What Are Movie Producers and What’s Their Role?

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When you watch a film, you can be sure that many people were involved at every step. This includes the movie production company, the film producer, all of the actors, a videographer, and hundreds of other people. A quality film is one of the most expensive and time-consuming things to make. When the awards come around, they often go to actors and directors, but sometimes they go to the film producer. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly a film producer does, here’s what you need to know.


A film producer is part of the process from start to finish. He or she will help to develop the idea and the script in coordination with the writer. The next step will be to secure all necessary rights so that the film can be produced. Then, movie producers have to hire the right director, assist with casting choices, and assemble an enormous crew.


Another headache that belongs to the film producer is that of budgeting the project from beginning to end. This will include all kinds of things that you may never have thought of, both in terms of payments and in securing funding for a film, such as through product placement. We all know that actors and crew need to be paid, but there also insurance issues that can be extremely costly. It’s also important to pay for the rights to any music that might be used or to pay musicians directly to produce music for the film. There are also bonds to be paid, enormous taxes, payment for editing services, and even payments to certain locations to allow filming to take place.


Once a movie has been completely filmed, a whole new type of work begins called “postproduction.” Postproduction includes editing the film for time and content, commissioning music and setting it up to match the film, arranging for the stars and the director to market for the film, and many other things.

Multiple Producers

Because there’s so much work involved in producing a film, it’s common to see a lot of names with the word “producer” attached. There is usually a producer, executive producers, co-producers, co-executive producers, and perhaps even an associate producer or line producer. What do all these titles mean?

Executive Producer

This is often a person who owns the rights to the story or the book that is foundational to the film. This person usually has no technical involvement. The co-executive producers usually belong to the studios and have a certain financial stake in what happens with the film.


A co-producer is the one who works directly with the film producer, particularly in postproduction, financing, and casting issues.

Line Producer

A line producer usually supervises the budget to make sure that the film stays under cost from beginning to end. This particular producer usually has no input on the creative side of movie production.

Associate Producer

When you see this title, know that it usually means that person was absolutely essential to resolving some on-set production issue. The title is honorary and is used to acknowledge that person’s contribution. For example, if the script turns out to be unworkable and someone fixes it, they may be awarded the title of associate producer.

Who Gets the Award?

The Best Picture Oscar award typically goes to the producer of the film as the driving force behind the picture. In order to make sure that the right person gets the award, the nominating committee will extensively interview everyone involved with the film from director, to actors, to crew members. They’re looking for a significant contribution, and sometimes even those whose names show up in the title credits as “producer” will not be awarded or acknowledged at the Oscars if their contribution was not significant.

The role of the film producer is arduous and expensive. If the film is a success, the role of a producer can pay off big. If a film is anything less than an enormous success, the role of a producer can involve a tremendous amount of effort for very limited returns. Film producers make movies possible and are one of the most crucial components to the release of a successful motion picture.

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