A film producer creates the conditions for making movies. The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises and controls matters such as fundraising, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the filmmaking process from filmmaking / development to completion of a project.
In the early 20th century, the producer also tended to wield ultimate creative control on a film project. With the demise of Hollywood's Movie studio system in the 1950s, creative control began to shift into the hands of the director.
Changes in movie 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.
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.
Types of producers
- 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.
- Producer: the "classic" definition of producer who typically has the greatest involvement and oversight among a film's various producers. In smaller companies or independent projects, may be the equivalent of the Executive Producer.
- Co-producer: A producer who generally reports to the (Executive) Producer and is more involved in the day-to-day production. He or she is the provider of money to finance a project. In independent projects, the title connotes 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 granted as a courtesy or to one who made a major financial or creative contribution to the production.
- Production director: A representative of the film company assigned to the set and given the authority to act in 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
- 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.