stupid question about movies

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by PeterK, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    sorry for the dumb question, but exactly is the difference between the producer and the executive producer of a movie?
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    The producer is usually responsible for getting the financing together, hiring the key players, and keeping the production on time and on budget. The executive producer is someone who is sleeping with the star.* [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe

    (* Or someone else getting an empty title for what amount to vanity reasons. Steven Spielberg has gotten the Executive Producer title on several projects done by his proteges, in some of which he's had little or no direct involvement. But when a friend of his wants to get a studio to back a project, it really helps if you can sell it as a "Steven Speilberg Production". Often TV stars get an "EP" title and a little script approval when a show gets big enough in the ratings. Generally "line producers" do the actual work, "executive producers" do anything from general oversight and help with the money to nothing at all.)

    BTW, shouldn't this question be in the forum set aside for Movie discussions? [​IMG]
     
  3. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 1999
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1
    PeterK,
    There are no dumb questions!
    Yours certainly deserved a better response than what Joseph came up with, but, to tell the truth, he was right on the money. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff D Han

    Jeff D Han Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    I always wondered what the Executive Producer does
    as well. I thought the EP got the financing for the
    production together, and the producer took care of
    the day-to-day operation of the production.
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    On a slightly less sarcastic note:

    Most jobs on a film set are governed by unions and very precisely defined. But "producer" and "executive producer" reallly are terms of art that mean whatever the folks in a given production want them to. Once upon a time, in the days of the old studio system, a producer actually produced a film, and there was no such thing as an "executive producer". Later a senior producer might oversee the work of several junior producers working on simultaneous productions - and involve him/herself to different degrees on each one, according to the experience of the producer and the complexity of the film.

    But the end of the studio system, where everyone was under ocntract, and the rise of both individual actors and mega-agents as packagers of projects (the people who line up the actor, the script and the director, and bring the whole thing to the studio for financing, production and distributuion) anybody can be called a "producer" for any reason or no reason at all - although "line producer" definitely indicates someone who works for a living and "producer" still may. The deadwood usually gets the "executive producer" credit.

    The classic example of this was Joh Peters, a hairdresser who was then Barbra Streisand's boyfriend, who "produced" her dreadful 1976 remake of A Star is Born. As I noted above in some cases actors in TV series are credited as executive producers or consultants and given some degree of script approval - sometimes in lieu of pay increases, or at least in exchange for smaller ones than they initially demanded. Alan Alda on M*A*S*H was one of the pioneers of this practice, William Peterson of CSI is a more recent example.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1999
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Executive Producer usually comes up with the most money. Associate Producers tend to come up with smaller amounts. Since there isn't a "Producer's Guild" I don't think there is a limit to how many you can have.

    Another theory is sometimes you have three or four different companies involved with the making of a film, but the Executive Producer is the guy in Distribution.

    This may be a question for Anwer Man Roger Ebert.
     
  7. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1999
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to WikPedia:

    Movies

    An executive producer of a motion picture is typically a producer who is not necessarily involved in any creative or technical aspects of production. They generally handle business issues, and may be a financier of a movie. Some executive producers act as representatives of the studio or production company that is releasing or producing a film, occasionally being credited as Executive in charge of production.

    Many times someone will receive executive producer credit because of prior involvement with a property that has been optioned into a film, even if they had no direct input into the production of the film itself. Some instances of this include authors of optioned works, people who had previously owned or currently own the rights to a property, or someone who had been producing or had been involved in the production of a previous version of a film.
     
  8. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 1999
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Real Name:
    Brian W. Ralston
    ok...some of these definitions are correct, some are way off. I am primarily a film composer, but have now also produced an award winning short that is now eligible for Academy Oscar consideration for 2005. So I am just speaking from my own knowledge of what I do. Basically in the heirarchy of producing, the list from most important to least important goes something like this:

    - Producer
    - Co-Producer / Line producer (specific tasks about same level of importance)
    - Executive Producer (usually the people actually making the show never see this person)
    - Associate Producer (otherwise known as the one who gets coffee for the people above)

    The main people who are making the show happen are the producers. That is why these are the people who get the Academy award for best picture, etc...not the director or the other co/exec/line producers. Producers simply make things happen on all levels and even have creative approval over what is going on. Sometimes they even have connection to the money...sometimes not.

    Exec producers are usually money related. Either, they provided it...or they managed the investors money...or they dealt with insurance and more funding/business issues, etc...But in some cases...if the exec producer is a big name, be careful to believe that they worked on the project at all. Sometimes people work out deals to associate big names with a production under "executive producer" status because they think it will help the project's overall success. But that exec proiducer didn't do anything at all. It really is a next to meaningless credit with some exceptions (like when they are actually providing lots of money).

    Line producers generally are only seen when the show is filming. On the set they are running the show and taking care of the little details...from making sure things are on schedule and carrying out the producers wishes...Coordinating with the First AD...to the food being set up in time...to coordinating with the various grips and crowd control...and city people with permits, etc... They do all the things that allow the crew to film ON SET. If you see someone on the set who is constantly on his cell phone, it is probably the line producer. During pre-production and post-production (still vital parts of a shows creation), the line producer is not really around and is probably onto his next gig by then. But the Producers are still there from beginning to end...working with sound, film color timing...scoring...etc...

    Make sense?

    Co-producers are producers who are usually given specific tasks within the overall job of producing. One might be more in charge of pre-production work...while one might be more focused on post-production, etc...This one varies.

    From my experience Associate producers are usually random task people and are filling in the cracks with whatever the producers tell them to do. They are usually newer to the biz...working their way up the ladder and gaining experience. This credit is sometimes given out way too freely. Saying that Associate producers are the ones who get coffee is not too much of a stretch sometimes. It all depends on who is giving out the credit.

    Remember in Hollywood...you kind of...fail upwards. [​IMG]
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    In Baseball terms:

    Executive Producer = Owner of the team
    Producer = General Manager
    Director = Coach
    Associate Producer = Bat Boy
     

Share This Page