How To Become A Film Producer: Everything You Need To Know

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how to become a film producer
9 min read

When it comes to filmmaking, people often assume that it is mainly the responsibility of creative individuals such as writers or directors.  That’s not entirely true! There are a few people working behind the curtains; making everything happen and running the show after the director ﹘ they are called producers. 

Producers are individuals who manage the logistical side of film production and play a crucial role in the making of a film. If this hits your interest, then read on to learn how you can become a film producer and what a career in film production looks like. 

What Is A Film Producer?

One of the most complicated roles in film production is that of a producer. For one thing, there are simply so many types of them; and for another, the role is always confused with someone who invests money in films. Film producers are people who run the whole production of a film and make all the important logistical decisions. Most film producers work for big production companies, but some also choose to work independently. 

What Does A Film Producer Do?

A film producer is responsible for finding a potential script and hiring writers, directors, cinematographers, and all other essential personnel involved in film production to turn that script into a feature film. Producers do not finance films from their own pockets but play a key role in securing a budget from production companies or OTT platforms. These producers are often referred to as ‘Executive Producers’. 

Here’s How You Can Become A Film Producer

Now that you know who a film producer is and what they do, let’s talk about how you can become one. 

Start Cultivating Necessary Skills 

Every job requires a certain set of skills, as does a job in film producing. If a film were a ship and the director the captain, a producer would be the commanding officer ﹘ which means that a lot rests on their shoulders. They are charged with overseeing the budgeting, scheduling of the production, and also communicating with all working personnel to create a safe and smooth working environment for everyone involved. 

Here are a few film producer skills that are required by this profession. 

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Scheduling 
  • Budgeting 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Creative thinking 
  • Time management
  • Delegating and multitasking
  • Working under pressure
  • Negotiation skills 

Pro Tip: One of the best ways to start cultivating film producer’s skills early on is to participate in organising events or volunteer in theatre productions happening in your college or city. The experience you gain from this will give you an edge and come in very handy in the future.  

Take A Film Production Course

Like most career paths in filmmaking, film production doesn’t require any kind of formal training. However, having a degree in filmmaking-related courses can be a plus because you will be trained by experts and will get to work on real-time projects with your peers, thus helping you harness the necessary skills early on. You will also get an opportunity to intern at production houses and work on real movie sets. 

how to become a film producer
Snapshot from Legally Blonde

But film schools can be an expensive affair. And if you’re not up for that you can still choose to take short term crash courses on filmmaking, join a college film group or go on your own and produce short films with your friends and build your portfolio by yourself. 

Stay Up To Date With The Industry

Watching films and reading screenplays is a very important part of self-growth for anyone who aspires to work in the film industry one day as an actor, writer or director. But for someone who wants to become a film producer they have to take it up a notch. 

Apart from watching films, you need to stay updated on the projects that are currently being made, their respective production houses, the budget, the cast, and much more. You also need to analyse which genres are popular and how much they make at the box office. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine what type of films you should work in. You can stay updated by following relevant people on social media, reading articles on entertainment news websites, and subscribing to magazines and newsletters dedicated to filmmaking or entertainment. 

Find Internship Opportunities

Internships are a great way to enhance your skills and put them to the test. It doesn’t matter if you went to film school ﹘ you can still apply for internships in filmmaking. If you’ve got the required skills and passion for it, then you have nothing to worry about.  

By doing an internship, you will get the chance to work under industry professionals and also network with them, which can make entering the industry much easier. You can look for internships in production companies, animation and VFX studios, or in casting and talent agencies. Getting an internship in any field within film and television can greatly help you kick start your career as a film producer. 

Move Where Films Are Made

To work in the film industry, you have to be close to the film industry. Films in general are made everywhere in some capacity, but there are a few cities around the world that are hotspots for some major film industries. For Hollywood, it is Los Angeles and New York;  for Bollywood, it is Mumbai. Filmmaking jobs are not the ‘work from home’ kind; as a film producer, you will be required at every stage of production and will have to be present on the film set at all times to manage smooth operations. So moving to a city where the film industries operate will work to your benefit and will increase your chances of starting a career in films.

how to become a film producer
Snapshot from FRIENDS

Become A Production Assistant

Now that you have moved to a city where films are made, it’s time to look for a job on a movie set. The best entry-level role for an upcoming film producer is the role of a production assistant. The job of a production assistant can be very tedious as it involves running errands and helping the cast and crew with everything they need. However,  it also allows you to meet people and widen your professional network. 

A production assistant works closely with the director and the producers. By working in this role, you can shadow them and learn everything you can by watching them work. It might seem tough at first, but with time, you’ll have every opportunity to scale your way to the top and finally become a film producer. 

Produce Short Films

If you cannot go to film school and moving to a different city isn’t an option for you, then you should put all your focus on building your portfolio. There are a lot of aspiring writers and directors out there who want to get their short films made, but don’t know how to. Collaborate with them to produce their short films, as this will help you establish yourself as a small-time independent film producer in your city. To scale your way to the top, submit those short films to festivals. Film festivals are a great way to showcase your work and get recognised for it by industry professionals ﹘ that’s where you might also get your big break. 

how to become a film producer
Sofia Coppola

As a bonus, here are a few commonly asked questions around film producers that I came across while writing this blog. 

FAQs

  1. What Are The Different Types Of Producers?

As mentioned earlier, there are several producers that work on a film set who perform different duties. 

Here are a few types of producers majorly found in feature film production. 

  • Executive producer 
  • Line producer 
  • Creative producer 
  • Field producer 
  • Associate producer 
  • VFX producer 
  • Segment producer 
  • Supervising producer 
  1. How Much Is A Film Producer’s Salary?

The salary of a film producer depends on various factors like what type of film producer you are, which film or production company you are working in, and where you are working. In India, the average annual salary of a film or tv producer is 9 lacs and can range up to 20 lacs according to Payscale. But it can range higher than that, depending on your past work and years of experience. 

  1. Is Movie Producing A Good Career?

It is a wonderful career option. Life as a film producer is quite exciting and is never monotonous; you get to work with several talented actors, writers, and directors. It is a competitive field, but if you keep at it and give it time, you can make your way to an executive producer role ﹘ or even better ﹘ to the role of a CEO of your own production company. 

Now you know everything you need to know about how to become a film producer. You’re all set to start your career in filmmaking! 

You’re invited! Join the Kool Kanya women-only career Community where you can network, ask questions, share your opinions, collaborate on projects, and discover new opportunities. Join now.

Siddhesh is a dreamer living in his imaginative world filled with drama & thrilling action. In the real world, he is a digital marketer by profession and a filmmaker, writer, dancer by passion. Being a man of the arts, he is always dabbling his feet in anything that interests him and is constantly on a quest to learn more. He loves watching films and reviewing them and believes cinema to be his one true love.

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