To become a producer you need a mix of creative, organisational and motivational skills.
Working in television, film or video, you have an oversight of all production. You are central to the operation from conception through to completion and may even have a role in marketing and distribution.
Working closely with directors and other production staff, either in a studio or on location, you will maintain a safe and focused professional environment.
Here at City, University of London our range of media courses can put you on the right path towards working as a producer.
Strong industry connections and a central London location on the doorstep of world-leading broadcasters and production companies will give you a real advantage.
What can I expect as a producer?
As a producer you are a multi-skilled film and television project manager. Overseeing the entire project lifecycle, you lead and organise teams to make sure projects are delivered on time and within budget.
Your creative input may help shape the content and style of productions, but generally your responsibilities concern the commercial and practical side of the operation.
Specific duties of a producer can vary from project to project. It can mean securing funding from sponsors, managing budgets, creating production plans and hiring staff.
Other duties can include:
- Reading, researching and assessing ideas and scripts
- Commissioning writers or securing rights to novels, plays or screenplays
- Shaping creative and practical talent to make an effective team
- Controlling the production budget
- Motivating teams in challenging situations
- Organising shooting schedules
- Holding regular meetings with the director
- Ensuring compliance with relevant regulations
- Supervising through to post-production.
When filming, you will supervise staff and liaise with the director, delegating to assistant producers and troubleshooting when needed.
Self-employment is regular in the industry as work is usually offered on a contract basis. The unpredictable freelance nature of work can mean you have to manage financial insecurity.
You will need to be flexible and mobile in terms of where you work and have the confidence to manage a high level of financial responsibility.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a producer, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
Who can I work for as a producer?
You are likely to work for independent production companies, television companies and broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV or Channel 4, or a combination of all of them.
Work is usually offered on a contract or freelance basis and you will probably be self- employed.
Your graduate job search may initially focus on runner positions. These are a good way of gaining experience and establishing contacts.
Researching and monitoring the industry and individual companies of interest is advisable.
What about work experience as a producer?
You should capitalise on any chance to network before, during or after your degree. Seek work placement schemes with large broadcasters such as BBC, Channel 4 and ITV. These have formal schemes but they are incredibly competitive.
Also worth considering is voluntary work at television and film festivals, where you can find good networking opportunities and seminars. You could also concentrate on producing your own content.
As a producer you will have several years of relevant experience and an extensive understanding of programme-making, including directing and editing.
What are my prospects as a producer?
If your professional reputation, profile and track record develop in a positive way, your prospects as a producer are good.
Unlike many professions there is no fixed structure or route for promotion. The nature of the industry is transient, focusing on individual short-term projects.
A way to gain more predictability and stability could be to ultimately create your own production studio, or move towards working as an executive producer responsible for several projects.
You should be rewarded for having a hunger to learn about all aspects of the industry, giving yourself as many skills and contacts as possible television.
In the early years of your career you might find that a willingness to volunteer on new projects will launch you in the right direction.