A film producer creates the conditions for making movies. The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises and controls matters such as raising funding, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the filmmaking process from development to completion of a project.
In the early 20th century, the producer also tended to wield ultimate creative control on a film project. However, with the demise of Hollywood's studio system in the 1950s, creative control began to shift into the hands of the director.
Changes in movie distribution and marketing in the 1970s and '80s gave rise to the modern-day phenomenon of the Hollywood blockbuster, which tended to bring power back into the hands of the producer. While marketing and advertising for films accentuates the role of the director, apart from a few well-known film makers it is usually the producer who has the greatest degree of control in the American film industry.
In major productions, the Executive Producer is usually a representative if not the CEO, of a motion picture Production Company that is producing a film, although the title may be given as an honorarium to a major investor. Often oversees the financial, administrative, and creative aspects of production, though not technical aspects. In smaller companies or independent projects, may be synonymous with Creator/Writer.
The "classic" definition of producer who typically has the greatest involvement and oversight among a film's various producers. In smaller companies or independent projects, may be the equivalent of the Executive Producer.
A producer who generally reports to the Executive Producer and is more involved in the day-to-day production is usually considered a Co-Producer. In independent projects, the title connotes an involvement in the inception of the production.
Usually acts as a representative of the Producer, who may share financial, creative, or administrative responsibilities, delegated from that producer. Often, a title granted as a courtesy or to one who made a major financial or creative contribution to the production.
A representative of the motion picture production company assigned to the set and given the authority to act in behalf of the senior production team members.
Oversees a film's budget and day-to-day activities
Usually performs managerial duties on one aspect of the production.
Industrial production managers organize the resources and services necessary to producing millions of goods each year in the United States. Managerial duties vary by plant, but many major responsibilities are nearly the same for all industrial production managers, including production scheduling, staffing, procuring and maintaining equipment, overseeing quality and inventory control, and coordinating production activities among departments.
The primary role of a television producer is to coordinate and control all aspects of production, ranging from show idea development and cast hiring to shoot supervision and fact-checking. It is often the producer who is responsible for the show's overall quality and survivability, though the roles depend on the particular show or organization.
Some producers take more of an executive role, in that they conceive new programs and pitch them to the networks, but upon acceptance they focus on business matters such budgets and contracts. Other producers are more involved with the day-to-day workings, participating in activities such as screenwriting, set design, casting, and even directing.
Different types of producers in the industry today include:
- Executive producer (the ultimate boss)
- Associate producer (runs day-to-day operations)
- Co-producer (works with other producers)
- Coordinating producer (coordinates two or more producers)
- Supervising producer (supervises other producers)
- Segment producer (handles one segment of a program)
- Line producer (handles a practical aspect, rather than creative content)
- Key trait characteristics for producers include organization, attention to detail, clear communication skills and thinking on one's feet.
Recommended college course work and/or work experience should include English, history, political science, journalism and business studies.