Film producer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A film producer is a person who oversees the production of a film.[1] Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script; coordinating writing, directing, and editing; and arranging financing.[2]

During the "discovery stage", the producer finds and selects promising material for development.[3] Then, unless the film is based off an existing script, the producer has to hire a screenwriter and oversee the development of the script.[4] Once a script is completed, the producer will lead a pitch to secure the financial backing (a "green light") to allow production to begin.

The producer also supervises the pre-production, production and post-production stages of filmmaking. One of the most important tasks is to hire the director, and other key crew members. Whereas the director makes the creative decisions during the production, the producer typically manages the logistics and business operations, though some directors also produce their films. The producer is tasked with making sure the film is delivered on time and within budget,[5] and has the final say on creative decisions. Finally, the producer will oversee the marketing and distribution.

For various reasons, producers cannot always supervise all of the production. In this case, the main producer may hire and delegate work to executive producers, line producers, or unit production managers.[6]

Types[edit]

Different types of producers and their roles within the industry today include (in no order of seniority):

Executive producer[edit]

They oversee all of the other producers working on the same project. They make sure that the producers are fulfilling their roles on the given production. They can also be in charge of managing the film's finances and the handling of all other business aspects of the film.[1][7]

Line producer[edit]

Manages the staff and day-to-day operations, and the overseeing of each and every physical aspect that is involved in the making of a film or television program. The line producer can be credited as "produced by" in certain cases.[1][7]

Supervising producer[edit]

Supervises the creative process of screenplay development and often aids in script re-writes. They can also serve in place of the Executive producers' role of overseeing other producers.[1]

Producer[edit]

Within the production process they can oversee, arrange, manage and begin every single aspect. They are involved in every single stage of the overall production process.[1][7]

Co-producer[edit]

Is a part of a team of producers that perform all of the functions and roles that a single producer would have in a single given project.[1]

Coordinating producer or production coordinator[edit]

Coordinates the work/role of multiple producers that are trying to achieve a shared result.[1]

Associate producer or assistant producer[edit]

Helps the producer during the production process. They can sometimes be involved in coordinating others jobs, such as creating peoples' schedules and hiring the main talent.[1][7]

Segment producer[edit]

Produces one or more single specific segments of a multi segment film or television production.[1]

Field Producer[edit]

Helps the producer by overseeing all of the production that takes place outside of the studio in specific locations for the film.[7]

Responsibilities[edit]

Development (film rights)[edit]

During this stage of the production process, producers bring together people like the film director, cinematographer, and production designer.[8] Unless the film is supposed to be based on an original script, the producer has to find an appropriate screenwriter.[9][10] If an existing script is considered flawed, they are able to order a new version or make the decision to hire a script doctor.[11][12][13] The producer also has the final say on which film director, cast members, or other staff get hired.[14][15] In some cases, they also have the last word when it comes to casting questions.[16] A producer's role will also consist of approving locations, the studio hire, the final shooting script, the production schedule, and the budget. More time and money spent in pre-production can reduce the time and money wasted during production time.[8]

Pre-production[edit]

During production, the producer's job is to make sure the film stays on schedule and under budget.[5] They will always be in contact with directors and other key creative team members.[8][17][18] In addition to this, cast and film crew often work at different times or places, and certain films even require a second unit. Consequently, it is normal that the main producer will appoint executive producers, line producers, or unit production managers who represent the main producer's interests and vision.[6] The executive producer for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi was George Lucas himself, the creator of the Star Wars universe.[19]

Production[edit]

For various reasons, producers cannot always personally supervise all parts of their production. For example, some producers run a company which also deals with film distribution.[20][21] Also, cast and film crew often work at different times and places, and certain films even require a second unit. Consequently, it is normal that the main producer will appoint executive producers, line producers, or unit production managers who represent the main producer's interests.[22]

Post-production[edit]

During post-production, the producer has the last word on whether sounds, music, or scenes have to be changed or cut. Even if the shooting has been finished, the producers can still demand that additional scenes be filmed. In the case of a negative test screening, producers may even demand and get an alternative film ending. This happened, for example, with First Blood. The test audience reacted very negatively when Rambo died, so the producers re-shot a new ending.[23] In addition to this, producers work with marketing and distribution companies in order to sell the film or arrange its distribution rights.[5]

The union[edit]

Within the industry, all of the producers union contracts are negotiated by The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). It was founded in 1924 by the U.S Trade Association as the Association of Motion Picture Producers.[24] It was originally created to only negotiate labor contracts, but during the mid-1930s they took over all contract negotiation responsibilities that were once controlled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[24] This alliance negotiates with a wide range of other associations when dealing with producers union contracts. These associations include, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).[25] They negotiate over eighty industry wide union agreements and on behalf of 350 producers within the industry. It has been responsible for negotiating all of these union contracts within the industry since 1982. Today, it is considered the industry's official contract negotiation representative for everyone within the industry.[26]

Career process[edit]

There are many different ways to become a film producer. Stanley Kramer started as an editor and writer, while other producers started as actors or directors.[27]

However, most producers start in a college, university or film school. On the occasion of announcing his own film school, 'École de la Cité, film producer Luc Besson admitted that at the beginning of his career, he would have appreciated the chance to attend a film school.[28][29] Film schools and many universities offer degree courses that include film production knowledge, with some courses that are especially designed for future film producers.[30][31] These courses focus on key topics like pitching, script development, script assessment, shooting schedule design, and budgeting.[32][33][34][35] Students can also expect practical training regarding post-production.[36] Training at a top producing school is one of the most efficient ways a student can show professionals they are not a rookie.[37]

While education is one way to begin a career as a film producer, experience is also required to land a job. Internships are a great way to gain experience while in school and give students a solid foundation on which to build their career. Many internships are paid, which enable students to earn money while gaining hands-on skills from industry professionals.[38][39] Through internships, students get to network with people in the film industry as well. This pays off in the end when looking for jobs after school. Once an internship is over, the next step typically will be to land a junior position, such as a production assistant.[37]

Although rates can vary based on a producer's role and the location of filming, the average salary can start anywhere from $20,000 to $70,000, even doubling when working in Los Angeles.[40] The average annual salary for a producer in the U.S. is $109,844. When examining more than 15,000 producers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the average annual salary is $138,640.[41] Producers can also have an agreement to take a percentage of a movie's sales.[41]

There is no average work day for a film producer, since their tasks are changing from day to day. A producer's work hours are often irregular and can consist of very long days with the possibility of working nights and weekends.[42]

Notable producers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Frequently Asked Questions - Producers Guild of America". www.producersguild.org. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  2. ^ "Producing | London Film co-producer (line producer)School". lfs.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  3. ^ "Production". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "27-2012.01 - Producers". www.onetonline.org. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  5. ^ a b c "TV or film producer". nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  6. ^ a b Cieply, Michael (8 November 2012). "Three Studios Agree to Let a Guild Certify Credits for Film Producers". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Zetti, Herbert (2011). Television Production Handbook 12th Edition. Cengage Learning. p. 7. ISBN 978-1285052670
  8. ^ a b c "Producer". creativeskillset.org. Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  9. ^ "writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been hired to pen the screenplay for producer Dino de Laurentiis". Retrieved 13 April 2007. 
  10. ^ "Goldman was contacted by director/producer Rob Reiner to write the screenplay". Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "He began work on the script. And worked on it and worked on it, pushing it through seven drafts before arriving at a version with which de Laurentiis was satisfied". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Broccoli insisted on a rewrite, claiming to the story was too political for a 007 film. Writer Christopher Wood was brought on board to collaborate with Maibaum and expand upon Broccoli's personal concept for the film". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Bergan, Ronald (4 August 2010). "the producers Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman hired him for two weeks to doctor the Richard Maibaum script of Diamonds Are Forever". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Next De Laurentiis hired King Vidor, director of Duel in the Sun (1946) and The Fountainhead (1949) to make the movie". Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "He also stuck loyally by gifted American directors when they were out of favour or off form. Robert Altman made one of his less successful pictures, Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), for De Laurentiis, who also helped the luckless Michael Cimino back on his feet after the commercial disaster of Heaven's Gate". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Cubby Broccoli personally broke his own golden rule and cast her as the mysterious Octopussy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Bergan, Ronald. "In 1979, Eichinger bought a large stake in the Munich-based production and distribution company Constantin Film, which he ran as a hands-on producer for over 30 years". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Europacorp studio posted $186 million in revenues last year, making it second only to Germany's Constantin Film as Europe's largest independent studio". Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  19. ^ "Lucas continued the Star Wars saga as story writer and executive producer with The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983". Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Bergan, Ronald. "In 1979, Eichinger bought a large stake in the Munich-based production and distribution company Constantin Film, which he ran as a hands-on producer for over 30 years". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Europacorp studio posted $186 million in revenues last year, making it second only to Germany's Constantin Film as Europe's largest independent studio". Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  22. ^ Cieply, Michael (8 November 2012). "Three Studios Agree to Let a Guild Certify Credits for Film Producers". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "test audiences nearly rioted after cheering for Rambo and then seeing him die. So the producers went back to Hope, British Columbia, the location for the film, and shot a new ending in which Rambo lives". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Special Collections | Margaret Herrick Library | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". collections.oscars.org. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  25. ^ "AMPTP". amptp.org. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  26. ^ "A Guide to Hollywood Unions | FilmmakerIQ.com". filmmakeriq.com. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  27. ^ "Mr. Kramer began his career in the 1930s as an editor and writer, later forming an independent production company". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  28. ^ L'École de la Cité
  29. ^ "Luc Besson launches film school". Variety. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "The MFA Advanced Film Practice programme aims to equip you with the creative, professional and technical knowledge you will need to enter the professional arena as a writer, producer or director". Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "The training course last three years and the interdisciplinary teaching programme prepares students in the specific areas of directing, scriptwriting, acting, photography, editing, sound techniques, production, set design, props and wardrobe". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  32. ^ "Production". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "Production". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "Our BA in Film Production is one of our most highly sought-after courses". Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  35. ^ "Producing seminars teach through practical studies in production, script development, budgeting, and media economics". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  36. ^ "All student films are developed, shot and post-produced in teams, closely mirroring a realistic industry work process in order to ease graduates' transitions to the professional environment". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  37. ^ a b "Becoming a Producer - Tried and Tested Career Paths". Student Resources. 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  38. ^ "Where to Look for Internship Programs in Entertainment". The Balance. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  39. ^ "Ways into the film industry - Film Industry - Creative Skillset". creativeskillset.org. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  40. ^ "Jobs in Film: Average Salary & Career Paths". Student Resources. 2014-12-01. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  41. ^ a b http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/highest-paying-jobs-film-industry.htm#page=1
  42. ^ "Television/film/video producer job profile | Prospects.ac.uk". www.prospects.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]