What is a Producer?

Written by 90 Seconds
Last updated: October 4, 2023
What is a Producer?

Film producers are the people who keep the film’s quality up while ensuring that its production is on time and stays within budget.

Producers can manage hundreds of individuals in any one production, in addition to dealing with the film studio and distributors. The producer’s role can vary depending on the particular director, writers, and crew they are working for as well as whether the film is a studio’s production or financed from other sources.

Essentially, the producer is the manager of the film and communicates with the director, writers, crew, studio, and financiers.

Primary roles

Financial and personnel management

Producers are often responsible for securing financing (if the film is not being with a specific studio) and determining the location and budget.

Based on that location and budget, the producer is in charge of hiring production crew like the cinematographer, cameramen, special effects technicians, and other important crew members.

The time spent filming and editing is monitored by the producer, as is the money spent to ensure that the director is sticking to the budget.

If there are problems between the cast and crew and/or studio, the producer is usually the one who must mediate.

Securing distribution

Producers review the fine cut of the film after editing is finished and may make suggestions for revising the fine cut before it is ready to be shown to distributors.

Then they source distributors for the film by showing them the final cut, and secure the distributor who will put the film into the type and/or amount of theaters best suited to the film’s genre and target audience demographics.

Secondary roles

Script editing

If the producer is working with a writer, they may be sourcing a book or other material (like a video game) or have a completed script.

The producer then must polish the script to make it attractive to a director and/or film studio. Sometimes this writing and editing work is very hands-on on the producer’s parts, or they simply make suggestions to the writer to make the script more palatable to the director or studio.

Creative direction of the film

While the director is typically seen as the author of the film, the producer may also be involved in how the film plays out.

In addition to helping form the film’s cast, sometimes producers offer creative suggestions for scenes and revisions based on the dailies.

Producers with more editing background will also suggest order and selection of scenes for the final cut based on how the studio and/or test audiences have responded.