Education

What Do You Need To Be A Producer

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 9 minute read

About Film Producers

As a film producer, you have a variety of responsibilities that often begin with choosing a plot or subject for the film. However, it’s very uncommon for a song to provide the idea for a piece of writing.

In 1978, a film based on Harper Valley P.T.A. was released, followed by a television series in 1981 starring Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie-fame). Ridley Scott was inspired to make Gladiator when he saw a picture from the late 1800s depicting the Roman Colosseum with gladiators.

In order for a film to be made based on a work of fiction or nonfiction, a producer must first discover an appropriate piece of work. As they put together the creative team, including screenwriters, production staff, and film crews, they have financial duties as well. Contracts detailing the responsibilities and pay of all parties engaged in the production are a legal requirement.

Filming may be a difficult time for producers, who have to deal with site changes, the director, handling commercial agreements and so on. Producing a film involves doing a lot of different things, which is why a producer has many different roles to play from the beginning to the conclusion. Producers will attend awards ceremonies and promotional events as appropriate.

Executive producers, who oversee and undertake many of the same tasks as the film’s producers, are always included among the film’s contributors. Other responsibilities include budgeting, hiring the finest staff and managing legal difficulties.

What exactly is a TV Producer?

The producer of a television show may have greater power than the producer of a film. The responsibilities of a television producer include:

  • Create a script for a program or an episode.
  • Raise the required funds for the show’s production, including actor salaries, film crew, and other costs associated with a weekly program.
  • Make casting judgments and book guest stars and extras.
  • Assist the executive producers – typically more than one.
  • Maintain communication with unions and respect to union regulations
  • Ensure that each episode offers character development and a plot that will keep viewers interested on a constant basis.

Degree

After highlighting some of the tasks of film and television producers, what is the educational road to these professions?

Associate Degree

If you’d like, you can utilize this as a stepping stone toward a bachelor’s degree. With an Associate’s degree in film and video, you’ll learn about the production process as well as filmmaking’s technical parts.

Students learn how to make a variety of films, including instructive videos, advertisements, and documentaries. Filmmaking equipment, such as cameras and lighting, are also taught to students.

In filmmaking, there are Fine Arts programs at this level. Directing, lighting and writing, editing and production are all covered by this degree. As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to direct your own film as well as those of your fellow students.

You will learn by doing in the two-year curriculum, which teaches you to direct, shoot, edit, write, and produce your own films. Residency programs should include screening rooms, film and recording studios, sound design suites, visual effects laboratories, and more.

Here are a few examples of affiliate programs just for fun.

Community colleges may offer an Associate of Arts in Film, which is a step toward a four-year degree. This covers courses in cinematography, film production, film locations, composition, and a fine arts requirement at Central New Mexico Community College. The degree may be completed in five terms.

Students can get an Associate of Science in Film with 60 credits in as little as 18 months at the Los Angeles Film School. Students may concentrate on only one subject at a time because each session lasts for four weeks.

Students can choose from classes in anything from cinematography to digital editing to scripting to production design to directing to editing. Grip and rigging, lighting, electricity, set building and scenic painting may be taught in various programs.

Dolby-approved dubbing stage, editing lab, and 300 seat movie theater are just some of the facilities available to students at the LA Film School. Students are given a retina-display MacBook Pro bundled with professional tools, including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Creative Cloud, Movie Magic Budgeting, and Final Draft, as a thank you for their participation.

Bachelor’s Degree

In order to become a producer, students might enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in film, television, and digital production. All aspects of film and television production will be covered in this course. Camera operation, cinematography, scripting, lighting, sound, and editing are among the subjects students study at the college level.

There is a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film with a Production concentration, which focuses on the technical and artistic elements of modest digital films and the fundamental concepts of big motion movies. It’s important to look at the many aspects of the production process, including funding, budgeting, and marketing. Depending on the program, you may get the opportunity to participate in a practicum where you may show off your skills as a filmmaker and producer by working on a real-world project.

Cinema departments at certain schools and universities offer minors in production. The focus of the production major is solely on the film industry, as opposed to the television industry. Coursework includes everything from scripting to directing to production, much as other similar programs. A cinematography school, for example, will teach you how to use cameras, lights, and other grip equipment. The curriculum might also include the production of two short digital documentaries as a prerequisite.

In-depth instruction in the planning, budgeting, procedures, and production design involved in television production may be found in a bachelor’s degree in television production. With a strong foundation in television and video production, these abilities may be learned.

The school’s manufacturing facilities are a significant criterion for a bachelor’s degree in this discipline. Is there a studio on campus where students may practice film and television production? Does an internship exist for a student studying television and digital media production? Off-campus internships allow students to get experience in a real-world context while working full-time for six months with industry professionals.

You can also enroll in a Fine Arts program that includes film and television production. This degree prepares students for a career in the film business by teaching them advanced production and post-production skills.

Does the program have access to industry-standard equipment for bringing the medium to life once more? Focus on schools that have a wide variety of camera equipment available to students. Does it contain all of the necessary grip and electric tools, as well as the audio equipment and post-production software needed to complete the production? In order to land a job in manufacturing or a similar industry, a hands-on approach to your major is essential.

The following details some of the course material.

Additionally, LA Film offers a 120-credit B.S. in Film Production degree, which takes 36 months to complete. Screenwriting and production design, directing, sound production and cinematography are among the courses that are the same as those required for an associate degree.

Others include advanced creative writing, advanced grip & electric, documentary production, transmedia design, and creative presentation.

The College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. Named a top film school by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety magazine, it has a 32,000 square foot production facility at Cinespace.

It is next door to the production setting for television series such as Chicago PD and Empire. An on-stage dialogue with industry experts allows students to build relationships and make new connections through the school’s Visiting Artists Series.

Film and television students at DePaul University can choose from eleven concentrations, including:

  • Cinematography
  • Creative Producing
  • Production Design
  • Screenwriting
  • Documentary
  • Showrunner (focuses on the television production landscape)

Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) College of Fine Arts and Production offers a bachelor’s degree in digital film production. Nonlinear editing and cinematography are taught to students in this course.

On-campus students can use film production equipment to learn about lighting, audio, and camera techniques (Canon cameras and Sennheiser mics). GCU’s nonlinear editing program teaches students about film editing theory and software. Camera movement and video formats are among the topics covered in the cinematography course.

Having a show that attracts a large number of people is the primary goal of television producers. The network or cable channel will cancel the show if its ratings begin to drop. No show will last as long as The Simpsons (30+ years), Law & Order SVU (20+ years), or even a season of The Big Bang Theory (12 years) or a season of Grey’s Anatomy (15 years). 

Executive decisions by the show’s producers may lead to the cancellation of some shows. Since most are in this low-viewership group, they’re doomed to fade into obscurity. Besides the bachelor’s degree, there are additional possibilities that we’ll discuss in this post.

Master’s Degree

A Master of Arts in Film and Media Production at American University in Washington, D.C., is the next step. Applicants do not need to hold a bachelor’s degree in film or a closely related field to be accepted into the two-year, 36-credit program.

Some of the courses that make up the 27-hour requirement include:

  • Developing Fiction Productions
  • Nonfiction Productions
  • Business of Television
  • Writing for Visual Media

Instead of a thesis, students must complete a three-credit-hour Portfolio Capstone project.
Award-winning film school Full Sail University was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine, which covers all aspects of filmmaking.

A MacBook Pro and all the required tools for editing, screenwriting, and budgeting are included in the 12-month on-campus Master of Fine Arts in Film Production program. This is what students learn about:

  1. Elements of Dramatic Storytelling. The skill of scriptwriting used to establish characters, themes, and suspense.
  2. Responsibilities of the Director. Being a film director entails both operational and creative aspects.
  3. Filmmaking Experiment. Learn non-traditional visual storytelling techniques.
  4. The Film Industry. Covers a variety of subjects, including sales representatives. Negotiation, networking, marketing, and finance are all skills that may be learned.

Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and Producing at the Seattle Film Institute (SFI) is the only program that combines creative with financial acumen. Students who complete the two-year program will be well-prepared to enter the entertainment industry, whether it be in television, film, or digital content development.

Cinematography, game design, music and sound design are just a few of the creative fields at SFI. Learning about legal difficulties, budgeting and fundraising as well as marketing and distribution as well as creating a company plan helps students build their business acumen.

Employment

The initial stage in a producer’s career is to work as a production assistant or in any other position closely linked to production. Gopher-like duties may be more appropriate for this position.

Making assistants’ responsibilities can also vary greatly, and they may not necessarily be directly involved in the production of a film. In order to be considered for positions with greater power and responsibility, one must have extensive work experience to develop a strong résumé. Make the most of niche markets and low-budget projects to build your portfolio.

The median income for producers and directors with a bachelor’s degree is $76,400 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the next 10 years, or until 2030, they estimate a 24 percent increase in employment, or 31,600 new posts in this occupational category. (Employment increased by barely 14% in 2017)

Taking a look at job listings is a great method to figure out what kind of degree you want and what kind of jobs you can get right out of college. Indeed, there are over 2,000 film production and related jobs listed on an employment portal.

When it comes to these roles, you’ll find anything from assistants to executives to screenplay advisors to videomakers to podcasters. Examples of companies and organizations with job vacancies that cover the gamut include Apple; Adobe; Roku; Amazon; Dr. Pepper; Microsoft; Planned Parenthood; and huge churches and religious groups.

Managing manufacturing equipment and software, as well as business and communication abilities, are all frequently emphasized in job descriptions. And most agree that a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement. Because of this, it may be more useful than spending two additional years pursuing a master’s degree.

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