What does a Movie Producer do?
A movie producer works behind the scenes to get a movie made. He or she may oversee nearly all stages of the creation of a film, from the writing of the script to the screening of the finished product. Producers are generally responsible for the financial and organizational aspects of making a movie, such as acquiring funding, selecting a cast and crew, managing the film budget and schedule, and marketing the movie.
Before a movie can be made, a producer meets with writers to develop ideas for a script. Once there is a finished script, he or she arranges to purchase the legal ownership rights. The producer may contact financial investors to provide funding for production costs in exchange for a share of the movie’s profits.
Once a movie producer finds out how much funding the movie has, he or she plans a budget. This includes paying for the cast and crew, locations, advertising, and any additional production costs. The producer decides how to best use the funding. For instance, he or she may choose to spend more money on a well-known director or leading actors in the hopes that famous names will attract more moviegoers and increase profits.
This person also comes up with a detailed schedule for the movie, such as how many days to spend on particular scenes or on location. After a film begins production, he or she will usually monitor its progress to ensure it stays on schedule. If a movie runs over schedule, it can greatly increase production costs.
A movie producer is also involved with the postproduction of a movie. After filming is completed, he or she may meet with the director and film editors to review the final version of the movie and determine if any changes need to be made. Once the film is polished, a producer meets with distributors to sign a licensing contract that outlines how many copies of the movie will be sent to theaters and the amount of publicity that will be devoted to the film.
Since the duties of this job are so diverse, responsibilities may be distributed among different types of producers. An executive producer usually owns the script rights or has contributed to a significant portion of the movie’s budget, so he or she may deal strictly with the financial aspects of film production. Producers may form a team, referred to as co-producers, and divide up the creative and technical production duties. For example, some co-producers may deal with script and filming issues, while others may deal with the legal and business sides of production.
@helene55 Many famous movie producers do get there more based on who they are than what they've done in terms of production, although you will notice that some people only produce one or perhaps two films before they return to their old careers, I imagine at least in part because their fame didn't prepare them for a movie producer's many responsibilities.
@sapphire12, while there might be more options in at least large universities for movie producer school programs, from what I understand it is similar to theater production in that sense. Many people who produce feature films these days got there as much through a combination of acting and directing as a career in production. At the same time, there are many opportunities available for people in terms of internships.
One thing about training for a movie producer career, or really any career in production, is there isn't a very clear path in academic study. While there are many options for training to be an actor, a director, or a technician, there are few classes for production. In theatre production, at least, it seems that people learn to do it through working in multiple theatrical fields, rather than using it as their base course of study.
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