based on the producer's role and the filming location. In the United States, the salary can start between $20,000 and $70,000, even doubling when working in Los Angeles.As of 2022, the average annual salary for a producer in the U.S. is listed as $70,180 per year, with an estimated range from $43,000 to $150,000. When examining more than 15,000 producers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the average annual salary is $138,640. Producers can also have an agreement to take a percentage of a movie's sales.
There is no average workday for film producers since their tasks change from day to day. A producer's work hours are often irregular and can consist of long days with the possibility of working nights and weekends.
Dune is a 1984 American epic science-fiction film written and directed by David Lynch and based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan as young nobleman Paul Atreides. It was filmed at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City and included a soundtrack by the rock band Toto, as well as by Brian Eno.
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild that represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. Founded as the Screen Directors Guild in 1936, the group merged with the Radio and Television Directors Guild in 1960 to become the modern Directors Guild of America.
"Below-the-line" is a term derived from the top sheet of a film budget for motion pictures, television programs, industrial films, independent films, student films and documentaries as well as commercials. The "line" in "below-the-line" refers to the separation of production costs between script and story writers, producers, directors, actors, and casting and the rest of the crew, or production team.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada, known as simply the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, is a North American labor union representing over 150,000 technicians, artisans, and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, and trade shows in the United States and Canada. It was awarded the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1993.
Filmmaking is the process by which a motion picture is produced. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting with an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through screenwriting, casting, pre-production, shooting, sound recording, post-production, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and an exhibition. Filmmaking occurs in a variety of economic, social, and political contexts around the world. It uses a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques.
In the performing arts industry such as theatre, film, or television, casting, or a casting call, is a pre-production process for selecting a certain type of actor, dancer, singer, or extra for a particular role or part in a script, screenplay, or teleplay. This process may be used for a motion picture, television program, documentary film, music video, play, or advertisement, intended for an audience.
Residuals are financial compensations that are paid to the actors, film or television directors, and others involved in making TV shows and movies in cases of reruns, syndication, DVD release, or online streaming release. Residuals are calculated and administered by industry trade unions like SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, and the Writers Guild of America. The word is typically used in the plural form.
A production company, production house, production studio, or a production team is a studio that creates works in the fields of performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, comics, interactive arts, video games, websites, music, and video. These groups consist of technical staff to produce the media, and are often incorporated as a commercial publisher. Generally the term refers to all individuals responsible for the technical aspects of creating a particular product, regardless of where in the process their expertise is required, or how long they are involved in the project. For example, in a theatrical performance, the production team has not only the running crew, but also the theatrical producer, designers and theatrical direction.
A talent agent, or booking agent, is a person who finds jobs for actors, authors, broadcast journalists, film directors, musicians, models, professional athletes, screenwriters, writers, and other professionals in various entertainment or sports businesses. In addition, an agent defends, supports and promotes the interest of their clients. Talent agencies specialize, either by creating departments within the agency or developing entire agencies that primarily or wholly represent one specialty. For example, there are modeling agencies, commercial talent agencies, literary agencies, voice-over agencies, broadcast journalist agencies, sports agencies, music agencies and many more.
The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839 is a professional guild and union of animation artists, writers and technicians. It was formed in 1952. In 2002, the organization changed its name from Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists.
A background actor or extra is a performer in a film, television show, stage, musical, opera, or ballet production who appears in a nonspeaking or nonsinging (silent) capacity, usually in the background. War films and epic films often employ background actors in large numbers: some films have featured hundreds or even thousands of paid background actors as cast members. Likewise, grand opera can involve many background actors appearing in spectacular productions.
The location manager is a member of the film crew responsible for finding and securing locations to be used, obtaining all fire, police and other governmental permits, and coordinating the logistics for the production to complete its work. They are also the public face of the production, and responsible for addressing issues that arise due to the production's impact on the community.
The Writers Guild of Canada is an organization representing more than 2,500 professional writers working in film, television, radio, and digital media production in Canada. Members of the Guild write dramatic TV series, feature films, Movies of the Week, documentaries, animation, comedy and variety series, children's and educational programming, radio drama, as well as corporate videos and digital media productions. The organization administers the annual WGC Screenwriting Awards.
In the cinema of the United States, a unit production manager (UPM) is the Directors Guild of America–approved title for the top below-the-line staff position, responsible for the administration of a feature film or television production. Non-DGA productions might call it the production manager or production supervisor. They work closely with the line producer. Sometimes the line producer is the UPM. A senior producer may assign a UPM more than one production at a time.
A music supervisor is a person who combines music and visual media. According to The Guild of Music Supervisors, a music supervisor is “a qualified professional who oversees all music related aspects of film, television, advertising, video games and other existing or emerging visual media platforms as required.” In the musical theatre industry, a music supervisor is often responsible for managing a team of music directors working on any number of musical productions.
The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond, "007", who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. It is one of the longest continually running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to the present. In that time, Eon Productions has produced 25 films as of 2021, most of them at Pinewood Studios. With a combined gross of over $7 billion, the films produced by Eon constitute the fifth-highest-grossing film series. Six actors have portrayed 007 in the Eon series, the latest being Daniel Craig.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is a trade association based in Sherman Oaks, California, that represents over 350 American television and film production companies in collective bargaining negotiations with entertainment industry trade unions that include, among others, SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, West, the Writers Guild of America, East, the American Federation of Musicians, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
The 1988 Writers Guild of America strike was a strike action taken by members of both the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) against major United States television and film studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike, which ran from March 7 to August 7, 1988, affected production on movies and TV shows. At 153 days, it remains the longest strike in the history of the WGA, surpassing the 1960 strike by one week and the 2007–08 strike by seven weeks.
A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the film crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design and all the creative aspects of filmmaking.
A line producer is a type of film or television producer who is the head of the production office management personnel during daily operations of a feature film, advertisement film, television film, or TV program. A line producer usually works on one film or episode of a TV program at a time. They are responsible for human resources and handling any problems that come up during production. Line producers also manage scheduling and the budget of a motion picture, as well as day-to-day physical aspects of the film production.
He also stuck loyally by gifted American directors when they were out of favour or off form. Robert Altman made one of his less successful pictures, Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), for De Laurentiis, who also helped the luckless Michael Cimino back on his feet after the commercial disaster of Heaven's Gate
Cubby Broccoli personally broke his own golden rule and cast her as the mysterious Octopussy
In 1979, Eichinger bought a large stake in the Munich-based production and distribution company Constantin Film, which he ran as a hands-on producer for over 30 years