What are Film Producers

To become a Film Producer no formal education required; film school degree (recommended). To discover if this career is for you, take one of our free career quizzes.

Film producers manage funding, film staff and contracts to make movies a reality. Travel is often required, and producers often work long hours and sometimes in unpleasant weather conditions.

Film Directors and Film Producers received a mean annual wage of $90,240 which translates to a median wage of $33.40 per hour.

Film Producer Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $72,500
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,998,000

Film Producer – Education

Film school offers aspiring filmmakers hands-on training and knowledge of how to create a film. Schools will teach you how to handle cameras, give direction on screenwriting, how to properly handle directing, learn different editing techniques, and how to handle overall production design, just to name a few. Making a film is a major undertaking with a lot of moving parts.

Film provides you an opportunity to learn in a supportive atmosphere to help make your films projects successful. Not every creative type is fit to be successful in this tough and highly competitive world. See if it is right for you and take a good personality and profession quiz.

Film Producer – The Job

In order to become a movie producer, you must first realize what role they play on set. They are the supervisors of the project. They handle everything from finding the material to produce, to negotiating actor contracts, to finding money to create the project. This profession is definitely not the best ticket for everybody.

One way to become a producer is finding a script or a book or a writer to create some material for you to turn into a film on your own. You will then need to find a way to raise the capital necessary to make the film. Once you have the script and money you are well on your way to becoming a producer. The next steps are to find the people necessary to make the film a reality like a director and actors. Another way is to get a job in development at one of the studios in Hollywood and working your way up the food chain.

Film School Career Opportunities

Film schools can open a wide range of career opportunities in the film-making industry. Depending upon your aspirations there is a job for you on the movie set. For example, you could be…

  • Art Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Associate Producer (production or Post)
  • Best Boy
  • Boom Operator
  • Casting Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Costume Designer
  • Director
  • Dolly Grip
  • Editor
  • Foley Artist
  • Gaffer
  • Key Grip
  • Location Manager
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Producer
  • Production Manager
  • Sound Engineer
  • Set Designer

Best Film Schools

  • 1. NYU Film School
  • 2. UCLA Film School
  • 3. Columbia Film School
  • 4. California Institute of the Arts
  • 5. American Film Institute
  • 6. International Film School
  • 7. Chapman University
  • 8. San Diego State University
  • 9. Savannah College of Art & Design
  • 10. Industry Film School

Tips for first-time filmmakers

The very nature of producing a clip is largely down to trial and error. Even something you’ve done wrong or failed to check can give you an interesting shot or sound; this could even become one of your trademarks later on.

Tricks of the trade are common in film, as amateur directors are always looking to cut costs and improve production. You’ll eventually find yourself being more willing to experiment with different approaches to film. However, at the start, all you’ll want is to know how to capture a clear version of your idea. Here are some tips on all three main areas.

Equipment

You won’t need to worry about green rooms and make-up rooms just yet, but there are a couple of items you cannot do without. To give you a steady shot, invest in a good quality tripod. Now, amateur filmmakers sometimes think they can do without a stand for their camera as they plan on following the subject around. This can easily be done by using the zoom controls on the camera and enabling the tripod to twist, as most stands have this function.

Even if you’re working with a tight budget, try and avoid making your own as you won’t have the luxury of checking the spirit level; meaning your version of a steady and centered shot will be purely down to guesswork. Also, buying or borrowing an external mic should significantly improve the quality of your sound – no matter how close or far away your subject is positioned.

Filming

You’ll be able to read up on techniques for capturing scenes later. For now, just learn about time-saving tips that will ensure production runs smoothly. First, don’t feel like you have to film in chronological order. You might find yourself subconsciously deciding to shoot a scene later as it comes later on in your film. To save time, capture everything you need to at the one location, then move onto the next one.

To get the best out of your cast, film all of your hardest, most important scenes at the start of production or on the first day at the location. This is will guarantee you get the best performance out of your charged subjects. For the filming itself, you might want to think about attending a course on film production  offering some of the best schools around.

Basic edit

All the buttons and controls on an edit window might tempt you into applying flashy effects to your scenes. The best graphics are the ones you custom build – and you’ll learn how to produce them later on – but, for now, it’s best to focus on where your cuts are occurring. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless with your edit to erase mistakes, even if this cuts down your estimated production time. When doing this, just stick to using basic tools; remembering that less is more.