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Tip #844: What Does a Film Producer Do?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Producers do a bit of everything. Here are the details.

Saul Zaentz on set of The Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. Image via Warner Bros.

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This article, written by Logan Baker, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is an excerpt.

A film begins and ends with the producer. The producer is the catalyst for a project coming together, its complete production cycle, and its eventual release, marketing, and distribution. A good producer will cultivate a kernel of an idea into something significant, tangible, and bright on screen. So, with all that being said, on a day-to-day level, starting from story inception to hitting the silver screen — what does a producer actually do? Let’s take a look.

Here are the steps:

  • Find the literary property
  • Shape the idea into a viable film
  • Raise the money
  • Hire the director
  • Choose the cast
  • Oversee production
  • Oversee post
  • Mastermind the marketing
  • Negotiate worldwide rights

So, when all is said and done — what does a producer do? Well, a little bit of everything. They’re absolutely essential for a production to get off the ground running, as smoothly as possible. See, there’s a reason producers receive the Oscar for Best Picture.

Here’s a link to an interview in Time, with Saul Zaentz, who details the process.


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