How To

How To Become A Movie Producer

Photograph of the blog post author, Evelyn Sandoval

Evelyn Sandoval

28.10.2020

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In this article, I will share with you what a movie producer is and what their job role might involve. Plus how to become a movie producer, with tips on starting out and getting hired.

It is said that if the producer makes a detailed, well-prepared work in the pre-production stage, the film days are a party for them. 

people planning a movie

What Is A Movie Producer?

A movie producer is a person who oversees a movie production. The producer is hired by either a production company or they work independently. They will plan and coordinate multiple aspects of the production. This includes arguably the most important task of hiring the director, choosing the script, arranging financing and much much more.

How Do I Become A Film Producer 

Like the sound of the job role and thinking, ‘I want to be a movie producer’. There isn’t really one straight path with becoming a film producer. As with many roles in the film industry, working your way up is often the easiest way. Not to say that it’s easy! Getting yourself onto a film set is one of the best things you can do. You meet industry professionals, you’re around these people daily even if you’re working as a runner. Having your hard work recognised can be a great way to work your way up in the ranks.

As well as great experience working in different roles, it is great for building your contacts. It’s not always what you know, but who you know!

producer filming inside a car

Tips For Getting Hired

One of the easiest ways to start in the movie producer path is to work as a runner, and then moving into the assistant producer role. Do your best work and show your abilities with the crew, let your work speak itself. 

Once you start working as a production assistant you will be learning from your production manager and line producers. Once the time comes and you are ready, surely you will move to the next level. Every production is different, some of them have all the roles covered. Some others are small productions and not have specified each production role if you see a chance show that you can do it and let them know you can help.

Best Ways To Start And Get Into The Movie Producer Role 

  • Networking: Attend local events and introduce yourself to companies and people who are working in film. They may have an opportunity for you to work on their film productions. It is also important to attend film festivals. Many of them offer film market events where you can show your projects and screenplays to potential producers.
  • Collaborate and invest in low budget films: Ok, I know that investing sounds crazy when you are starting your career, but you don’t necessarily have to invest money. If you have some gear like a good camera, lighting equipment, audio or any other you can offer to make a kind contribution offering the gear to an independent film. When you invest or collaborate in this way you may have a credit as an executive producer, or you can negotiate to participate creatively. 
  • Showcase yourself: If you have the ability to write, or have some colleagues with screenplay work you can start by producing those films. There can be short films, documentaries, mini-series, music videos or other. The important thing is to practice your abilities as a producer. Build a portfolio that you can show to production companies to get hired. 
  • Prepare folders and documents: One of the things I have been doing lately with my screenwriting group is to prepare all the production documents that a film production needs. For example; budgeting, financial scheme, director’s vision, one-pager,etc. We work on all the necessary documents that we need to apply for film grants and to present movie productions to possible investors. That way you start working as a movie producer yourself.

How To Be A Successful Film Producer

camera on a film set

Now you know how to get your first jobs as a producer. The question now is, how to be a successful film producer? 

A successful film producer is a great listener. You have to develop the ability to listen very carefully to every need of the crew, the creative needs of the director and the needs of the actors. This is so that you can come up with the best solutions that make everyone feel comfortable and achieve the director’s vision. 

Also, you will need to gain negotiation abilities. Salespersons or people who have worked on client attention are great with these skills. If you have never done something like this try talking to someone with this profile or read some negotiation books. Producers are in charge of selling an idea, a movie, you must know how to convince an executive or investor to put their money on the film you want to produce. 

In Your Own Time…

Take a look at some behind the scenes videos, there you will find what the struggles of making a movie have been, how the producer has solved it and get a general idea of the things you have to be prepared for and how to fix it.

Read the production annuary of your country, or the ones that have co-production arrangements with yours. Analyze which kind of movies are being produced. Take a look at the award-winning movies, investigate how they are financed and it’s box office to know if the movie you want to produce will have a good revenue and acceptance. 

Write or look for screenplays that can be low budget movies and look forward to producing them yourself with a small crew. This kind of work gives you the experience and also the opportunity to do things your way. It helps you learn to produce in a safe space with a crew that you trust.

There’s No One Way Path To Become A Film Producer

movie theatre

There’s no one way to become a successful film producer. You can use this advice to have better possibilities of producing successful films and getting hired as a movie producer. 

Remember everyone starts small, and every experience is a great opportunity to make connections that lead you to other film productions. 

Don´t forget to take a look at the best movie franchises to understand what kind of movies the public adores and have become classics. 

If you are interested in the crossover between music and film, check out our article on music supervisors. With our concierge and service and extensive music library, allow us to help you find music for your film. Sign up free for Music Gateway now!

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