Film producers prepare and then supervise the making of a film before presenting the product to a financing entity or a film distributor. Either employed by a production company or independent, they help the creative people as well as the accounting personnel. The average Hollywood film made in 2013 had just over 10 producer credits (3.2 producers, 4.4 executive producers, 1.2 co-producers, 0.8 associate producers and 0.5 other types of producer). During the "discovery stage" the producer has to find and acknowledge promising material. Then, unless the film is supposed to be based on an original script, the producer has to find an appropriate screenwriter.
For various reasons, producers cannot always personally supervise all of the production. As such, the main producer will appoint executive producers, line producers or unit production managers who represent the main producer's interests. Among other things, the producer has the last word on whether sounds or music have to be changed or scenes have to be cut and they are in charge of selling the film or arranging distribution rights.
Clarification of term
Whereas historically in television, the primary role of the producer was to oversee all aspects of video production, in film and often in television today, this role is filled by the Line Producer. The line producer may manage a film's budget and maintain a schedule. The Executive Producer oversees the filmmaking with regard to film financing. They liaise with the line producer and report to production companies and distributors. Whether the person credited as "producer" or a person credited as "executive producer" has more input on a production is not always clear, and is subject to change as the film is substantiated. Since filmmaking is a dynamic process, responsibilities can grow or shift in the process and credits for producers can get adjusted retroactively. For example somebody hired as "line producer" might later be credited as "executive producer".
Because of these dynamics, all involved producers must agree on production standards from the start. Negligence in that matter can lead to a domino effect. Other producers are more involved with the day-to-day workings, participating in activities such as screenwriting, set design, casting, and even directing. Currently, because of the restrictions the Writers Guild of America screenwriting credit system places on writing credits, many scriptwriters are credited as "producers" instead, even though they may not engage in the responsibilities generally associated with that title. In this limited sense, the producer and the screenwriter may be the same person. Producers differ from Production Management (Production and Unit Managers and Production Coordinators) in part because the responsibilities of Production Management are more logistical than creative.
Different types of producers in the industry today include (in order of seniority):
- Executive producer
- The Executive Producer addresses the finances in that they pitch films to the studios, but upon acceptance they may focus on business matters, such as budgets and contracts.
- Co-executive producer
- Second in seniority to executive producer.
- Line producer
- Manages the staff and day-to-day operations. Finds staff to hire for the production. Most line producers are given the title of "produced by".
- Supervising producer
- Supervises the creative process of screenplay development, and often aids in script re-writes. They usually supervise less experienced story editors and staff writers on the writing team.
- Traditional producers, who are responsible for physical facilities, are given the credit of "produced by". In U.S. films, a producer can also be a writer who has not written enough of the screenplay to receive approval from the Writers Guild of America to be listed as a screenwriter.
- A writer who may not have written the script, but contributed significantly through table reads or revisions. In the U.S., co-producer credits also often require approval from the Writers Guild of America.
- Coordinating producer or production coordinator
- This producer manages the schedule and arranges the staff into teams.
- Consulting producer
- These producers are former executive or possibly co-executive producers, or in rare cases directors. They are called upon to assist the writers.
- Associate producer
- Runs day-to-day operations.
- Segment producer
- Writes or produces one segment of a film.
- Field producer
- Selects areas to film (outside of a set) and coordinates production in the field. They also form a trusting relationship with the cast/participants in order to get interviews while in the field. They may fill a number of different roles, including production manager/coordinator, videographer and also Production assistant.
- Edit producer
- Helps co-ordinate the edit by working with the editor and relaying information from other producers. Involved in creating stories and writing script if necessary.
- Post producer
- Supervises the overall post-production process, including editing, dubbing and grading. Post-producers are typically employed by facilities houses rather than by production companies directly.
In film or video productions, the executive producer is almost always given an opportunity to comment on a rough cut but the amount of attention paid to his/her comments is highly dependent on the overall personnel structure of the production.
Development (film rights)
During the "discovery stage" the producer has to find and acknowledge promising material. Often a producer must then retrieve the film rights or an option. If the rights owner is worried about preserving the integrity, voice and vision of their work, the producer might have to comply with a variety of demands concerning the screenplay, the film director, casting, or other topics. Thus it occasionally takes a lot of time and effort before the actual pre-production can begin. Late German producer Bernd Eichinger is said to have worked 15 years on convincing novelist Patrick Süskind just to agree to a film adaptation of his book Perfume. However, sometimes all effort is futile. J. D. Salinger, for example, refused all film producers as long as he lived.
Unless the film is supposed to be based on an original script, the producer has to find an appropriate screenwriter. If an existing script is considered flawed, they are able to order a new version or make the decision to hire a script doctor. The producer also has the final say on which film director gets hired. In some cases they also have the last word when it comes to casting questions.
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. 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. The executive producer for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was George Lucas himself, the creator of the Star Wars universe.
Among other things, the producer has the last word on whether sounds or music have to be changed or scenes have to be cut. Even if the shooting has officially been finished, the producers can still demand that additional scenes be filmed. In case of a negative test screening producers may even demand and get an alternative film ending. This happened for example with First Blood, in which the test audience reacted very negatively to having Rambo die, so the producers re-shot a new ending. Producers are also in charge of selling the film or arranging distribution rights.
Film schools offer degree courses that include film production knowledge. Some courses are especially designed for future film producers, focusing on key topics like pitching, script development, script assessment, shooting schedule design and budgeting. The students can also expect practical training regarding post-production.
On the occasion of announcing his own film school "L’Ecole de la Cite" film producer Luc Besson admitted that at the beginning of his career he would have appreciated the chance to attend a film school.
The average annual salary for a producer in the U.S. is $109,860. If one examines just the 15,000+ producers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the average annual salary is $138,640. Producers also often have an agreement to take a percentage of the movie's sales.
- J. J. AbramsTemplate:Spaced ndashLost, Cloverfield, Alias, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Fringe
- Irwin AllenTemplate:Spaced ndash The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno
- Judd ApatowTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Cable Guy, Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Freaks and Geeks
- Avi AradTemplate:Spaced ndashSpider-Man, X-Men, Blade
- Lawrence BenderTemplate:Spaced ndashPulp Fiction, Kill Bill, An Inconvenient Truth, Reservoir Dogs, Good Will Hunting
- Armyan BernsteinTemplate:Spaced ndashAir Force One, The Hurricane, Children of Men, Bring It On
- Albert R. Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara BroccoliTemplate:Spaced ndashJames Bond film series
- Mel BrooksTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Elephant Man, The Fly, Frances, 84 Charing Cross Road, Young Frankenstein
- Jerry BruckheimerTemplate:Spaced ndashTop Gun, Crimson Tide, The Rock, Con Air, National Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean film series, CSI (franchise)
- Tim BurtonTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Nightmare Before Christmas, Cabin Boy, James and the Giant Peach, 9
- Jim CarreyTemplate:Spaced ndashBruce Almighty, Fun with Dick and Jane
- Yash Chopra, Aditya ChopraTemplate:Spaced ndashDilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Veer-Zaara, Dhoom 2
- Raymond ChowTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Enter the Dragon, Project A, Winners and Sinners, Game of Death, Game of Death II
- Ethan CoenTemplate:Spaced ndashBlood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, No Country for Old Men
- Tom CruiseTemplate:Spaced ndashMission: Impossible, Vanilla Sky, Narc, The Others, Minority Report, War Of The Worlds, The Last Samurai, Shattered Glass
- Dean DevlinTemplate:Spaced ndashIndependence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot
- Lorenzo di BonaventuraTemplate:Spaced ndashConstantine, Shooter, Transformers
- Leonardo DiCaprioTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Aviator, The 11th Hour
- Vin DieselTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Fast and The Furious, The Chronicles of Riddick.
- Michael DouglasTemplate:Spaced ndashRomancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
- Eric EisnerTemplate:Spaced ndashRisky Business, Beetlejuice, Hamlet 2
- Nora EphronTemplate:Spaced ndashMichael, You've Got Mail, Bewitched
- Robert EvansTemplate:Spaced ndashLove Story, The Godfather, Chinatown, The Saint
- Chantal FeghaliTemplate:Spaced ndashAlexander, Cloverfield, Terminator Salvation, World Trade Center, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Score, Sleepy Hollow, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
- Kevin FeigeTemplate:Spaced ndashIron Man, The Avengers
- Buzz FeitshansTemplate:Spaced ndashRambo, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
- Ted FieldTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Amityville Horror, The Last Samurai, Runaway Bride, What Dreams May Come, Jumanji, Revenge of the Nerds
- Peter FondaTemplate:Spaced ndashEasy Rider
- Todd GarnerTemplate:Spaced ndashPaul Blart: Mall Cop, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Here Comes the Boom
- Mel GibsonTemplate:Spaced ndashBraveheart, The Passion of the Christ
- Richard N. GladsteinTemplate:Spaced ndashFinding Neverland, The Bourne Identity, Pulp Fiction, The Cider House Rules
- Charles GordonTemplate:Spaced ndashField of Dreams, Waterworld, Die Hard, Die Hard 2
- Brian GrazerTemplate:Spaced ndashSplash, Parenthood, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code
- Matt GroeningTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Simpsons, Futurama, The Simpsons Movie
- Paul HaggisTemplate:Spaced ndashCrash, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima
- Tom HanksTemplate:Spaced ndashCast Away, Band of Brothers, Mamma Mia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Polar Express, Evan Almighty, My Life in Ruins, City of Ember, The Pacific
- Michael HausmanTemplate:Spaced ndashRagtime, Silkwood, Amadeus, House of Games,The People vs. Larry Flynt, Gangs of New York, Brokeback Mountain, All the King's Men, Taking Woodstock
- David HeymanTemplate:Spaced ndashHarry Potter film series
- Peter JacksonTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Lord of the Rings film series, King Kong, District 9, The Hobbit film series
- Shintaro KatsuTemplate:Spaced ndashShogun Assassin, Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo
- Howard KazanjianTemplate:Spaced ndashRaiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, Demolition Man
- Kathleen KennedyTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Sixth Sense, Always, Munich, Jurassic Park
- Alexander KordaTemplate:Spaced ndashThings to Come, The Four Feathers, The Thief of Bagdad
- Stanley KubrickTemplate:Spaced ndashFear and Desire, Killer's Kiss, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut
- Gary KurtzTemplate:Spaced ndashStar Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal
- J. F. LawtonTemplate:Spaced ndashUnder Siege, V.I.P., Jackson
- Spike Lee – Crooklyn, Malcolm X
- George LucasTemplate:Spaced ndashStar Wars, Indiana Jones
- Branko LustigTemplate:Spaced ndashSchindler's List, Gladiator
- Charlie LyonsTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Guardian (2006 film), The Water Horse, The Half Life of Timofey Berezin, Mardi Gras
- Eric ManesTemplate:Spaced ndashVoices of Iraq
- Frank MarshallTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Back to the Future trilogy, Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense
- W. David McBrayerTemplate:Spaced ndashBeat the Drum
- Rick McCallumTemplate:Spaced ndashStar Wars
- Ismail MerchantTemplate:Spaced ndashBombay Talkie, A Room with a View, Mr & Mrs Bridge, The Remains of the Day, Jefferson in Paris, The Golden Bowl, The White Countess
- Arnon MilchanTemplate:Spaced ndashPretty Woman, Natural Born Killers, L.A. Confidential, City of Angels, Entrapment, Fight Club, Unfaithful, Daredevil, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Fountain, What Happens in Vegas
- Walter MirischTemplate:Spaced ndashWest Side Story, The Sound of Music
- Hayao MiyazakiTemplate:Spaced ndashSpirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Whisper of the Heart
- Scott MosierTemplate:Spaced ndashClerks, 'Mallrats, Chasing Amy
- Michael NozikTemplate:Spaced ndashSyriana, The Motorcycle Diaries, Quiz Show, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Mississippi Masala
- Tyler PerryTemplate:Spaced ndashDiary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion
- Jon Peters
- Julia PhillipsTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Sting, Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Brad PittTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Departed, 12 Years a Slave, Kick-Ass, Moneyball, World War Z
- Hal RoachTemplate:Spaced ndashOur Gang
- Robert RodriguezTemplate:Spaced ndashEl Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk till Dawn, Grindhouse
- Scott RudinTemplate:Spaced ndashNo Country for Old Men, School of Rock, The Royal Tenenbaums, Clueless
- Harry SaltzmanTemplate:Spaced ndashJames Bond, Battle of Britain, The Ipcress File
- Adam SandlerTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Waterboy, Big Daddy, Little Nicky, The Animal, Mr. Deeds, Eight Crazy Nights, The Hot Chick, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Click, Joe Dirt, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
- Martin ScorseseTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Grifters, Naked in New York, The Aviator
- David O. SelznickTemplate:Spaced ndashKing Kong, Gone with the Wind, The Third Man
- Run Run Shaw
- Daryush ShokofTemplate:Spaced ndashSeven Servants, Iran Zendan,Heaven's Taxi
- Joel SilverTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Matrix, Lethal Weapon, Predator, Veronica Mars, V for Vendetta
- Dean SilversTemplate:Spaced ndashFlirting with Disaster, Spanking the Monkey, Manny & Lo, Wigstock: The Movie
- John Singleton – Boyz n the Hood, Hustle & Flow
- Sam SpiegelTemplate:Spaced ndashThe African Queen, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia
- Steven SpielbergTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Goonies, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, Transformers (executive)
- Ben StillerTemplate:Spaced ndashBlades of Glory, Zoolander, The Ruins, Tropic Thunder
- Shobuj TaposhTemplate:Spaced ndashCycle, Chittagong, Bangladesh
- Quentin TarantinoTemplate:Spaced ndashFrom Dusk till Dawn, Hostel, Grindhouse
- Irving ThalbergTemplate:Spaced ndashMutiny on the Bounty, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Grand Hotel, A Night at the Opera
- Hal B. WallisTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Maltese Falcon, Casablanca
- Fran WalshTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Lovely Bones, Halo
- Robert WattsTemplate:Spaced ndashReturn of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, You Only Live Twice
- Harvey Weinstein
- Ralph WinterTemplate:Spaced ndashStar Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, X-Men, Fantastic Four, X2: X-Men United
- Christopher Woodrow
- Saul ZaentzTemplate:Spaced ndashOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The English Patient
- Darryl F. ZanuckTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Grapes of Wrath, All About Eve, The Longest Day
- Robert ZemeckisTemplate:Spaced ndashThe Frighteners, Matchstick Men, Monster House
- "Summary Report for: Producers". ONET Online. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- "Film Job Profiles: Director". Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Production". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "The producer plans the production, hires key staff, organises financial backing and budgets, distribution, etc.". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Actors, producers, and directors". US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- "How many producers does it take to make a film?". Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- "Production". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been hired to pen the screenplay for producer Dino de Laurentiis". Retrieved 13 April 2007.
- Cieply, Michael (8 November 2012). "Three Studios Agree to Let a Guild Certify Credits for Film Producers". New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "All the projects that I have been involved with have allowed me to see how important it is to get things right from the beginning. Production standards – good or bad – can cause a domino effect in the chain of command all the way through the process.". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "A screenplay agreement normally provides that the copyright is assigned to the producer". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "He created a screenplay about a rough-and-tumble thug who struggles for a chance to make it as a professional boxer. According to several reports, Stallone refused to sell the script unless he was allowed to star in it.". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "A Farewell to Bernd Eichinger: German Film Loses its Leading Man". Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Allen, Nick (19 June 2010). "JD Salinger always insisted The Catcher in the Rye was "unactable" and refused to let Hollywood anywhere near his masterpiece". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- "Goldman was contacted by director/producer Rob Reiner to write the screenplay". Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- "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.
- "Broccoli insisted on a rewrite, claiming to 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". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- 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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Cubby Broccoli personally broke his own golden rule and cast her as the mysterious Octopussy". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- 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.
- "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.
- "Lucas continued the Star Wars saga as storywriter and executive producer with The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983.". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "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.
- "Mr. Kramer began his career in the 1930s as an editor and writer, later forming an independent production company". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "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.". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "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.
- "Our BA in Film Production is one of our most highly sought-after courses.". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Producing seminars teach through practical studies in production, script development, budgeting, and media economics". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "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.
- "Luc Besson launches film school". Variety. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Film producers.|
- The film producer as a creative force (Widescreen Journal)