So you want to produce a video… but where do you start? How do you go about producing something for a specific medium? And what does a producer actually do? Many people don’t fully understand what it means to actually produce something, whether it be a video or another form of media. In fact, there are many different types of producers, and each role fulfills a different purpose. One could be an executive producer, a line producer, a supervising producer, or a story producer. You could also be a co-producer or associate producer.
With all of these different titles, it’s clear there are many types of producers, but these terms don’t fully explain what these people really do. These roles vary based on the medium, so a producer in television may do something entirely different than a producer for film or digital media. They could be the person funding the project, creating the material, or actually writing it. Some producers oversee the on-set production, managing the finances both before and during the production. Others are just in charge of finding investors or crew members.
At the core of it, being a producer means actually producing content and getting things done. Whether this means uploading content or finalizing storyboards, they check off every item on their to-do list. A producer on digital media may be the project manager, who oversees the completion of the project. In film, producers are often the ones who find the material, get scripts financed, hire crew and talent, and put the pieces together to form a cohesive project. Since there are so many things to get done, new roles are constantly being created to make projects go smoother.
According to the Producer’s Guild of America, there are usually one or two people who oversee the entire project. This is often the job of the executive producer, the original visionary of a project. Obviously this role varies based on the size and medium, but this person typically owns the project and oversees it from start to finish. The PGA’s website breaks it down even more by listing the description of each kind of producer, so you can go and see what they actually mean, including what that person would do in film, television and other forms of media.
Overall, a producer produces something. They get things done. Whether this means bringing money to a project, or actually giving creative feedback and script notes, a producer is efficient, motivated and driven. To find out more about what producers do, visit producersguild.com or indieproducing.com. Both of these websites provide helpful tips and articles about becoming a producer. So what are you waiting for? Go make something.
If you have any filmmaking questions, comments or anything else you want to say please tweet to @gabemichael or write in the comments below.