Film producers handle nearly every logistical area that goes into film making. From overseeing budget to finding locations, mediating screenwriter-director conflicts to filing permits, producers are often the unsung heroes of the film world. There are many different film producer jobs, allowing individuals to tailor their producing career to their strengths and personal preferences.
An associate producer is often a junior-level job reserved for promising young producers fresh out of film school or with limited experience. Associate film producer jobs can be exhausting and require endless patience, but may be the best way to learn about the industry and the job path ahead. Under the direction of more senior producers, an associate producer performs a variety of basic jobs. This can include filing permits and legal documents, taking minutes of meetings, fostering communication between different departments, drawing up preliminary budgets, and overseeing assistants. Although an associate producer often has limited creative input at first, responsibilities and appreciation will generally increase as long as the job is getting done efficiently.
Line producers have an intensely difficult job that can run from preproduction through film delivery. A line producer must ensure that the budget is being met for every moment of film shot, and is often a constant presence on set. Line producers typically have great organizational skills and exhibit a near-genius ability to deal with small, insignificant-seeming details. For people that enjoy movie making but prefer to avoid the development side, working as a line producer can be a rewarding and constantly challenging job.
A co-producer typically works under the direction of the executive or main producer, and may be an expert in a particular field. For instance, on a big action picture, a co-producer with a long history of similar movies may be hired to oversee special effects or stunt coordination. Film producer jobs such as co-producers are great for people who want to focus on gaining expertise in one specific area of film.
One of the most important film producer jobs rarely receives the attention it deserves. The unit production manager, or UPM, often works with the line producer to ensure that the budget is sound and within limits. UPMs often fill a number of functions during preproduction that are given to the first assistant director during shooting, such as shooting schedules and location management. A UPM typically has more preproduction duty than a line producer, and may be involved in salary negotiations, insurance issues, and equipment rental and purchase budgets.
An executive producer is typically a film's major representative from the movie studio. Often, the EP has some financial interest in the picture, and the title can be given to major backers as a tribute. In the world of film producer jobs, the role of the executive producer is somewhat vague; he or she may be involved with a film on a daily basis, or in name only. Many executive producers finance films as a business interest rather than for creative enjoyment; nevertheless, they are a vital and highly appreciated group of individuals.
One of the most heavily sought film producer jobs is that of the producer. The main producer typically serves as the CEO of a movie production, and has a hand in all areas of getting a movie developed, made, and marketed. Producers typically have considerable creative influence over the film, and may also have a financial interest as well. In addition to being in charge of the entire picture, a producer must raise money to make and sell the film, hire department heads, and essentially fill in all gaps to getting the movie out to the market. A writer may write the movie, and the director may direct it, but many experts say that the producer is the one who gets it made.