An animation producer is someone who takes on the role of producer for an animated series or feature. As the producer, this person will usually act as the line of communication and filtration of ideas between the executives who run a studio and the creative people who are actually making the animated product. In this capacity, the animation producer must be able to control the costs of an animated production to keep the executives above him or her happy, while also ensuring that the creative animators and artists working under him or her are able to make the feature or series they are working toward. Ultimately, as the title suggests, it is the producer’s job to ensure that a final product is actually produced.
The animation producer can often be seen as “the bad guy” by the artists working on a feature or series. This is because he or she is usually the highest ranking person on a production who will be readily available and accessible to the rest of the crew. When anything goes wrong on a production, such as meals not being ordered properly or supplies not being restocked in a timely manner, the person who is often available to the artists for blame and complaint is the producer.
On the other side of the production, however, the animation producer is also the person who will be discussing any problems or budgetary issues with the executives who run the studio. This means that any issues coming down from those in charge will ultimately end up on the producer. If the feature or series is coming in late or over budget, it is the producer who will be directly blamed for that and whose job will be on the line if the issue is not corrected.
For all these efforts, the animation producer is typically well-paid. He or she usually making an executive’s salary, not an artist’s pay. This higher pay, however, is meant to compensate the producer for the amount of stress and pressure that he or she will usually have to deal with.
An animation producer’s job is typically more about managing people, time, and money than performing any sort of artistic tasks. The producer might want some knowledge of animation since it may be important to understand certain aspects of the creative process to manage those working in an artistic field. This does not mean that the producer has to learn to be an animator, however, only know enough to properly orchestrate the talent.