WHAT DOES A FILM PRODUCER DO AND DO YOU NEED ONE?
Being a producer is by far the most encompassing role in the making of a film. The producer is responsible for and oversees the production of a film and is hired either by a production company or works independently (freelance, etc.).
A producer’s schedule pretty much always consists of long hours. However, once principal photography commences the long hours get even longer given that the producer is always on set, in a meeting or on a location. And lest we forget, stress level can go up pretty high during production for a producer.
How people respond to a producer’s leadership is riding on how well the producer can handle stress. Therefore, producers must be able to handle stress gracefully otherwise they run the risk of stressing everyone out. And that’s not good for everyone involved in the filmmaking process, especially for the director, whose job is to be creative and not to handle conflicts.
The producer must ensure that everyone and everything on set is functioning accordingly and to handle anything otherwise promptly.
The producer must ensure that everyone and everything on set is functioning accordingly and must handle anything otherwise promptly.
On a lighter note, producers may also tackle casting in a film project. Given that the producer either puts up the money for a film or raises the money for the film, the producer may choose to exercise final say on all casting arrangements.
The producer may also be involved in the marketing and distribution process of a film depending on contractual agreements and other factors.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITIES
- Hire key staff, including a director and a crew. Yes, it’s the producer who hires the director.
- Use computer software packages for screenwriting, budgeting and scheduling.
- Control the budget and manage resources.
- Organize the shooting schedule (depending on the budget, this and many other assignments can be delegate to executive producers, line producers or unit production managers).
- Regular meetings with the director to discuss characters, scenes and overall production.
- Complete the production on time and on budget…below budget if possible is great!
SO, DO YOU NEED A PRODUCER?
That depends. Are you making a short film? Are you making a feature film? Are you the writer, or the director? Do you need a writer or director? Are you putting up your own money or do you need someone to raise the money? Can you execute the responsibilities of a producer as stated above or not?
Based on what you’ve learned from reading this article and by answering the aforementioned questions you’ll be able to draw an answer to that question. And if you’re unsure or simply need more information, we recommend you read famed Hollywood and Oscar Winning producer Lawrence Turman’s highly praised book, So You Want To Be A Producer.
While producers can have the final say in just about everything in the filmmaking process, the competent and confident producer will hire professionals that can do there assigned jobs without constant supervision. This in turn frees up time for the producer to focus on tasks that only he/she may be capable of handling.
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