When it comes to being a director, a writer, and an actor, the tasks involved with such kind of professions are not that hard to define. In the case of the producer, a lot of people would find it hard to describe the work that a producer does though they know that producers play a vital role in the production of movie.
The main task of a film producer is basically selling or marketing the ideas of a film. In addition, film producers are the ones who worry about securing financial support for a movie project. On the other hand, people who aspire to become film producers will be disappointed to know that there isn’t any specific course for film producing though they have the option to take other film-related courses.
In general, the film producer is deemed as someone who supervises the overall production of a film and ensures that all elements of the movie fit together in the final output. Moreover, the producer is usually the one who tries to resolve the problems or issues that may arise concerning the members of the film crew and he makes sure that the right kind of people are hired for the movie and production will proceed according to schedule.
In movie credits, viewers usually see different types of producers who worked on a film. The words associated with the term producer usually pertain to the main task done by a specific producer. Some of the kinds of producers include staff producers, executive producers, associate producers and independent producers.
An executive producer is usually considered as the person who raised all the funds for a movie project, or the one who made a deal with a studio for the production of a film. However, the title has also been associated with some people who really did nothing concrete in helping the successful production of a movie.
Meanwhile, an associated producer is more physically involved in the production of a movie project. The associate producer is commonly busy making sure that everything in the movie production proceeds as scheduled and sees to it that all members of the film crew are not facing any problems at work. In other cases, a producer may also function as a director or a writer for a film.
FINDING THE RIGHT STORY
The producer is one of the first people who get involved with a movie project. Though they may not have the original idea about a film, producers usually realize when a concept can be potentially translated into a film. As soon as the producer entertains an idea for a movie project, he then proceeds on finding a writer that can produce the movie that they are trying to make.
In some cases, what producers look for are already made scripts which at most times, they try to sell to studio companies. And for any producer, it is very essential that they secure their rights for a movie material before film production can begin. Having the rights to a material prevent people from being involved in cases where people used a certain portion of material as such things can lead to legal issues.
On the other hand, when a producer wants to purchase a material, he should ensure that the rights status of the material is defined. Upon purchasing a material, the purchase agreement can be decided at the same time. The rights involved with purchasing a material include publication, television, videos, dramatic, and merchandising rights.
However, producers must realize that purchasing material is not that easy. In fact, the process includes covering a number of legal aspects. Thus, it is important that producers seek legal advices from lawyers in such cases. Unfortunately, a producer may have to spend some money should he decide to hire a lawyer for his services.
Another legal matter that producers should pay attention to is protecting their work, which they can by copyrighting the material they are working on. Or if they want, they can be a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, where they can register the written material used for a movie.
More importantly, producers should also take note of the date when they option a material. The date is important for the option renewal, especially because films usually require a long time before they can be finished.
PRODUCERS AND AGENTS
Agents play very important roles in the success of a producer. In relation to this, a producer should have an idea about the major talent agencies that are popular today. These agencies include the International Creative Management (ICM), the William Morris Agency, TRIAD, and Creative Artists Agency.
Specifically, the amount of commission an agency gets can reach up to 10% of the total gross income of a client. Agencies work by bridging the gap between the producer who want to sell a material and its potential buyers. Thus, it is important that producers learn about the representatives of agencies as these people are usually the ones who handle the transactions for their companies.
Though there is really no mandate requiring a producer to do business through an agency, that can help him in making connections to various people who can provide financial support to his movie.
The obstacle with working an agent is finding someone who will be interested in a project. An interesting project increases the possibility of an agent referring it to their clients. However, for an upcoming producer, this may prove to be someone difficult.
Thus, to catch the attention of an agent, a producer must be highly persistent. It would also benefit producers if they make connections with various people connected to an industry. That way, they have other options to consider when an agent denies their movie projects.
PRODUCERS AND FILM STUDIOS
To finance a movie project, the package, which includes the writer, actors, and directors, should be properly presented to prospective financial backers. A prospective financier can be easily convinced to support a project when the script offered already comes with the director and the actors casted for the main roles.
Nowadays, motion picture studios are the ones who commonly serve as financial supporters of films. Producers come to them to seek production funds and secure the distribution of their films. However, getting a studio, such as Warner Brothers, Fox, MGM, Paramount, and DreamWorks, to back up a film can be difficult for a new producer.
Producers must please several people first before they get the approval of a studio in financially supporting their films. The first of these people is the reader who is in charge if reading a material and making comments. A reader will provide a synopsis of the script to the higher ups and provide suggestions whether a material should be considered for production or not.
The next person that producers that should get past through is the story editor who manages the readers and provides the necessary criticisms on script and writers.
After the story editor, the producers will face the production executives and/or vice presidents. These people usually approve material even though they are still in the process of development. On the other hand, senior production executives make the final decision of approving the production of a movie and scheduling the start of production.
After a material has been approved, it will be furthered modified until it is ready for production. Producers should be able to work closely with production executives in order to monitor the progress of their material and see to it that the material eventually makes it to the big screen.
On the other hand, producers also have the option of signing off their material to a deal or staying and continuing to work on the whole production process of a material.
The development fee earned by a producer greatly depends on experience and degree of involvement. In addition to this, producers can earn $100,000 to $400,000 when a completed movie project makes it to the big screen.
Meanwhile, even though studios are supposed to support a film after they have approved, there are instances when materials are abandoned and left hanging mid production. At this point, the producer has the option of presenting the script to another studio who can continue its production until it finally becomes a full-length film.
After a material has been fully developed, the producer next focuses on the budget of the film and the casting of the roles.
However, if producers fail to find studios that can support their film, they can try resorting to other means of gaining funds for their movie projects. In short, they become independent movie producers.
Instead of working with studios, independent producers seek funds for a movie project from private investors, such as banks, business owners, or friends and relatives. In relation to this, some people choose to support a film because they just want to be credited for the work that they have done in the production.
Being an independent producer also poses some benefits. For instance, independent producers are given more control over a movie project. In addition, a producer who all the rights to a movie can make decisions regarding the separate distribution of a film and earn more money in return. Independent producers are also not subjected to the pressures brought about by working for studios. They have also more freedom in deciding how the budget for a film should be spent.
THE PREPRODUCTION PROCESS
The production of a movie starts with the conceptualization process. When an idea for a film has been conceived, it the task of the producer to look for a screenwriter who can rightly express the film idea through a script.
In most cases, a producer will a writer whose work he is familiar with. Writing of the script commences as soon as a writer is hired for a movie project. However, when writing a script, a write should note about certain guidelines and parameters while performing his job. In addition, it is also important that writers are given freedom concerning some of the aspects of the script that they are writing. The producers, on the other hand, should serve as a helping hand or aid during the scriptwriting process.
After writing the script, the producers start reviewing the first draft. The producers take note of the things that can still be improved in the script and provide the writer with useful comments and suggestions which can help him in modifying the script.
In the preproduction process, a producer is involved in a number of tasks. In this stage, the producers focus on the creative and financial aspects of the whole film production process. It is also in the preproduction stage that producers get to know the film crew members and begin establishing a good working relationship.
In addition, the producers also laying out plans for the whole film production process. The strategic process usually involves defining the objective of the project, conducting an assessment research on the potential audience of the film, and conducting thorough research on the theme of the movie. These steps are very important in ensuring that all members of the crew will be able to work together, knowing how to engage the attention of the audience, and preventing misinformation that can result from lack of knowledge regarding certain ideas used in the film.
It is important that producers also learn how the scenes will be shot during the production process scenes may be shot in order or according to which can save the whole film crew more money. In relation to this, line producers are more focused on supervising the daily operations and checking up on things or tasks that are time-bound. On the other hand, the production manager ensures that everything is done according to a certain schedule.
THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
The whole production process collates all the work done by all crew members and transforms it into what will be its final form in the silver screen. The production process is where most of the production budget is spent on.
Production managers are one of the busiest people during the major production period. They are tasked with supervising, hiring, and scheduling staff, equipment, and facilities during the creation of a movie. In case of the script breakdown, the producer must know how much time and money should be spent on each specific scene included in the movie.
During the breakdown process, the producers learn about the things that are needed on set or on location, such as props, as well as when the actors are scheduled for a shoot. The producer then fills in the breakdown sheets, which should include information on the props, costumes, actors, and equipment used in the scenes of the movie being produced.
Meanwhile, producers may or may not be seen during production. It is possible that they are very much engaged with the whole production process or they are focusing their attention on other pertinent tasks related movie production. The only set back that being absent in the production process is that they producers may not have a strong sense of work relationship with the crew.
On the other hand, the producer sometimes acts as the mediator between the crew and the director. There are times when members of the crew have ideas that are potentially beneficial to the production of the film and the producer ensures that these are heard by the director.
The producers also become involved with the press in order to easily promote their movie in the near future. Moreover, they begin working on the publicity of the film. Producers ensure that anything that is released for the promotion of the movie does not divert from the main idea of the film.
When a studio finances the production of a film, producers bring them constant updates regarding the progress of the production process. And as much as possible, the producers prevent the studios from putting too much pressure on the director whose capabilities may be compromised when they know that studios are constantly monitoring them.
THE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS OF THE DIRECTOR AND THE PRODUCER
The director and the producer should be able to work together seamlessly before they can create a good quality movie. In relation to this, producers look for directors whose fees are within the budget allocated by a studio for the production of a movie.
In many cases, studios prefer hiring bankable directors because they can potentially bring in more profit. However, producers should realize that when choosing a director, persistence and enthusiasm are key factors that determine the success of a movie project and not just the name of the director alone.
In addition, the director and the producer work closely together during both the preproduction and the production process. Their common goal is bringing a movie to the big screen, they try their best to achieve this by smoothing out any conflicting interests that may arise during the production process. Moreover, producers provide additional and objective insights when it seems that directors are diverting from the original plan made for the movie.
THE POST PRODUCTION PROCESS
After the whole movie production process, the producers still have much work left to do.
The producers supervise the editing process of the movie as the editor and the director decide the scenes that should be included or excluded in the final film output. Here, the producer ensures that the movie is edited with ample consideration for the creative and financial aspects of the film.
The producer is not directly involved with the editing process thought in most cases, the producers choose to be there in order to see how things are going between the director and the editor and provide the necessary suggestions if needed. In addition, producers take note of the expenditure during postproduction.
ADVERTISEMENT OF A MOVIE AND RELATED DISTRIBUTION
After the whole production process, the final film output is now ready for its showing in the big screen. And in relation to this, some producers face difficulties in finding the right types of distributors for their movies. In addition, producers should also take care that their movie projects are properly marketed to the public.
In most cases, studios also act as the distributors for a project and they receive a bulk of the total profits that a movie has earned.
Producers also utilize various objects in marketing a movie. Such objects may include t-shirts, toys, books, records, posters, and games. In case of advertising, a producer must be completely knowledgeable about the movie that he is promoting, and the advertising process should as specific as possible.
Meanwhile, there are also some problems that may arise when advertising a film such as the deadline that are usually employed by film studios.
On the other hand, some producers seek help from foreign distributors who are more lenient in providing them monetary compensation even if the film has just been released. In fact, producers nowadays should seek having working relationships with foreign distributors.
In conclusion, producers play various roles during the whole production process and they become most involved in ensuring that all the members of the crew are working with adeptness, especially the director and the actors.