Film and TV producers handle the practical and business side of making films and TV programmes. This can involve anything from raising finance for the project to planning schedules to ensuring that the production stays on schedule and within budget.
They are the driving force behind film and television production, making sure all runs smoothly and that the perfect creative environment is created for the cast and crew to work in. Their responsibilities span all four phases of production: development, pre-production, production, post-production and marketing.
- Discussing projects with financial backers to raise money to fund the production.
- Commissioning writers or securing the rights to a novel, play or screenplay.
- Approving the final script and budget.
- Hiring hire key members of the team including a director, editor and other crew members.
- Drawing up shooting schedules.
- Researching and selecting the right locations for filming.
- Identifying hazards, assessing health and safety, and developing procedures to control risks.
- Supervising the progress of filming, liaising closely with the director and other team members.
- Ensuring the project is completed within budget.
- Overseeing the editing process.
- Promoting the finished product.
Travel: some travel may be involved as some work will be carried out on set, but much is office-based.
Working hours: producers often need to work long and unpredictable hours, especially during production.
Location: mainly in towns or cities throughout the country.
Opportunities for self-employment: possible.
- Production companies
- Major broadcasters
- Production houses.
Becoming a producer can be hard work. It requires dedication, and as with many if not most media related jobs, it involves starting off at the bottom. Successful producers may go on to run their own studios or production companies. They may become executive producers, taking overall responsibility for several projects.
Specific degree subjects required
Although advantageous, a degree is not normally necessary.
There are no set requirements, though many producers have degrees and/or postgraduate qualifications. They move into producing through a variety of routes. TV drama producers may start off working in the theatre and progress via script reading to production. Some current affairs producers start as journalists or TV researchers.
Other relevant degree subjects
- Film and television production
- Film and television studies
- Media production
- Media studies
A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not a requirement but can provide training in a range of technical skill required for the role.
Specific entry requirements
A full driving licence and access to independent transport may be required.
Mainly in-house and on the job.
Tips for applications
Some previous production experience is normally an advantage even for those wishing to take a course in production. A common route into the TV or film industry is to start as a runner, which offers the chance to make contacts and experience all aspects of the business. Work on your portfolio and ensure that it demonstrates a high level of visual skill, creativity, self-motivation, inventiveness, experimentation, flexibility and stylistic variation.
Skills and qualities
- Creative vision, initiative and passion for film or programme making.
- Excellent leadership, motivational, negotiating and delegating skills combined with the ability to work well in a team.
- Excellent organisational and time management skills and the ability to work to deadlines.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- A thorough understanding of all the creative processes of filmmaking, including screenwriting, directing, editing, and use of music/sound.
- Good business acumen.
- Ability to spot, and deal with, potential problems before they materialise.
- Ability to act decisively and sensitively under enormous pressure.
- Tenacity, a can do attitude and single-minded determination to do whatever it takes to see that the film/programme is made to the best of everyone's abilities.
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