Producer Job Description
Producers manage and oversee the creation and production of movies, television shows, live theater and commercials, among other productions. They manage the business of the production, to include raising money for the project, hiring the Director and crew, managing the budget and making major decisions on the direction of the project. They work closely with Directors and crew, who all answer to the Producer.
Producers usually work for a production company, but may work independently as freelancers. Job opportunities for Producers are growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of Producers and Directors will grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the national average for all occupations.
Producer Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of leading the production of a film, television or stage show, Producers perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Producer duties and responsibilities.
Producers must carefully select projects to work on, as many of them will be large-scale and long term. They may review scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial or play and choose the most viable to produce, or they may write content themselves. The job includes pitching new ideas for projects, and working to secure rights, if applicable. Often, Producers will work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Hire and Manage Director and Crew
Once a project has been approved, the Producer must hire the Director and necessary crew. The producer recruits and manages the key production staff and crew, including writers, directors, managers and other personnel. They may also get involved in casting the performers.
Set a Budget
The Producer is responsible for raising funds for the project and building the budget. They determine what resources will be needed, and work to secure funding through a studio, investors or personal funds. Once funding is secured, they carefully follow the project’s progression to ensure that it stays within budget.
Build a Schedule
The Producer is responsible for setting the rehearsal or filming schedule, and ensuring that the entire project stays on schedule. This involves managing a variety of different groups and processes, and requires a careful attention to detail.
Both creative and open-mined, a successful Producer is flexible and highly adaptable in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment. Assertive and proactive, they work well under pressure and have excellent time-management skills. Above all, Producers are leaders, who can guide a project from start to finish and create quality results. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Producer candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Producers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Producer, focus on the following.
- Ability to multi-task and process information efficiently
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Ability to communicate clearly and delegate projects
- Knowledge of television or film production, camera operation, audio control, switching and directing
- Ability to work flexible hours, under tight deadline pressure
- Strong storytelling skills
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Producer toolbox and broaden your career options.
- DV shooting experience
- Experience in non-linear editing
- Experience with Avid Newscutter or similar editing system
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Producer. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
So You Want to Work in TV – Advice from experienced media professionals on all matters relating to television production, presenting and pitching.
Lee Goldberg – Lee Goldberg, a well-known TV and film producer, blogs about the industry and his projects.
Producers Guild of America – Offers a job board, resources and networking opportunities with the best in the field.
The Motion Picture Association of America – A heavy hitter in the film industry, the MPAA website provides news and useful industry information.
Independent Film and Television Alliance – Offers practical resources and advice for making a career in independent film or television.
So You Want to Be a Producer – Find out what it takes to become a Hollywood Producer.
Producer to Producer: A Step-By-Step Guide to Low Budgets Independent Film Producing – A guide to producing your own film.
Producing for TV and New Media: A Real-World Approach for Producers – A comprehensive look at the Producer’s role in television and new media, especially for new and aspiring Producers.
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