What Does a Producer Do?



Though some roles on a film or television set attract more attention than others, filmmaking is ultimately a team effort. Directors guide the creative direction of the film or TV show, the director of photography controls the look of the film, and the editor ties the entire story together. However, before the production begins, before its’ inception, there is one crew member working behind the scenes to pull the production together: the producer.

Responsibilities of a Producer

Producers are responsible for video production coordination. They ensure that everything gets completed on time and within the budget. As the project manager, a producer confirms that the entire production crew is in alignment to deliver a great video. Since they are supervising the project, they have a hand in all creative, financial, technological, and administrative decisions. Producers will also have different responsibilities in each production stage: pre-production, production, and post-production.

  • Pre-Production
    • Share their vision and develop a strategy
    • Outline goals and objectives to define project success
    • Lead communication of project objectives
  • Production
    • Manage logistics of filming
    • Provide direction to talent, set, and other staff including creative, operations, and logistics personnel
  • Post-Production
    • Work closely with the editor
    • Manage production timelines
    • Measure costs against budget

Additionally, the producer may have added responsibilities depending on the budget. Projects with larger budgets will have a team of producers that work beneath the executive producer on individual aspects of the film or show.

Types of Producers

While the producer may have the most visible title, more substantial projects or organizations may require additional logistical support. In this case, the producer would oversee a team of co-producers, associate producers, supervising producers, segment producers, coordinating producers, and line producers. Below are detailed descriptions of each of these roles.

Executive Producer

An executive producer is the chief supervisor of the project or someone who backs the project financially. Executive producers generally have a combination of business and leadership skills. This person is responsible for project success. They ensure the video goes into production and is completed on budget and on time.

Associate Producer

An associate producer works under the supervision of the producer and carries out tasks essential to their area of expertise. Associate producers can assist with graphics, filming, and more.

Supervising Producer

A supervising producer reports directly to the executive producer and is responsible for overseeing a team of producers across one or more projects.

Segment Producer

A segment producer is tasked with producing one or more segments of a multi-segment production. In some instances, segment producers will collaborate and incorporate each others’ segments to complete the video.

Coordinating Producer

Often, two or more producers will be working separately on the same project. A coordinating producer works with these individuals to ensure that everyone is in alignment for the overall project goals.

Line Producer

A line producer is responsible for the operations of video production. This role includes managing production budget and serving as a liaison between the “below the line” production crew and the producers and executive producer.

While one producer may serve in an advisory or financial role, the team of producers has joint responsibility for the success or failure of the production. By working together, the group helps the production move along seamlessly, keeps it on schedule, and on budget.

How to Become a Producer

The variety of video production jobs reinforces the fact that there’s sure to be a role for every aspiring producer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for producers and directors is expected to grow 12 percent between 2016 and 2026¹. The growing job market is a welcome sign for those looking to get into the film industry.

Manhattan Neighborhood Network provides opportunities for aspiring producers to break into that growing industry by becoming an independent producer. Becoming certified helps producers improve their video production knowledge and learn the many different roles on set.

If you are a Manhattan resident, attend an upcoming MNN orientation, so you can get certified and start making media that matters. At the orientation, you’ll learn more about our full-service studios, state-of-the-art equipment, and upcoming classes.


Our Sources

"Occupational Outlook: Producers and DirectorsBureau of Labor Statistics Web. 16 Jan. 2019

"Frequently Asked QuestionsProducers Guild of America Web. 16 Jan. 2019

"Get to Know MNN: OrientationsManhattan Neighborhood Network Web. 16 Jan. 2019