How to Become a Film Producer


A film producer is a high ranking position in the hierarchy of commercial visual production. Though the title of producer offers the most leeway as to actual responsibilities, most people who are exclusively professional producers will oversee a project from start to finish, from the interpretation of the screenplay with the director to the marketing and distribution of the film in its final form.

The main concern of a producer is to procure funds for the film and keep the film costs within the allocated budget. A producer may also contribute funds to a film as well and therefore buy the right to insert his or her opinion as to how it should be made. A producer will be involved with a diverse variety of tasks including the licensing of scripts, building a network of contacts for financial and geographical filming purposes, making sure that all audio is cleared for use, hiring key staff from the lighting crew to actors, overseeing the segue from production to post production, and much more.

As the discipline of film producer has such a varied job description, many film producers will attend film school to learn the ins and outs of the entire process. Many film schools have producer programs which teach up-and-coming film executives how to balance their technical expertise with budgetary concerns and the whims of the financial backers. In most settings, however, the producer is basically the person who handles all of the political and practical aspects of the production so that the creative team can concentrate on the art of the film. Because the skills needed to become a bonafide producer are highly technical and quantitative in nature, many hiring entities prefer to work with producers with accredited film school degrees.

Film Producer Salary

A film producer is one of the top positions within the industry, holding heavy responsibilities and the overall success of the project in their hands. Producers are also often investors, and hold a large financial stake in the project. They are in charge of planning and coordinating the many aspects of motion pictures or media productions, overseeing writers, directors and department managers to ensure production is completed on time and within budget. Film producer salaries vary drastically depending on the size of the project, but on average they earn $67,000 annually. In addition to a base salary, film producers also generally receive a percentage of profits gained from the final production.*

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