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PRODUCERS AND THE PRODUCTION OFFICE

Job Title: Executive Producer, Feature Films, Job Title: Line Producer, Job Title: Producer—television

In the broadest sense, it is the producer who makes a film happen. The producer finds the story, gets the money to finance the production, and helps put together the pool of actors and artisans who will bring the story to life. Once the project is set up, the producer troubleshoots problems and keeps the project on track throughout all its phases, until the finished product is released.

Some producers are dealmakers, specializing in the business aspects and hiring out the actual production responsibilities to others. Other producers love the creative aspects of filmmaking and remain actively involved throughout the process. Then there are writer/producers who are sometimes given a producer credit in lieu of a salary increase.

Responsibilities of a producer vary from project to project, and a title may denote one set of responsibilities in film, another set in television, and yet another for commercials and music videos.

The production staff is charged with the hands-on, nuts and bolts responsibility of getting the project made. A huge project may require multiple people to split the responsibilities of a single position, while one person will fill several positions on a small project. Generally, the production staff consists of:

  • • Unit Production Manager (UPM): oversee budgets, negotiate contracts, strike deals, hire crew, and handle the mountain of paperwork thus generated.
  • • Production Supervisor: assist the UPM with office responsibilities.
  • • Production Office Coordinator: the office manager.
  • • Assistant Production Office Coordinator: assigned duties by the Production Office Coordinator; frequently charged with travel and transportation arrangements.
  • • Production Secretary: frequently charged with communicating information and scheduling.
  • • Office Production Assistant: a resourceful gofer.
  • • Accounting Staff: track budgets, pay bills, and handle payroll.

This chapter is divided into three sections: Producers, Production Office, and Physical Production Facility Management.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in Film and Television