Line producer

Last updated

A line producer is a type of film producer who is the key manager during daily operations of a feature film, advertisement film, television film, or an episode of a TV program. A line producer usually works on one film at a time. [1] They are responsible for human resources and handling any problems that come up during production. [2] Line producers also manage the budget of a motion picture and day-to-day physical aspects of the film production.

Contents

Responsibilities

According to Producers Guild of America (PGA) guidelines, the line producer is the individual who reports directly to the individual(s) receiving "Produced by" credit on the theatrical motion picture and is the single individual who has the primary responsibility for the logistics of the production, from pre-production through completion of production; all department heads report to the line producer. [3]

The line producer functions like a chief operations officer in running the production company. During pre-production, responsibilities include supervising the assembly of the shooting company, recruitment of key personnel and services, and production organization for how to shoot the script and transform it into a movie. The line producer plans start dates for everyone and everything, and monitors the budget in the lead up to picture. Film production generally follows a rigorous schedule. The line producer facilitates casting, location scouting, set building and decorating, offices and stages, wardrobe, props, stunts, physical and visual effects, camera, lighting, rigging, transportation, cast, crew and union relations, travel, cast and crew accommodation, contracting of legal permissions and agreements, safety and risk management, prep and shooting schedule. In short, the line producer oversees the joint planning, negotiations, implementation and accounting for production.

In the studio system, the line producer reports to the studio and typically liaises with key executives of production divisions inside the studio such as physical production, legal, labor relations, insurance, and finance. The line producer supports the director's vision and direct influence on the creative expression or narrative of the film. [4] Although it could be argued that, through a line producer's ability to influence aspects of the film, like allocation of resources to certain departments, they can change important aspects of the film that have creative consequences, e.g., production value. For example, they can affect the project's look by influencing the choice of filming locations. [3] While the director is in charge of all purely artistic decisions, the line producer helps to substantiate the director's creative ideas by taking care of logistics and related issues. [5] From pre-production through principal photography, the line producer oversees the production budget and physical needs of the shoot. By the first day of production, several versions of the budget have usually been drafted. A finalized or "locked" budget is the basis for the production to move forward. A key objective of a line producer is to respect this "locked" budget and deliver in time.

While in production, the line producer oversees the execution of many decisions that must be made to deliver each day's shoot. The administrative aspects, especially those that have any financial impact, are all crucial areas of the line producer's work. These areas include but are not limited to negotiating compensation (usually during pre-production) of crew members (both for union and non-union productions) and resolving daily production issues (in conjunction with the first assistant director and possibly the unit production manager). [6] Moreover, they provide demanded equipment. If required, they handle unanticipated scheduling changes and serve "as a liaison between the crew and the producer." [3]

Becoming a line producer

Line producers usually come from the ranks of assistant directors and unit production managers, giving them a strong background in the logistics of filmmaking and time management. It is common for them to continue to perform in one of those roles on projects they line produce. They do not necessarily attend a film school. [1]

Related Research Articles

Film crew

A film crew is a group of people, hired by a production company, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. The crew is distinguished from the cast, as the cast are understood to be the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew is also separate from the producers, as the producers are the ones who own a portion of either the film studio or the film's intellectual property rights. A film crew is divided into different departments, each of which specializes in a specific aspect of the production. Film crew positions have evolved over the years, spurred by technological change, but many traditional jobs date from the early 20th century and are common across jurisdictions and filmmaking cultures.

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.

"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.

Pre-production is the process of planning some of the elements involved in a film, television, play, or other performance. There are three parts in a production: pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production ends when the planning ends and the content starts being produced.

A production assistant, also known as a PA, is a member of the film crew and is a job title used in filmmaking and television for a person responsible for various aspects of a production. The job of a PA can vary greatly depending on the budget and specific requirements of a production as well as whether the production is unionized.

The role of an assistant director on a film includes tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, and maintaining order on the set. They also have to take care of the health and safety of the crew. The role of an assistant to the director is often confused with assistant director but the responsibilities are entirely different. The assistant to the director manages all of the directors in development, pre-production, while on set, through post-production and is often involved in both personal management as well as creative aspects of the production process.

A technical director (TD) is usually a senior technical person within e.g. a software company, engineering firm, film studio, theatre company or television studio. This person usually has the highest level of skill within a specific technical field.

Script breakdown

A script breakdown is an intermediate step in the production of a play, film, comic book, or any other work that is originally planned using a script.

Filmmaking is the process by which a film is made. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through screenwriting, casting, shooting, sound recording and pre-production, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and an exhibition. Filmmaking takes place in many places around the world in a range of economic, social, and political contexts, and using a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques.

A theatrical producer is a person who oversees all aspects of mounting a theatre production. The producer is responsible for the overall financial and managerial functions of a production or venue, raises or provides financial backing, and hires personnel for creative positions.

A production company, production house, production studio, or a production team is a business that provides the physical basis for works in the fields of performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, comics, interactive arts, video games, websites, music, and video. Production teams consist of technical staff to produce the media. 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 includes not only the running crew, but also the theatrical producer, designers and theatrical direction.

Television crew positions are derived from those of film crew, but with several differences.

The set decorator is the head of the set decoration department in the film and television industry, responsible for selecting, designing, fabricating, and sourcing the "set dressing" elements of each set in a Feature Film, Television, or New Media episode or commercial, in support of the story and characters of the script. The set decorator is responsible for each décor element inside the sets, from practical lighting, technology, art, furniture, drapery, floor coverings, books, collectables, to exterior furnishings such as satellite dishes, Old West water troughs, streetlamps, traffic lights, garden furniture and sculptures.

Location scouting Filmmaking and commercial photography production process

Location scouting is a vital process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking and commercial photography. Once scriptwriters, producers or directors have decided what general kind of scenery they require for the various parts of their work that is shot outside of the studio, the search for a suitable place or "location" outside the studio begins. Location scouts also look for generally spectacular or interesting locations beforehand, to have a database of locations in case of requests.

Location manager

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.

Film budgeting refers to the process by which a line producer, unit production manager, or production accountant prepares a budget for a film production. This document, which could be over 130 pages long, is used to secure financing for and lead to pre-production and production of the film. Multiple drafts of the budget may be required to whittle down costs. A budget is typically divided into four sections: above the line, below the line, post-production, and other The budget excludes film promotion and marketing, which is the responsibility of the film distributor. Film financing can be acquired from a private investor, sponsor, product placement, film studio, entertainment company, and out-of-pocket funds.

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.

Film director Person who controls the artistic and dramatic aspects of a film production

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. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.

Articles related to the field of motion pictures include:

This glossary of motion picture terms is a list of definitions of terms and concepts related to motion pictures, filmmaking, cinematography, and the film industry in general.

References

  1. 1 2 "The Importance of a Line Producer". Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  2. "A producer who is responsible for managing every person and issue during the making of a film. Line producers only work on one film at a time" . Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 "Producer's Code of Credits". Producers Guild of America. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  4. "A line producer is basically there to make the director's vision achievable". Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  5. "Runs the more practical aspects of the production such as logistics and personnel, as opposed to the creative content" . Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  6. "A line producer is the person who is in charge of hiring all of the below-the-line production crew such as camera crews, lighting crews and catering staffs" . Retrieved March 10, 2013.