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A film producer or movie producer is someone who creates the scenes and conditions for making movies. The producer initiates, co-ordinates, supervises and controls matters such as fund-raising, hiring key personnel and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the film-making process from development to completion of a project.

In the first half of the 20th century, the producer also tended to wield ultimate creative control on a film project. In the U.S.marker, with the demise of Hollywood'smarker studio system in the 1950s, creative control began to shift into the hands of the director.

Changes in movie and film distribution and marketing in the 1970s and '80s gave rise to the modern-day phenomenon of the Hollywood blockbuster, which tended to bring power back into the hands of the producer. While marketing and advertising for films accentuates the role of the director, apart from a few well-known film-makers, it is usually the producer who has the greatest degree of control in the American film industry. Many producers today are paid as a minimum $120,000 to $300,000 a movie.

Traditionally, the producer is considered the chief of staff while the director is in charge of the line. This "staff and line" organization mirrors that of most large corporations and the military. Under this arrangement, the producer has overall control of the project and can terminate the director, but the director actually makes the film. The "line producer" is thus a producer who assists with day-to-day financial and production concerns "on the line" as the film is being made.


  • Producer: Individual who has the greatest involvement and oversight among a film's various producers. In smaller companies or independent projects, may not be the equivalent of the executive producer.
  • Executive producer: In major productions, usually a representative or CEO of the film studio - although the title may be given as an honorarium to a major investor - often oversees the financial, administrative and creative aspects of production, though not technical aspects. In smaller companies or independent projects, may be synonymous with creator/writer.
  • Co-producer: A producer who reports to the Executive Producer and provides money to finance a project. In large productions, the co-producer is more involved in the day-to-day production. In independent projects, the title can connote an involvement in the inception of the production.
  • Associate producer: Usually acts as a representative of the Producer, who may share financial, creative, or administrative responsibilities, delegated from that producer. Often, a title for an experienced film professional acting as a consultant or a title granted as a courtesy to one who makes a major financial or creative contribution to the production. According to David Mamet, "It's what you give your secretary instead of a raise."
  • Assistant producer: Usually works under the direction of the Associate Producer.
  • Production director: A representative of the film company assigned to the set and given the authority to act on behalf of the senior production-team members.
  • Line producer: Oversees a film's budget and day-to-day activities
  • Production supervisor: Usually performs managerial duties on one aspect of the production.
  • Production manager: Manages the studio.
  • Post production supervisor: Usually performs the post team in movies.
  • Production designer: Usually oversees the on screen visual aspects of a location or set - including stage dressing, props, color palette, and set design.
  • Administrative Producer: Reports to the Board of Directors. Freelancers are employed by the Administrative Producer for specific tasks such as press and publicity activities, design, production management, etc.

See also


  • The Producer's Business Handbook by John J. Lee, Jr., Focal Press (2000)
  • From Reel to Deal by Dov S-S Simens, Warner Books (2003)

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