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Producing 101 Series

By Amber M. Sherman

Being a Producer is tough, but what does it entail? Let’s jump into what Producers do.

There are many types of producers. While working on indie projects it’s hard to figure out what producer does what. I found myself having conversations that asked and discussed “What does such and such producer do?” “What does an Executive producer do exactly?” Some people, my peers to be exact, didn’t know how to answer. Even asking other Producers, they gave a shoulder shrug. I don’t think it was because these people didn’t know what the producer did, it’s just hard to put into words what it is they do. I also wanted to try to give a little insight to people just starting out in film. Maybe they want to be producers one day. This will help them figure out what they should be doing. Either way, everyone knows that all producers, no matter what their title, have varied responsibilities and are doing a ton of work to get a movie going and finally finished.

So, on my YouTube on “The Film Industry” I decided to do a “Producing 101” Series. It covers what each producer does. I have a feeling that so many people have no idea what producers actually do in film. I’m not just talking your top producer. I’m talking about Co-Producers, Line Producers, Executive Producers, and of course I cover your main Producer. Each has its own set of responsibilities. I cover each one in the videos below.

Executive Producer

I started with the Executive Producer (EP) for the sake of argument. I know the hierarchy doesn’t always start with the EP. I start with the basics of what producers are for film. They are the lifeblood, the driving force, and the reason that movie is being made! I hate to say that the EPs are the Money of a movie but in most cases this is the truth. They either monitor the spending of the money the studio gave, or they themselves give the money for the idea to actually become reality.


The next video covers the meat and potatoes of producers, the main power players, the actual Producers. This one is a long one as their responsibilities are sooooo many. These are the folks that go up for the Oscar if the film won for best picture. They have control over every aspect of a film.


Next Up are the Co-Producers. The responsibilities for this position vary greatly. While as a co-producer you still would have creative control, you would still be the subordinate of the producer.

Line Producer

Now we jump into what the Line Producer does. This role is purely logistics. ***unless they are the Co-Producer as well, which does happen often – then they would have creative say.*** The Line Producer is a bigger role in Indie films as opposed to studio and union shows. The UPM on bigger films would cover a lot of the Line Producer responsibilities I cover in this video.

I know that after all of these videos you will have a better understanding of what each producer does. I knew a great deal about what producers did, but I definitely needed more research to give myself a bigger, and more detailed picture of everything all the producers do. As an Assistant Director (AD) it’s good to know what to expect of the people that hired you. Also, not to step on certain people’s toes when you’re are working on an Indie project. So, while I hope you learned some things doing these videos I learned a great deal for myself in how I work with producers in the future.

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