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A producer is a person with many hats in a business world filled with stress and mental demands. Of course, it is also a satisfying position for those that love creating something from nothing under pressure. Is it the job for you?
You may see the screen credits roll by that list a film’s producer. There may be more than one listed, and even a few assistant producers credited, but the truth is, most people have no idea what the job entails. Producers accept awards for movies, are considered high-power players in Hollywood, and get most of the glory when the films make millions, but what do they do? Here are a few facts about what it takes to produce films in the world of entertainment. It is not as easy as it might seem.
Although producing a film may be mysterious to the outside world, within the industry, it is seen as a job filled with responsibility and hard work. As Heather Parry, producer of the movie “A Star Is Born” found, there is a struggle behind every movie, and that struggle is often in the hands of the producer. Trying to balance budgets that constantly find reasons to rise, set logistics that just don’t fit together, and screen personalities that can be abrasive, the producer can sometimes find themselves sinking into a world of chaos as they battle to complete a film on time and under budget.
When a producer locates a project worthy of being portrayed on the big screen, he or she must begin arranging financing for the film in the millions of dollars. Since there is no guarantee that the film will be a success and make money back, and because the film can take more than a year to make it to screen, the investor must be knowledgeable about the way Hollywood works. The producer must next find writers and directors that can make each scene come to life and pull at the audience’s heartstrings enough to make the movie resonate. From the beginning of pre-production until the film is released, the film producer is busy trying to make everything fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Although it may seem like a luxury job that only the elite hold, when you look at all the details of the position, you can see there are many areas that are filled with hard work and mental strain. Here are just a few of the problem areas of most films that a producer must handle.
- Deciding the premise of the film.
- Securing the movie’s rights for production.
- Requesting more financing when overruns pop up.
- Making sure the writing team gets along during the project.
- Finding a cast that will make the characters come to life.
- Locating a stars with personalities that can work together.
And as if the list above were not enough on the producer’s task list to accomplish, once the cast and crew are all on set and working together, a hands-on producer will also need to follow through with a few other things.
- Supervise on set operations every day.
- Hold meetings with department heads for constant updates.
- Reviewing editor and visual effects materials for standards.
- Work with marketers to distribute the film on time.
A producer is a person with many hats in a business world filled with stress and mental demands. On the flipside, it is also a satisfying position for those that love creating something from nothing under pressure. Is it the job for you?