You’re on your way to get your groceries when all of a sudden you find yourself starring in the latest game show: Film School 101! The surprise game show where you answer questions about a film set.
You’re answering questions left and right, one after another just raking in that money – until the last question. The only thing standing between you and one million dollars: “WHAT IS THE JOB OF A PRODUCER?”
You rapidly search your mind for an answer – do producers pay for the movie? Are they the studio watchdogs?? Do they just get their name on the credits???
You scream, for you do not know.
Or at least that’s how it would have gone down if any of that was real, but it’s still a question that philosophers and scientists have been asking for centuries:
What does a producer actually do?
Short answer: Everything.
If the director is the creative force behind a project, the producer is the logistical force.
If you’re a producer your responsibilities are to:
- Organize casting auditions
- Secure locations and transportation
- Hire the crew
On larger film sets you’ll have a pre-production team to work under you to help with the day-to-day of everything, but for something like an indie short film: it’s all you, baby!
You arrange meetings, oversee the production, manage a crisis, you’re involved with every stage of the project from pre-production to post.
Basically, your job is to set the stage, you put all the pieces in place to make sure a smooth and great film can happen. Also, a bulk of the production value rests on your shoulders.
It requires a lot of multi-tasking, people skills, and a high-stress tolerance.
So why would anyone love this job?
Well it’s actually pretty fun (in some kind of crazy self-deprecating way.) You get to be the one to put together and pull off the heist! You’re basically Danny Ocean.
I love producing because I feel like I’m really putting a film together and the more things you cross off your to-do list the more you can see the project take shape, it’s very rewarding and if you can’t sit still, this is the job for you.
So what’s with all the confusion?
The reason no one seems to know what a producer does is because there’s so many different kinds. You have your…
Executive Producer: A supervising role where you are in charge of various producers and are often involved in multiple projects at once … or is a celebrity endorsement to get a movie, or show some weight behind it. (i.e. JJ Abrams on Westworld)
Line Producer: Deals with the day to day operations and paperwork of a set.
Supervising Producer: Supervises the creative process of a project and often aids in re-writes.
And then finally, your regular old producer. There are a million other producer titles, but I think you get the jist.
I hope this gave you a comprehensive idea about what a producer does and maybe inspire you to try producing for yourself, who knows you might love it. Now that you know how to make movies as a producer get out there and win that million dollars.