Producer: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (2023)

A producer is someone who works on all aspects of a film or TV project, including:

  • Development
  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production
  • Release

Producers will work on a project starting with the draft of a script through to the film’s release in theaters and beyond.

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Who Does a Producer Work With?

A producer works with virtually everyone on a film or TV project, from the entire production team to the distribution and marketing teams.

What Does a Producer Do?

Producers take on a variety of roles for every project. Their duties and responsibilities typically include:

  • Purchasing and developing projects
  • Securing rights to projects if applicable
  • Hiring and managing members of the team, which can include directors, writers, managers, department heads, talent, key crew, and more
  • Setting a budget
  • Securing funds for the project from investors, personal funds, and/or a studio
  • Overseeing the project to make sure it stays within the budget
  • Building a schedule for production, often involving production management software
  • Overseeing post-production, including editing, picture lock, and music composition
  • Marketing the project
  • Working with a PR team to generate ongoing buzz for the project

Types of Producers

You’ll also find a variety of producers working on any one project. The different types of producers include:

  • Executive producer
  • Associate producer
  • Producer
  • Co-producer
  • Line producer
  • Supervising or development producer
  • Coordinating producer
  • Consulting producer
  • Segment producer
  • Field producer

Executive Producer

An executive producer oversees all other producers in a production. Executives are typically more prominent names (think: the Spielbergs of the movie world) and may work on a project in name, but are more hands-off in the day-to-day aspects of a production. Executive producers often help with the budget or may only be involved in securing financing.

Associate Producer

An associate producer, commonly shortened to AP, will coordinate on-set life. An AP will assist in tasks such as:

  • Scheduling
  • Table reads
  • Assembly and delivery of notes and ideas

Producer: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (1)

(Video) Chapter 6 Part of NFI Training

Jordan Schlansky is a famous Associate Producer on Team Coco


The general term “producer” typically refers to the person overseeing all aspects of a project. Producers will manage everything from deadlines to egos to network executives and talent, making sure to keep the project moving forward.


Anyone on a team who helps push a project forward is considered a co-producer. This role can apply to anyone on this list.

Line Producer

A line producer deals with creating a budget. These producers also manage staff as well as the various daily challenges of production.

Supervising or Development Producer

A supervising producer, also called a development producer, helps guide the project through its different stages. This type of producer works on a project from idea to speculative screenplay, and through rewrites to the shooting script. Many times, the supervising producer will become an executive producer, or at least work closely with the executive producer.

Coordinating Producer

A coordinating producer will help all the teams of producers on a given project. A coordinating producer might work with supervising producers to ensure the project’s development and script are going well.

Consulting Producer

A consulting producer works on a reality show or live television program, contributing what the host says leading into and out of the segment and guiding the show’s overall tone.

Segment Producer

A segment producer is another role that is specific to reality shows or talk shows. These producers work specifically on new segments for each show.

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Field Producer

A field producer comes in whenever a production goes outside the studio or soundstage. This producer will go on location to help produce segments or other components of a production off-site.

Executive Producer vs. Producer

The executive producer plays a different role than other producers on a project. For instance, an executive producer could find the script or a book to option, and then hire a producer to bring the project to life. A producer, on the other hand, might be working on a script with a writer and then contact an executive producer to get financing for the project.

The executive producer sits at the top of the hierarchy. Though they work closely with other kinds of producers, their job description is different.

Overall, an executive producer typically doesn’t get involved with day-to-day aspects of a project, but a producer is deeply involved with those daily details. A producer will usually answer to an executive producer in terms of the project budget.

How To Become a Producer

While there is no one path to becoming a producer and no standard length of time someone must be in the industry to progress, most producers have attended a film school and earned a degree. You’ll want to learn the ins and outs of filmmaking from the ground up. Knowledge of what it takes to tell a good story will prime you for success as a producer.

Additionally, training in one relevant field can often carry over into different producing roles. There’s a degree of interchangeability in the various roles of a producer. Starting as an assistant is an excellent way to get your foot in the door.

How To Find Producing Jobs

Most graduates enter the industry at lower-level assistant positions. At that point, your progression will depend on your talent, ambition, and the opportunities you find.

You can look for assistant positions at:


  • An agency
  • A management company
  • A production company

As an assistant producer in any of these places, you’ll get to see how projects come to life. Many successful producers even got started in the mailroom of a company or agency! Making that first connection is critical, and something you can build upon, no matter where you start.

When you’re assisting a producer, it’s important that you make your intention to become a producer yourself known. Getting someone to mentor you so you can get your first credits will help you advance in your career.

What Is a Producer’s Workplace Like?

Producers need to be able to work under pressure in a high-stress environment. They often have short assignments like commercials or training videos, or long assignments such as documentaries or feature films. Hours are often long and irregular. As a producer, you have to be willing to work evenings as well as weekends and holidays.

Producers may be self-employed or employed by the motion picture company. In addition to film, producers may also work in the following industries:

  • Cable TV
  • Performing arts
  • Sports
  • Radio

Skills Needed To Become a Producer

A producer will need to have a variety of skills to be successful in their role. Skills that are key to becoming a producer include:

  • Business acumen: A producer needs to understand the market, knowing how and where to make money. This is particularly important for executive producers who plan to finance projects themselves.
  • Commercial awareness: To market a project successfully to distributors and the public, a producer needs to understand what makes a film or TV show successful.
  • Leadership abilities: A producer should be able to communicate well with the whole team, motivate others, and take the lead on decisions.
  • Management abilities: A producer will need to make budgetary and management decisions to keep a project running.
  • Networking skills: A producer will draw on a network of directors, actors, and agents to put together the best talent pool for every project.
  • Organizational skills: A producer must be on top of the entire project, all the time. The producer will balance scheduling, budgeting, and more.
  • Storytelling skills: Since producers will need to approve creative decisions, they also need to know how to tell a story well.
  • Wide-ranging knowledge: A producer should be knowledgeable about all the creative processes that go into a project, including directing, editing, and screenwriting.

Learn from teachers actively involved in the film industry, and make connections with future colleagues by completing a program at NFI. By immersing yourself in learning how to make a film, you’ll set yourself up for success as a producer.


What are 3 responsibilities of a producer? ›

Producer duties and responsibilities

Selecting topics and scripts for plays, commercials, shows and films. Auditioning and selecting cast members along with state or film crews. Approving the financial and design aspects of a production.

What are the 5 main stages of film production? ›

Film Production is created in 5 phases: development, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. Each phase has a different purpose, with the overarching goal to get to the next one, and ultimately on to distribution.

Is an associate producer higher than a producer? ›

An associate producer is a below-the-line producer that works under the supervision of another producer. They are often referred to as the 'AP. ' They assist another producer in putting a film or television episode together. Strong writing and editing skills are necessary.

How can I be a good film producer? ›

Key characteristics needed for the job of a producer:
  1. A desire and passion to make films or TV.
  2. Strong project management and organizational skills.
  3. Creative thinking and problem-solving ability.
  4. Business experience.
  5. Management experience.
  6. Film production experience.
  7. Great contacts.
  8. Drive, persistence, and assertiveness.
Aug 16, 2021

What skills should a producer have? ›

What it takes
  • knowledge of media production and communication.
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
  • knowledge of English language.
  • leadership skills.
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail.
  • the ability to use your initiative.
  • to be flexible and open to change.

What is a producer's greatest skill? ›

Skill 1: Patience

…that you can become a great producer quickly. It takes a hell of a long time to make great music. You need to learn a range of skills, acquire knowledge, and practice A LOT. If you're not patient, you'll give up.

What are the 5 C's in film? ›

The 5 Cs are Camera angles, Continuity, Cutting, Close-ups, and Composition. Let's go over them. Camera Angles. We can never forget that the camera is the viewer's eyes.

What are the 7 stages of production? ›

Mastering the 7 Stages of Film Production
  • Development. ...
  • Financing. ...
  • Pre-production. ...
  • Production. ...
  • Post-production. ...
  • Marketing. ...
  • Distribution.
Jun 21, 2019

What are the three 3 stages of production? ›

However, there are three key stages that take place in the production of any film: pre-production (planning), production (filming), and post-production (editing, color-grading, and visual effects).

What are the 3 types of producers? ›

The different types of producers include: Executive producer. Associate producer. Producer.

Is a producer a hard job? ›

It's a difficult job that requires high levels of time management, problem-solving skills, and organization. This is because producers often provide creative and financial direction for large projects! However, once you become a producer for film and TV shows, there is a lot to love about your job!

What is the highest producer title? ›

The highest ranking producer is simply called Producer. This is the person ultimately responsible for the film.

What is the average age of a film producer? ›

Interestingly enough, the average age of film producers is 40+ years old, which represents 48% of the population.

Do movie producers get paid well? ›

Film producers make $50,185 per year on average, or $24.13 per hour, in the United States. Film producers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $30,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $81,000. Location impacts how much a film producer can expect to make.

Is being a producer worth it? ›

There are various pros, cons, and challenges to being a music producer, but it's worth becoming one especially if we're passionate about working and getting valuable experience in the music industry. Any opportunity to make a living doing something we love is something worth giving a try.

Why do most music producers fail? ›

The reasons music producers fail is because they allow themselves to quit. If you never quit, you technically can't fail. If that's not enough for you, think of this: Kaskade took 15 years before one of his songs made it to the Billboard charts.

What are hard skills for producer? ›

The most common hard skill for a producer is work ethic. 9.4% producers have this skill on their resume. The second most common hard skill for a producer is video production appearing on 6.2% of resumes. The third most common is client relationships on 6.1% of resumes.

How stressful is being a producer? ›

One of the biggest issues producers have to deal with is stress. The job requires managing financial uncertainty, combustible personalities and so much pressure. Financing can drop out of a movie overnight, and an actor can pull out last minute, or a distributor can buy a film and then go under.

What are 5 things a producer must do? ›

With the evolvement of technology and accessible programs at our fingertips, it is easier than ever to break into production with little experience.
  • Producing Isn't Easy. ...
  • Music Theory. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Always Be Learning and Connecting. ...
  • Set Your Goals and Prioritize.

What is the main goal of a producer? ›

PROFIT MAXIMISATION - People take a risk to start a business, in return for the risk they take they expect tp make a profit. Most businesses have a goal to make as much profit as possible.

What is the most important task of a producer? ›

As a producer, you would be responsible for making the business- and budget-related decisions of the project. The producer is responsible for shaping the project, from script selection, to hiring a director, to approving any major changes to the film or television show.

What are the 6 priorities for cutting a film? ›


1: Emotion 51% 2: Story 23% 3: Rhythm 10 % 4: Eye trace 7% 5: Two-dimensional plane of screen 5% 6: Three-dimensional space of action 4% Page 9 9 When making a cut, an editor should aim to satisfy all of the six criteria above, but this might not always be possible.

What is the big five in film? ›

The Big Five (and Little Three)

These were five major film studios that were responsible for the classical Hollywood system. They included Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, and RKO.

What is a 5x5 film? ›

The 5x5 format is very simple: 25-second video composed of five 5-second clips, using only natural sound. With those constraints, conscientious decisions and creativity really shine.

What are the 4 types of production? ›

The main types are Mass production, Batch production, job production, just-In-Time production, and flexible manufacturing system.

What are the 4 means of production? ›

Economists define four factors of production: land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship.

What are the 6 types of production? ›

Six types of manufacturing processes
  • Job shop manufacturing. ...
  • Repetitive manufacturing. ...
  • Discrete manufacturing. ...
  • Batch process manufacturing. ...
  • Continuous process manufacturing. ...
  • 3D printing. ...
  • Machining. ...
  • Joining.
Mar 1, 2021

What are the three important things in production? ›

Many economists, classified labor, capital, and land as the three most important factors of production.

What are the 4 steps of pre-production? ›

The Pre-Production Process Explained
  • Step 1: Scripting.
  • Step 2: Legal & Budgets.
  • Step 3: Creative planning.
  • Step 4: Logistics.
Jan 11, 2023

What are the 3 sections of production control? ›

Production control is further subdivided into operations planning, operations control and process support engineering.

What are 5 examples of producers? ›

Answer and Explanation: Some examples of producers in the food chain include green plants, small shrubs, fruit, phytoplankton, and algae. Actually, all plants are producers. In the food chain, a producer is any organism that can produce its own food.

What are 5 primary producers? ›

The primary producers include green plants, lichens, moss, bacteria, and algae.

What are producers easy words? ›

a person who produces. Economics. a person who creates economic value, or produces goods and services.

Who is higher than a producer? ›

A film producer manages the business side of the production, while the director handles the creative side. There are also many producers, (because there are many moving parts to producing a film), while there is typically only one director making the majority of the creative decisions.

How much is a producer paid? ›


A Producer can receive an average pay level of between $36,070 - $184,660 depending on experience and talent.

Do producers work long hours? ›

Working hours can be very long and will include unsocial hours and weekends. The nature of freelance production studio work and event work is intense periods of activity, based on the individual project, followed by periods of relative inactivity or downtime.

Who is the boss of a producer? ›

The executive producer is like the CEO of the project. She hires the key leaders and talent – including directors, stars and producers – and supervises them. The executive producer often finances the project, either funding it herself or finding investors to raise the capital needed for production.

Does a producer get paid more than a director? ›

The average salary for directors is $84,086 per year . For producers, the typical annual salary is approximately $53,919 per year . A film's success can affect a director's or producer's salary because some of these specialists earn a percentage of the profits from ticket sales.

Do producers make more than artists? ›

Usually, a producer makes 3% to 5% (20% to 25%) of the artists share of a master recording. This number could be a bit higher if the producer is influential and has a brand of their own.

How many hours a day do film producers work? ›

Working hours

During the production phase, a typical filming day is between 10 to 12 hours. However, as a director you should expect to supplement this work with extra time spent in meetings discussing other aspects of the production.

Can everyone be a producer? ›

It's absolutely true that anyone who's willing to put in the time, effort, and resources can become, and officially call themselves a music producer. However, finding success in such a career choice is a different matter entirely.

Who is the youngest film producer in the world? ›

The youngest producer in Hollywood has been on a roll for years. Before she started making movies, Marsai Martin was a television star. She is most recognized for her role in the hit show Blackish. Nevertheless, her creativity isn't limited to acting.

What does Netflix pay producers? ›

$215,700. The estimated total pay for a Producer at Netflix is $215,700 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $118,966 per year.

Does Netflix pay producers? ›

What kind of streamer would they be if they didn't have content? That's why Netflix started producing original content. Netflix has shaken up the movie industry because of its pay structure. They pay producers the full cost of production.

Do producers get paid before or after filming? ›

This payment is also not usually given all at once and is instead divided throughout a film's production. For example, a producer may receive 20% of the total production fee before principal photography, 50% during photography, and then the rest after. Most producers are also promised a cut of the film's profits.

Do producers get paid per song? ›

If you are a newer producer without too much of a reputation, you can expect from $0 to $3,500 per song. If you are considered a mid-level producer, your range increased to $3,500 to $7,000 per song. Finally, if your name carries weight in the music industry, you can receive up to $10,000 to $15,000 per song.

How long does it take to become a successful producer? ›

Successful Producer (5 - 10 Years+)

You're able to fully live off your sales, streams, and booking fees. You're touring and playing shows internationally and getting paid to do so. You have a growing fan base and are now considered to be a successful producer.

What are the main responsibilities of a producer? ›

A producer's job involves planning, coordination and management around a movie's script and writing, casting, directing, and editing as well as finances, marketing, release and distribution. A film producer can work for a production company or independently to oversee film production.

What are 5 types of producers? ›

7 different kinds of producers
  • Co-producer. A co-producer is a professional who works with other producers on film or television projects. ...
  • Assistant producer. ...
  • 3. News producer. ...
  • Line producer. ...
  • Digital content producer. ...
  • Supervising Producer. ...
  • Lead producer.
Aug 25, 2021

What are the two function of producer? ›

To produce goods and or services according to the customer needs, at a price that is in accordance with the added value provided. Provide added value to the value of the previous goods or services. Thus increasing the value of the finished goods or services provided.

What do you need to be a producer? ›

You'll need to earn a bachelor's degree, as producers are generally expected to have an undergraduate education. After graduation, you'll need to acquire an entry-level job in the industry. Gaining professional work experience may enable you to work your way up the ladder and eventually pursue the role of a producer.

How do producers make money? ›

For example, a producer may receive 20% of the total production fee before principal photography, 50% during photography, and then the rest after. Most producers are also promised a cut of the film's profits. Again, how high of a percent you get usually depends on your reputation and level of success.

Who are producers very short answer? ›

Producers are organisms that make their own food. They are also known as autotrophs. They get energy from chemicals or the sun, and with the help of water and convert that energy into useable energy in the form of sugar or food. The most common example of a producer are plants.

What are 5 responsibilities of a producer? ›

Producer Responsibilities:
  • Find new projects to produce.
  • Hire directors and crew members.
  • Create production schedules.
  • Plan production budgets.
  • Edit scripts for projects.

What should every producer have? ›

Equipment that Every Music Producer Needs - Table of Contents
  • An Easy to use DAW.
  • A MIDI Controller.
  • A Pair of Studio Headphones.
  • An Audio Interface.
  • A Studio Recording Microphone.
  • A Subscription to a Sample Service.
  • Bonus: Serum.
  • Bonus: SPAN Signal Analyzer.
Oct 11, 2019

What does a producer need to survive? ›

The Unique Producer

Being able to make their own food makes them unique; they are the only living things on Earth that can make their own source of food energy. Of course, they require sun, water and air to thrive. Given these three essential ingredients, you will have a healthy plant to begin the food chain.

Why do I love being a producer? ›

You Get a Behind the Scenes Look at TV and Film Making

You might not be directly involved in shooting and creating a film or TV show. However, as a producer, you will get to watch a creative project unfold. You get to see everything that goes on while TV shows and films are being made.


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