Film producers work with actors, writers, and other creative professionals to make movies. But unlike other jobs in film production, they are involved in every stage of the filmmaking process, from casting actors to editing soundtracks.
Because the role of a movie producer is so broad, there is no single path to becoming one. Some producers might get their start working as a production assistant or as a "gopher" for one of the big production companies, such as Paramount or DreamWorks. Others might have a background in entertainment law or business.
School for Movie Producers
Today, there is another way to pursue a career as a movie producer: through formal training in a movie production program. You can find such programs within film schools or art institutes. They may include a multidisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the business and creative sides of filmmaking. You can learn how to assemble a cast and hire a production crew, and how to draw up a production budget and stay within its limits.
Film Producer Salary and Career Outlook
Here's an idea of what film producers can expect to see in the coming years in terms of salary and job growth:
|Career||Total Employment||Annual Mean Wage||Projected Job Growth Rate|
|Producers and Directors||118,630||$89,840||4.8%|
Getting a Job as a Film Producer
While formal training in filmmaking can help prepare you for a career as a producer, it's no guarantee that it will land you a job as an assistant producer right away. The motion picture industry is highly competitive. What's more, the role of movie producer is one of the most sought-after jobs in the industry, making it particularly competitive.
Those with the best chances of landing jobs as film producers have a good sense for the movie business, an eye for scripts and books that adapt well to the screen, and an ability to solve problems. If you're just getting started in your career, you'll likely have to take on a low-level production job. Those with the most talent and persistence have the best chances of becoming movie producers.
- Producers and Directors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed June 2019, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/producers-and-directors.htm
- Producers and Directors, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed June 2019, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes272012.htm