When a film becomes a classic, or a TV show becomes a sensation, the viewer can become curious as to who rightfully deserves the credit of the success. However though a viewer may believe that it’s down to the actor, or in some cases the director, the real credit goes to a much over looked position – “in the film industry, that person is the producer.”(2)
Despite common believe the Producer is the first person involved in the project.
They are responsible for all phases of production towards the creation of the film, or TV show, and beyond. In the begging the producer finds an idea, whether it be “coming up with the idea for a production, or selecting a screenplay”(1), and then after “purchasing the right to develop the source material, the producer will work with the writer” – “and a story editing team”(1) – “to develop the screenplay.”(1)
Before taking the idea to a potential investor the Producer needs to insure that they have pre-prepared information for everything. From the choice of locations, studio hire, the final shooting script, to production schedule, an idea of the target audience, and the budget – even understanding “the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to prepare health and safety procedures for the workplace.”(1), a top priority responsibility that help to prepare the safety and health procedures of cast and crew. A Producer brings together the pre production aspects, and the final say of what is included lies with the Producer.
Once the screenplay is to a standard, the crew and cast determined, the producer then has the task of finding finance for the film, which is “a delicate balancing act”.
Investors can range from local TV broadcasters to a private investor, and depending on the size of the screenplay – the producer may require a number of investors. All of who “have expectations.”(1). So in order to capture their attention, a producer will do what they can to make the idea as worthwhile as possible – including getting “at least one high-profile actor who satisfies the creative needs of the story, as well as the expectations of the many and varied potential investors”(1) to play a role in the cast.
Once finance is secured, filming can get underway.
It is the responsibility of the producer to ensure “the day-to-day smooth operation of the team”(1) – and ensures that the environment during filming process allows “the talents of the cast and crew can flourish.”(1) They are on set over seeing the process – to ensure the budget is not wasted, and keep the team on schedule – all the while liaise with the director, to ensure the film is meeting the script. And they liaise with the post-production team.
Then the film enters the final stage of production – Post-production.
The producer’s attention will turn to the audience, and this is the point where the producer’s hard work has either paid off – or not. Depending on the success of the film (which if it does, or doesn’t, the producer will be held responsible) the film can either have a “theatrical release and a straight-to-DVD release or, worse, no release at all.”(2) Or in Television – the show can either continue or end completely.
So in conclusion in comparison to an actor – who brings a character to “life” – or a Director – who is the creative force behind the idea. The real credit of a film’s creation belongs to the Producer, as they cover both ( the creative, and create) sides of the production process.