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The business of film
The business of film

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5 Producer and project

You’ve heard from the production team about how a film is made, and you’ve brought together your learning from the past five weeks to think about how people, schedules and budgets relate to the final product.

Producers play an integral role in the television, film and video industries. In general, this role is both creative and organisational. However, there are many different kinds of producers. A ‘creative producer’ is more focused on the creative side. A ‘line producer’ is responsible for the organisation and financial control of a film. ‘Producer’ has been used in this course to indicate the individual with overall creative and organisational responsibility.

A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes. Producers work closely with the directors and other production staff on a shoot. Producers arrange funding for each project and are responsible for keeping the production within the allocated budget.

Producers are responsible for facilitating a project and are involved in every stage of the film. The role of the line producer is comparable to the more generic role of the project manager – a person who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. This job title is used in many different industries that produce products and services.

One of the key roles of a project manager and film producer is the recognition that risk directly impacts the likelihood of success, and that this risk must be monitored throughout the lifetime of the project. Most of the issues that impact a project arise from risk. A good project manager and a good film producer, with the help of the line producer, can lessen risk significantly.

In theory, the line producer deals with all the practical and political aspects of keeping a project running smoothly, so that the producer, director and the rest of the team can concentrate on the creative aspects. This works much in the same way that a project manager on a building construction project will keep the project running, so the architect and designers can concentrate on the creative aspects of the job.

Coming up in Week 6

Next week you’re going to take a look back into the production archives of the very first Bond movie, Dr. No. Then you'll think about what the future holds for the independent feature film business. Go to Week 6 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .