In the entertainment industry hierarchy – film, television, music, etc – the producer is ‘numero uno’, the guy (or gal) who makes things happen! If your interests lie in this industry and you aspire to be the person who holds the strings and make things happen, then a career as a studio producer is just right for you! Some helpful guidelines on how to become a studio producer are discussed in this article.
Scope of job
A studio producer is responsible for overall control and coordination during the making of a film, TV show or music album. Day-to-day work may vary depending on the industry segments as above. A studio producer can be an employee on the payrolls of the studio or work as an independent producer on contract with the studio to complete projects as agreed. The various responsibilities are listed below:
- Exercise complete control over the budget, work schedules and recruitment for the project;
- Look for new ideas, scripts, books, etc to turn into movies, TV shows or plays, negotiate and buy rights from the authors, playwrights, etc;
- Raise money from the market, private investors or use own funds to finance the project;
- Hire a director and work with the director to hire actors, technicians and other personnel as required, keeping the project and budget on track;
- An independent producer can wear multiple hats as the director, scriptwriter, actor, cameraman, etc.
- There are no formal educational requirements to become a studio producer. Most producers start working as gophers, interns or assistants and work their way up the ladder over a period of time, performance, contributions and skills on successful projects (read as money-makers), up your chances of becoming a studio producer.
- A degree or other qualification in film-making or related technical and non-technical subjects in the entertainment industry is helpful in getting through the door at a studio, but after that it is talent, professionalism and performance of duties which count.
Compensation levels for studio producers are not fixed and depend upon where you work. Generally, a producer pockets a percentage of the profits derived from the film, play, album or TV shows; if working for a studio, you can earn a salary plus bonus commensurate with performance. Formal training in production and project management is a plus, but essentially, a studio producer needs to be an individual who has talent, creativity and the ability to put together a project and complete it successfully, generating both monetary profits as well as artistic acclaim.