A producer and director is responsible for overseeing, approving, and producing commercials, films, and various televised programs. They manage all aspects including staff, actors, rehearsals in addition to many other aspects. Producers may also be responsible for the financial cost and budgeting allotted funds appropriately.
Watch a video to learn what a producer or director does.
How to Become a Producer or Director
Normally, a bachelor’s degree with several years of work experience in the motion picture, theater production, or television is expected of a producer and director. Some begin careers as assistants and work their way up to become a producer or director. A background in cinematography, acting, film, or video editing is helpful.
Common degrees to earn are in communication, film, cinema, language arts, theater, or acting. Those working towards becoming a producer sometimes seek degrees in business, nonprofit management, or arts management as well. Students seeking to become directors may choose to earn a degree in theater and go on to achieve a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.
The National Association of Schools of Theater accredits more than 150 programs in theater arts. Most of these programs include studies in set design, acting, directing, playwriting, lighting, film history, or courses in creating their own films and editing.
Job Description of a Producer or Director
By interpreting a writer’s script a producer and director can create motion pictures, live theater, television shows, and other performing arts productions. They must select scripts and pick cast members through auditions as well as hire stage or film crew members.
In the post-production process they oversee special effects, editing, music and the quality of the overall performance. They are in charge of the production process to include but not limited to choreography, performances, and lighting. He or she is responsible for approving any new changes in production and ensure that they still remain within the budget and meet schedules and deadlines. This can be stressful and result in a lot of pressure.
Larger productions usually have assistants, associates, and line producers to share in the responsibilities of getting the project finished. Work hours can be irregular and often times long. They are required to work weekends, holidays, and evenings. Traveling and working outside is common. This can involve bad weather and uncomfortable conditions at times.
Producer or Director Career Video Transcript
To craft an entertaining production takes both creative vision and leadership skills. Based on a writer’s script, producers and directors create movies, videos, television shows, live theater, and commercials. Producers make the business and financial decisions for a production. They raise money and hire the director and crew. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the production is completed on time, and hold the responsibility for the final product.
Directors make the creative decisions. They select the cast, run rehearsals, and guide actors’ portrayal of their characters. At early phases, directors work closely with costume and set designers and location scouts to set the right scene. After a film is shot, they consult with the film editors and music directors to ensure the final product matches their vision. For live performances, stage directors support a consistent, strong performance. Work hours in these fields are often long and irregular, and pressure to finish projects on time is constant.
Employment may be temporary, and travel is common… whether to tour with a theater production, or shoot a TV show or movie on location. A combination of a bachelor’s degree and several years’ related work experience is the usual path to enter these fields. A background in acting, film and video editing, or cinematography are typical.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Producers and Directors.
National Center for O*NET Development. 27-2012.01. O*NET OnLine.