What are the functions of a producer?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DeathStar1, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    The michael Gross Ghostbusters interview is confirmed. It'll probably take place sometime in mid July. but a simple question. What does the job of a producer entail? I'm trying to get all my facts straight before I get my questions ready.

    Also, would his name attached to the Real Ghostbusters project just be an honorary thing sicne he was involved in the movies, or would he have been really involved in the creative process?
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    I'm no expert, but I believe a producer on a film is the "money man." They usually have a significant financial investment and/or line up additional financing for the project. Their involvement in the creative process varies depending on the producer, director, etc. Some are very involved, some have little involvement. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  3. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I believe that they are also involved in choosing the director, writer and principal cast, if that hasn't been done yet. But for the most part, I think they're pretty much the conduit between the director and the studio, at least as far as money goes.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    They produce. [​IMG] They rent studio space, are involved in casting and hiring behind the scenes talent, and act as a liaison with the studio/other funders. They basically manage the logistics of the operation and personnel.
     
  5. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    Yeah. "Real" producers (i.e., not those just getting honorary credit for little effort) are the people that hold the film together. They don't necessarily finance the project, but they do manage the money (budget).
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I work with small independant producers, and yes, they pretty much do everything except the actual work itself. Jason used the best word "manage", they are basically doing a mangers job where they make sure everything goes as smooth as possible.

    And as Colin responded, it also depends on how good they are. A "Good" producer will do a LOT more and get involved in more of the processes than others do.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Jason summed it up neatly.
     
  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I think of them as project managers for movies. They are ze boss.

    --
    Holadem
     
  9. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    What about executive producers? That DOES seem like an honorary title given to people whose involvement with the film is rather indirect.
     
  10. Johnny V

    Johnny V Agent

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    Yes, as I understand it, an Executive Producer is "the money man/woman" only.
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  12. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>And as Colin responded, it also depends on how good they are. A "Good" producer will do a LOT more and get involved in more of the processes than others do.>>

    Hmm, judging from his commentary on the DVD, I'm guessing that he's one of the 'Good' Producers. He seemed to have a bit of info here and there that the other guys didn't bring up....

    Thanks for the help guys [​IMG]. I can now focus a bit more on where and how to direct my questions... Asking for a few good actor stories, and bloopers, are probably going to be limited to later questions..
     
  13. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Yeah, Executive Producers only put up the cash. Being the big money people they do have full say in what they are paying for. (edit - or I should say that they at least represent the money if not supplying it themselves)

    A regular producer is the guy that makes sure everything gets bought, scouted, talent hired, cars rented, and so on. How much they choose to delegate is up to them.

    I think much of the time the Exec Producer hires the Producer just like hiring a director or actor. A Producer is much more likely to have a direct effect on a film's outcome/look/style because of this. They can affect how well the shooting plans go, how happy the crew is, and what types of art direction the film goes with.

    An established producer might have a certain team of grips, art direction, makeup, etc that they usually go with.

    And producers are the ones that fight all the fires during regular production, like equipment breaking down.

    Of course, much like anything else people in one position might actually be doing the work of another at the same time, but that doesn't alter what the TITLE means.

    This is how Bruckheimer can still be Exec Producer yet have so much influence on his films that we acknowledge them as a Bruck film as much as by the actual director for the film.

    In that way I think Bruck differs from Weinstien because Harvey seems to only get hands on with his pet projects and in those cases I believe he still takes on the title of producer instead of executive producer.
     
  14. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Am I correct in thinking that Line Producers are basically the hands-on producers that Jason described?
     
  15. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I believe so Kirk, I was going to post a similar comment.

    Exec. producers' involvement can vary wildly, the example of Jerry Bruckheimer has already been raised as one such, another might be George Lucas in the Indiana Jones movies, or even ESB and RotJ. These are obviously very influential exec. producers who really have a direct hand in shaping the movie. As a "negative" example, Rick Berman on most Star Trek post-Roddenberry...

    At the other extreme, the example of Kevin McClory comes to mind for Thunderball, where they basically gave him the credit just to shut him up about his claim to have some rights in the movie-version of Bond, having helped to adapt Fleming's book(s) into screenplay(s).
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  17. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    I was searching for a thread like this. I know it's been a long time since someone posted, but this sort of fits the subject:

    Why do today's TV shows and movies have so many producers? I counted over 20 once for a single episode of Drew Carey, and it's that way for virtually every sitcom, drama and theatrical film. Surely it can't take that many people to literally "produce" a show. There are multiple credits under every category of producer, including "co-executive" and "supervising" producers.

    Plus, what's the difference between a "Producer: John Doe" credit and a "Produced by: Jane Roe" credit (and there can be more than one "produced by," IIRC) for the same episode/movie?
     
  18. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    Maybe since TV operates on a much tighter schedule, producer duties are handled by more people to lessen the individual workload, i.e. so that things get done quicker. Plus I imagine there may be a little more complexity to the logistics of a television series.

    I'm no expert on television, so don't make any bets [​IMG]

     
  19. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Pure guess, but I'd say a long-running TV show has "accumulated" a lot more producers over the course of its lifespan, i.e. they were involved in hands-on producing the show at one stage, no longer do but their contracts entitle them to maintain the credit in future shows, possibly because of some creative input they had earlier that helped "mould" the show into its present form.
     

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