The job description of a film producer requires an individual who is able to oversee the day-to-day operations of a filming project and ensure that everything stays on budget and on schedule. These individuals may work as part of a team on a Hollywood blockbuster or to help film a low-budget documentary film.
The film producer plays many roles during film production based upon the project, but it is always his or her duty to work with cameramen, directors, editors, actors and others to ensure that the project goes as smoothly as possible.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Film Producer
- Finds and acknowledges material that is promising and then obtains film rights or an option from the script writer or owner.
- Locates an appropriate screenwriter, helps in director selection and helps in hiring the cast for the film.
- Oversees and supervises during the production process—or hires a trusted assistant or associate producer to oversee the filming.
- Agrees with other producers on production standards before filming begins so that rights to titles like ‘Executive Producer’ are clearly defined.
- Provides input on whether scenes should be cut from movies during the post-production process.
- Determines whether or not sound effects, dialogues and special effects are in line with the original idea behind the film.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Possesses the ability to secure all or part of the financing needed for the production.
- Demonstrates the ability to create and control the production budget throughout the entire project.
- Shows excellent communication skills which are necessary for working with everyone who is part of the filming project.
- Can work very well under extreme amounts of pressure while still motivating the production team.
- Understands the legal responsibilities that are involved in maintaining the health and safety of the production crew.
- Demonstrates that he or she can ensure that all of the crew and cast are able to meet regulations and codes of practice.
Education and Experience
Since a film producer is often never actually hired by any company or firm, he or she does not need any formal education at all. Rather, the film producer should obtain the education he or she deems necessary for protecting the financial investment that goes into paying for a film. It is recommended that these individuals possess at least Bachelor’s degrees in fields like cinematography, filmmaking, finance or business in order to realize success, however. It is also recommended that these individuals gain some experience on a film production crew before taking on a production endeavor.
Since the film producer can choose whether or not to oversee the production of the film on his or her own or hire another individual to do so, the work environment can vary based upon the amount of time the individual chooses to invest. In most cases, a film producer is present on a movie set that is somewhat climate-controlled; there is not a lot of physical demand in this career field. However, there are times when outdoor shoots can expose these individuals to the elements, and there are other times when the failure to get a scene just right can lead to long hours.
The average film producer salary varies significantly based upon the overall success of the finished film. If it is received well by the public and brings in money from the theaters, then the producer has the potential to earn millions. However, if the film is smaller in nature, the producer may earn very little. Finally, if the film is a ‘flop’, the producer may actually find that he or she owes money to various financiers once production and release has been finalized. The average salary for a film producer in the United States across all of these categories is about $109,860 per year.