Film Producer Definition

What Do They Actually Do?

Finding a consistent film producer definition is a challenging task, as the role is wide and varied. The movie producer tends to be one of the most misunderstood jobs in the filmmaking industry. Whether they are studio producers or indie producers, the job holds a lot of power, but that doesn’t mean producers don’t actually work because work they do.

Producers have a job that requires them to be involved with a lot of roles before, during, and after a movie is created. What exactly do they do? And why are their jobs so misunderstood in the first place?

Finally, and possibly most importantly, what can a movie or film producer do for your own movie? How can they help you?

Film Producer Definition

It is worth mentioning that some producers only do certain things. For example, in the list we’ll talk about below, there may be some producers that do some things that are listed, but not others. What a producer does or doesn’t do while working on a movie pertains to the job itself, as well as others who are hired.  Overall, producers have a lot of power and jobs, and no one producer is alike. That’s what makes the job so mysterious—but that’s also what makes the job so interesting. And, as a film director (or movie director), finding a producer that will work hand-in-hand with you is always a massive plus.

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Now, anyone who has paid attention to the credits of movies knows there are many different producers attached to a movie. There are just your plain producers, but there are also executive producers, co-executive producers, co-producers, line producers, music producers, independent producers, and associate producers—and they all have different jobs.

Figuring out how producers, whether working independently or for leading production companies, can best help your movie, in the long run, starts with learning the true Film Producer Definition. So, what exactly do they do?

  • The early stages: A regular, top producer normally works with screenwriters to help form an idea or screenplay—or, the producers just make sure to buy the script and gain the rights. But a producer can also be in charge of hiring just about everybody. The director and crew are mainly hired by the producer, and every casting tends to have final approval from the producer as well.
  • The budget: Producers are also in charge of the budget, no matter how big or small. The producer oversees the budget and makes sure everything is taken care of accordingly. If any issues arise in regards to the budget, they also take care of this.
  • Everything post-production: We’re talking from publicity to final editing to music commissioning. Quite literally, everything that falls into post-production. If the actors in the movie need to help promote the movie and gain some publicity, the producers tend to make this known to the stars whenever they’re at events or festivals.
  • Executive producers: They are mostly not involved with any creative or technical aspect of the movie. With that said, they don’t have necessarily have the power or final say like the head producers do. However, they are still incredibly important as some executive producers can secure about 25% of the movie’s budget. Executive producers may also hold rights to the story in some way. Every movie is different in regards to what their executive producers do in the production process.
  • Co-executive producers: They are similar to executive producers and tend to have money in the movie, though at a much lower rate. However small this stake is, there is still a stake that they have in the movie that helps with the budget.
  • A line producer: They also have no say in the creative or technical side of the filmmaking experience. They also don’t have final say in much at all. Line producers are on set daily to make sure the budget is being followed accordingly. Everything involved with the budget, the line producer has a hand in—and the top producer, of course.
  • A co-producer: They work with and under the producer and helps with a variety of different aspects of the day-to-day operations. Co-producers can work with casting directors during the casting phase of the movie, during the financing aspect, and during post-production. While they don’t have as much of a say in the final decisions as the producer (since they have final say over everyone) co-producers are still very important because they work hand in hand with the producer.
  • Now, this is where things get a bit tricky. Sometimes, associate producers really have nothing to do with the movie. People can just be given this title, for a variety of reason. Sometimes, if someone on set in whatever role has done an extraordinary job during filming, they can be honored by becoming an associate producer in the credits. If someone helped with the progression of the story or the movie, but yet didn’t do a lot to get an official job title, they could be named an associate producer. Also, people give the title of associate producer to friends or colleagues that have helped them in some way—even if they had nothing to do with the movie itself.

Knowing what a producer (in their variety of forms) does is important if you’re looking to become a filmmaker or be a part of the filmmaking process in any way. Knowing the producer’s jobs and skills can help you focus your energy on what your specific role should be in the making of a movie.

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Get Started with your Film Producer Definition in Filmmaking

One of the main things producers are in charge of is the budget and financing of a movie. If you’re looking for your own financial help, consider checking out our Film Financing and Investor Manual. For independent filmmakers who are looking for investors and ways to fund their own project, this is highly recommended. Not only does our Movie Investor Toolkit help you write your business plan, but it also helps you find and pitch to potential investors!

Our Film Financing and Investor Manual also comes with some much needed and highly important investor tips. From what to say to get a check right on the spot to who to look for, these investor tips are ones you can’t get anywhere else. This whole manual is full of important material that every film producer needs—especially if you don’t know where to look and need help in financing your movie!  You never know, yours could be the next motion picture enjoyed by millions.

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