Film producer

A film producer is a person who oversees film production. [1] 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, and editing; and arranging financing.[2]

During the "discovery stage," the producer finds and selects promising material for development.[2] Then, unless the film is based on an existing script, the producer has to hire a screenwriter and oversee the development of the script.[3] Once a script is completed, the producer will lead a pitch to secure the financial backing (a "green light") to allow production to begin.

The producer also supervises the pre-production, production, and post-production stages of filmmaking. One of the most important tasks is to hire the director and other key crew members. Whereas the director makes the creative decisions during the production, the producer typically manages the logistics and business operations, though some directors also produce their own films. The producer is tasked with making sure the film is delivered on time and within budget,[4] and has the final say on creative decisions. Finally, the producer will oversee the marketing and distribution.

For various reasons, producers cannot always supervise all of the production. In this case, the main producer may hire and delegate work to executive producers, line producers, or unit production managers.[5]

Types

Different types of producers and their roles within the industry today include (in no order of seniority):

Executive producer

The executive producer oversees all of the other producers working on the same project. They make sure that the producers are fulfilling their roles on the given production. They can also be in charge of managing the film's finances and handling all other business aspects of the film.[1][6]

Line producer

The line producer manages the staff and day-to-day operations and the oversees each and every physical aspect that is involved in the making of a film or television program. The line producer can be credited as "produced by" in certain cases.[1][6]

Supervising producer

The supervising producer supervises the creative process of screenplay development and often aids in script re-writes. They can also fulfill the executive producer's role of overseeing other producers.[1]

Producer

Within the production process, a producer can oversee, arrange, manage, and begin every single aspect. He or she is involved in every single stage of the overall production process.[1][6]

Co-producer

A co-producer is a member of a team of producers that perform all of the functions and roles that a single producer would have in a single given project.[1]

Coordinating producer or production coordinator

A coordinating producer coordinates the work/role of multiple producers who are trying to achieve a shared result.[1]

Associate producer or assistant producer

The associate or assistant producer helps the producer during the production process. He/she can sometimes be involved in coordinating others' jobs, such as creating peoples' schedules and hiring the main talent.[1][6]

Segment producer

A segment producer produces one or more single specific segments of a multi-segment film or television production.[1]

Field Producer

A field producer helps the producer by overseeing all of the production that takes place outside of the studio in specific locations for the film.[6]

Responsibilities

Development (film rights)

During this stage of the production process, producers bring together people like the film director, cinematographer, and production designer.[7] Unless the film is supposed to be based on an original script, the producer has to find an appropriate screenwriter.[8][9] If an existing script is considered flawed, they are able to order a new version or make the decision to hire a script doctor.[10][11][12] The producer also has the final say on hiring the film director, cast members, and other staff.[13][14] In some cases, they also have the last word when it comes to casting questions.[15] A producer's role will also consist of approving locations, the studio hire, the final shooting script, the production schedule, and the budget. More time and money spent in pre-production can reduce the time and money wasted during production time.[7]

Pre-production

During production, the producer's job is to make sure the film stays on schedule and under budget.[4] They will always be in contact with directors and other key creative team members.[7][16][17]

Production

For various reasons, producers cannot always personally supervise all parts of their production. For example, some producers run a company which also deals with film distribution.[16][17] Also, cast and film crew often work at different times and places, and certain films even require a second unit.

Post-production

During post-production, the producer has the last word on whether sounds, music, or scenes have to be changed or cut. Even if the shooting has been finished, the producers can still demand that additional scenes be filmed. In the case of a negative test screening, producers may even demand and get an alternative film ending. For example, the audience reacted very negatively to Rambo’s death in the test screening for the film First Blood, and the producers requested that the cast and crew shoot a new ending.[18] Producers also oversee the sales, marketing and distribution rights of the film, often working with specialist third-party firms.[4]

The Union

Within the film and television industry, all producers union contracts are negotiated by The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). It was founded in 1924 by the U.S Trade Association as the Association of Motion Picture Producers.[19] The AMPTP was originally responsible for negotiating labor contracts, but during the mid-1930s it took over all contract negotiation responsibilities previously controlled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[19] Today, the AMPTP negotiates with various industry associations when dealing with producers union contracts, including the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).[20] In 2012, the AMPTP negotiated over eighty industry-wide union agreements on behalf of 350 producers. Since 1982, the AMPT has been responsible for negotiating these union agreements and it’s now considered the official contract negotiation representative for everyone within the industry.[21]

Career process

There are many different ways to become a film producer. Stanley Kramer started as an editor and writer, while other producers started as actors or directors.[22]

However, most producers start in a college, university or film school. On the occasion of announcing his own film school, 'École de la Cité, film producer Luc Besson admitted that at the beginning of his career, he would have appreciated the chance to attend a film school.[23][24] Film schools and many universities offer degree courses that include film production knowledge, with some courses that are especially designed for future film producers.[25][26] These courses focus on key topics like pitching, script development, script assessment, shooting schedule design, and budgeting.[27][2][28][29] Students can also expect practical training regarding post-production.[30] Training at a top producing school is one of the most efficient ways a student can show professionals they are not a rookie.[31]

While education is one way to begin a career as a film producer, experience is also required to land a job. Internships are a great way to gain experience while in school and give students a solid foundation on which to build their career. Many internships are paid, which enable students to earn money while gaining hands-on skills from industry professionals.[32][33] Through internships, students get to network with people in the film industry as well. This pays off in the end when looking for jobs after school. Once an internship is over, the next step typically will be to land a junior position, such as a production assistant.[31]

Although rates can vary based on a producer's role and the location of filming, the average salary can start anywhere from $20,000 to $70,000, even doubling when working in Los Angeles.[34] The average annual salary for a producer in the U.S. is $109,844. When examining more than 15,000 producers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the average annual salary is $138,640.[35] Producers can also have an agreement to take a percentage of a movie's sales.[35]

There is no average work day for a film producer, since their tasks are changing from day to day. A producer's work hours are often irregular and can consist of very long days with the possibility of working nights and weekends.[36]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Frequently Asked Questions - Producers Guild of America". www.producersguild.org. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  2. ^ a b c "Producing". lfs.org.uk. London Film School.
  3. ^ "27-2012.01 - Producers". www.onetonline.org. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  4. ^ a b c "TV or film producer". nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  5. ^ Cieply, Michael (8 November 2012). "Three Studios Agree to Let a Guild Certify Credits for Film Producers". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e Zetti, Herbert (2011). Television Production Handbook 12th Edition. Cengage Learning. p. 7. ISBN 978-1285052670
  7. ^ a b c "Producer". creativeskillset.org. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  8. ^ "writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been hired to pen the screenplay for producer Dino de Laurentiis". Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  9. ^ "Goldman was contacted by director/producer Rob Reiner to write the screenplay". Retrieved 14 March 2011.
  10. ^ "He began work on the script. And worked on it and worked on it, pushing it through seven drafts before arriving at a version with which de Laurentiis was satisfied". Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  11. ^ "Broccoli insisted on a rewrite, claiming to the story was too political for a 007 film. Writer Christopher Wood was brought on board to collaborate with Maibaum and expand upon Broccoli's personal concept for the film". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  12. ^ Bergan, Ronald (4 August 2010). "the producers Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman hired him for two weeks to doctor the Richard Maibaum script of Diamonds Are Forever". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  13. ^ "Next De Laurentiis hired King Vidor, director of Duel in the Sun (1946) and The Fountainhead (1949) to make the movie". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Dino De Laurentiis [obituary]". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 November 2010. 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
  15. ^ "Octopussy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Cubby Broccoli personally broke his own golden rule and cast her as the mysterious Octopussy
  16. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald. "Bernd Eichinger [obituary]". The Guardian. London. 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
  17. ^ a b "Europacorp studio posted $186 million in revenues last year, making it second only to Germany's Constantin Film as Europe's largest independent studio". Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  18. ^ "test audiences nearly rioted after cheering for Rambo and then seeing him die. So the producers went back to Hope, British Columbia, the location for the film, and shot a new ending in which Rambo lives". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) records". Special Collections: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
  20. ^ "AMPTP". amptp.org. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  21. ^ "A Guide to Hollywood Unions | FilmmakerIQ.com". filmmakeriq.com. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  22. ^ "Mr. Kramer began his career in the 1930s as an editor and writer, later forming an independent production company". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  23. ^ "École de la cité". Ecole de la cité.
  24. ^ "Luc Besson launches film school". Variety. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  25. ^ "The MFA Advanced Film Practice programme aims to equip you with the creative, professional and technical knowledge you will need to enter the professional arena as a writer, producer or director". Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  26. ^ "The training course last three years and the interdisciplinary teaching programme prepares students in the specific areas of directing, scriptwriting, acting, photography, editing, sound techniques, production, set design, props and wardrobe". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  27. ^ "Course of Study - Production". Filmakademie Baden Wurttemberg GmbH.
  28. ^ "Our BA in Film Production is one of our most highly sought-after courses". Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  29. ^ "Producing seminars teach through practical studies in production, script development, budgeting, and media economics". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  30. ^ "All student films are developed, shot and post-produced in teams, closely mirroring a realistic industry work process in order to ease graduates' transitions to the professional environment". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  31. ^ a b "Becoming a Producer - Tried and Tested Career Paths". Student Resources. 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  32. ^ "Where to Look for Internship Programs in Entertainment". The Balance. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  33. ^ "Ways into the film industry - Film Industry - Creative Skillset". creativeskillset.org. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  34. ^ "Jobs in Film: Average Salary & Career Paths". Student Resources. 2014-12-01. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  35. ^ a b "10 Highest Paying Jobs in the Film Industry". 30 May 2008.
  36. ^ "Television/film/video producer job profile | Prospects.ac.uk". www.prospects.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-20.

Further reading

External links

Andy Lau

Andy Lau Tak-wah, BBS, MH, JP (Chinese: 劉德華, born 27 September 1961) is a Hong Kong actor, singer, lyricist and film producer. He has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s, performing in more than 160 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time. In the 1990s, Lau was branded by the media as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop and was named as "Fourth Tiger" among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB during the 1980sLau was entered into the Guinness World Records for the "Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist". By April 2000, he had already won an unprecedented total of 292 awards. Lau also holds numerous film acting awards, having won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor three times and the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actor twice. In 2005, Lau received the "No.1 Box office Actor 1985–2005" award of Hong Kong, yielding a box office total of HK$1,733,275,816 for shooting 108 films in the past 20 years, and in 2007, he received the "Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia" award by the Nielsen Company (ACNielsen). On 25 June 2018, Lau was invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Bhushan Kumar

Bhushan Kumar Dua (born 27 November 1977) is an Indian film producer, music producer and composer. He is the chairman and managing director of Super Cassettes Industries Limited, also known as T-Series. He is known for his works in Bollywood.

Ehren Kruger

Ehren Kruger (born October 5, 1972) is an American screenwriter and film producer. He is best known for writing three of the five films in the Transformers film series which are Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction.

Eric Fellner

Eric Fellner, (born 10 October 1959) is an English film producer. He is the co-chairman (along with Tim Bevan) of the production company Working Title Films.

Frank Marshall (producer)

Frank Wilton Marshall (born September 13, 1946) is an American film producer and director, often working in collaboration with his wife, Kathleen Kennedy. With Kennedy and Steven Spielberg, he was one of the founders of Amblin Entertainment. In 1991, he founded, with Kennedy, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, a film production company which has a contract with DreamWorks. Since May 2012, with Kennedy taking on the role of President of Lucasfilm, Marshall has been Kennedy/Marshall's sole principal. Marshall has consistently collaborated with directors Steven Spielberg, Paul Greengrass and Peter Bogdanovich. In addition, he received the Irving G. Thalberg award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.

Jack White (film producer)

Jack White (born Jacob Weiss, March 2, 1897 – April 10, 1984) was a Hungarian-born American film producer, director and writer. His career in the film industry began in the late 1910s and continued until the early 1960s. White produced over 300 films; directed more than 60 of these, and wrote more than 50. He directed some of his sound comedies under the pseudonym "Preston Black."

Jeetendra

Jeetendra (born Ravi Kapoor on 7 April 1942) is an Indian actor, TV and film producer as chairman of the Balaji Telefilms, Balaji Motion Pictures and ALT Entertainment. Famous for his dancing, he was awarded a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Screen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He had done more than 80 remakes of various South Indian films especially of Telugu Superstar Krishna with whom he has close association.

Jim Morris (film producer)

Jim Morris is an American film producer, production executive and visual effects producer. He is currently general manager and President for Pixar Animation Studios. Previously, he held key positions at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for 17 years.

John W. Burton (film producer)

John W. Burton (August 18, 1906 – June 1, 1978) was an American cinematographer and animated film producer best known for his work at Warner Bros. Cartoons.

Kathleen Kennedy (producer)

Kathleen Kennedy (born June 5, 1953) is an American film producer. In 1981, she co-founded the production company Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and husband Frank Marshall.

Her first film as a producer was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). She subsequently produced the Jurassic Park franchise, the first two of which became two of the top ten highest-grossing films of the 1990s. In 1992, she co-founded The Kennedy/Marshall Company with her husband Frank Marshall. On October 30, 2012, she became the president of Lucasfilm after The Walt Disney Company acquired the company for over $4 billion. She received the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.Overall, Kennedy participated in the making of 60 films, mostly as executive producer, that garnered 8 Academy Award nominations and over $11 billion worldwide, including three of the highest-grossing films in motion picture history. Kennedy is second only to Spielberg in domestic box office receipts, with over $7 billion as of January 2018.

Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige (, FYE-gee; born June 2, 1973) is an American film producer who has been president of Marvel Studios since 2007. The films he has produced have a combined worldwide box office gross of over $17 billion. Feige is a member of the Producers Guild of America. In 2019, he earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Black Panther.

M. Saravanan (film producer)

Saravanan Surya Mani or M. Saravanan, also known as AVM Saravanan or Meiyappa Saravanan, is an Indian producer of Tamil films. His production company is AVM Productions. He has been involved in hits such as Sivaji: The Boss, Vettaikaran, Minsara Kanavu, Leader and Ayan. He is the father of M. S. Guhan, another producer of movies. He owns the AVM Studios in Chennai.

Masao Maruyama (film producer)

Masao Maruyama (丸山 正雄, Maruyama Masao, born June 19, 1941) is a Japanese anime producer, the co-founder, and board of directors member of animation studio Madhouse, one of the leading animation production companies in the world. Born in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, he is a 40-plus year veteran of the animation business.

Ramoji Film City

The Ramoji Film City in India is located in Hyderabad. Spread over 2000 acres, it is the largest integrated film city in Telangana and has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest studio complex in the world. It was built by Telugu film producer Ramoji Rao in 1996.

It is also a popular tourism and recreation centre, containing natural and artificial attractions including an amusement park. Around 1.5 million tourists visit the place every year.

Robert Evans

Robert Evans (born Robert J. Shapera; June 29, 1930) is an American film producer and former studio executive, best known for his work on Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and Chinatown.

Evans began his career in a successful business venture with his brother, selling women's apparel. In 1956, while on a business trip, he was by chance spotted by actress Norma Shearer, who thought he would be right to play the role of her late husband Irving Thalberg (appropriately, another film mogul) in Man of a Thousand Faces. Thus he began a brief film acting career. In 1962, Evans decided to go into film producing instead, using his accumulated wealth from the clothing business, and began a meteoric rise in the industry; he was installed as the head of Paramount Pictures in 1967. While there, he improved the ailing Paramount's fortunes through a string of commercially and critically acclaimed films. In 1974 he stepped down in order to produce films on his own.

In 1980 Evans' career, and life, took a downturn after he pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking; over the next 12 years, he produced only two films, both financial flops: The Cotton Club and the Chinatown sequel The Two Jakes. In 1993 he began to produce films on a more regular basis, with a mixed track record that included both flops (such as Jade in 1995) and hits (such as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in 2003, his most recent film).

Roy Conli

Roy Conli is an American film producer and voice actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for the 2014 Walt Disney Animation Studios film Big Hero 6 at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.

Soundarya Rajinikanth

Soundarya Rajinikanth (born 20 September 1984) is an Indian graphic designer, producer and director who primarily works in the Tamil film industry. She is the founder and owner of Ocher Picture Productions. Soundarya began her career in films as a graphic designer. For those starring her father Rajinikanth, she designed the title sequences. She became a film producer with Goa (2010). She made her debut as a director with the film Kochadaiyaan (2014).

Willard Huyck

Willard Miller Huyck, Jr. (born September 8, 1945) is an American screenwriter, director and producer, best known for his association with George Lucas.

William LeBaron

William LeBaron (February 16, 1883 – February 9, 1958) was an American film producer.

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