Movie Producer: Career Definition, Employment Outlook and Education Requirements

Movie producers provide financing and organizational skills required for making movies. Learn about the education requirements, job duties and employment outlook for movie producers. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Movie producers use a broad range of management and relationship skills in their work, but there are no formal requirements to become one. Experience with negotiation, business and other aspects of the film industry are helpful in this career.

Responsibilities Arrange financing; select scripts, directors, and crew; audition cast members; choose locations
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12% (producers and directors)
Training No formal requirements; programs in arts management are available; experience in theatrical management and film production can be valuable

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Movie Producers Do?

Movie producers make the behind-the-scenes decisions that are vital to the film making process. Producers spend a large amount of their time negotiating deals with staff, talent and contractors who work on movies. Movie producers who work for large companies serve as emissaries between corporate executives and artistic talent, such as directors. Some movie producers work independently from the traditional structure in order to gain workplace autonomy; however, this requires that they also take on more risk by assuming more responsibility. Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of producers are:

  • Arranging for financing
  • Selecting scripts
  • Choosing directors and actors
  • Selecting locations
  • Overseeing the postproduction process
  • Managing the production schedule and budget
  • Promoting the finished product

What Kind of Job Prospects Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 134,700 jobs for producers and directors existed in 2016. From 2016 to 2026, job growth for these workers is expected to be about 12%, which is faster-than-average growth for all occupations. Much of this projected growth can be attributed to the increase of reality programs as well as more shows on internet-only platforms that utilize streaming services. As of May 2017, the median salary for producers and directors was $71,620.

What Training Do I Need?

While there are no formal requirements to become a movie producer, many universities offer programs in arts management and similar subjects that teach students the basics of the film industry. Accredited institutions that offer degrees in theater arts can be found on the National Association of Schools of Theatre website. Many movie producers come from a business management background; others have previously worked as directors and actors. No matter what, having a background in areas like finance, marketing, management, film production, directing, and acting are essential for anyone interested in becoming a movie producer.

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