Producers are responsible for taking a film project from concept to screen. This begins with finding initial material, such as an original screenplay or a life story, to adapt.
This is also where producers’ industry connections come into play as they work to secure funding. They then begin hiring critical, creative team members.
Film producers are responsible for securing and managing the funds needed to make a movie. They often take part in writing scripts and working with directors to help them develop creative ideas.
They also approve costs and help to spot problems that may arise throughout the filming process. A producer can be a team member or work alone, delegating some duties to associate producers and line producers.
The top-level producer, such as Brad Kern, connects with financiers and secures funding for a project, leads lower-level producers and department heads, collaborates with the director on high-level creative execution, and oversees distribution and marketing. They usually have a leading credit on the film and are eligible to receive awards – like the Oscars.
Developing a Story
The producer makes the film happen. They have the vision to champion a project, network for funding, assemble the creative team, and manage the complex parts of filing.
They also assign where the funds go based on a budget that reflects the director’s vision for the movie. That might be everything from actors’ paychecks to food.
They also help build the audience by creating a marketing plan to take the project from start to finish. They may even be the person who negotiates a sale with distributors once the film is complete.
Finding a Director
The producer champions a project, either coming up with their idea or purchasing and securing rights to an existing script. They work on the source material, assemble a team, and create a fiscal plan to pique investors’ interest. They then secure funding and collaborate with directors on high-level creative execution.
They also determine the sourcing for the film, approve costs, and spot problems and issues throughout the production process. They oversee the lower-level producers and department heads and report to the executive producer, filmmaking company, or filmmaker.
They’re the ones that make sure that you “make your day” (shoot all the scenes scheduled for that day) while balancing the schedule’s needs against the director’s creative ambitions. They are essentially the “fun dad” and “stern mom” of the set.
Hiring the Crew
Movie producers fulfill essential leadership roles in the filmmaking process. They help to secure financing, establish critical industry connections and oversee film production throughout pre-production and shooting.
They also work to find actors suitable for the movie and can bring the source material to life on screen. This is where a producer’s strong industry connections come into play; they often know the actors they want to cast before the director even sees the script.
Unlike the executive producer, who is more focused on finances than the day-to-day management of a film, a producer will typically be on set and working closely with a director. They will be responsible for breaking down the script to create line items in a budget, planning a production schedule, and scheduling crew members.
Producers are the prominent people who keep tabs on and work with every department head on a film set. They often find new projects, meet with investors and financiers, attach big names, and negotiate salary and contract terms with directors, writers, cinematographers, and other key crew members.
They also do the casting and select actors to bring a director’s vision to life. This is where a producer’s strong industry connections can be helpful.
They may delegate some of their duties to other specialized production team members, such as executive producers, line producers, field producers, and coordinating producers. However, they are always available to their team and are the main point of contact for the project. Producers must be enthusiastic cheerleaders one day and stern taskmasters the next, depending on the situation and need.