"Film Producers are the CEO's of the Filmmaking Process."
Film Producers deserve special recognition in the crazy world of filmmaking. They're argueably the top authority in the chain of command, probably because one of their chief responsibilities has to do with money.
So just what is a producer and what do they actually do? Because their position has to do with finances they're generally responsible for fund raising, hiring key people and arranging distribution for the completed film. Because a producer has control of a film project they even have the power to terminate the director (if needed, of course...). A producer's compensation package is generally at least 120K to 300K per movie.
The role of the producer has shifted over the decades. Before the 1950's during the heyday of Hollywood's Studio System, film producers were extremely powerful, enjoying creative control as well as financial and managerial control of a film project. Nowadays, the director is usually the one to hold creative control.
There have been quite a few well known producers over the years, both past and present. In many cases producers have directed films as well. Also, well known and successful Film Actors who have the privelege of deep pockets thanks to their commercial success, have decided to step into both the producers and directors chair. By acting in, producing and directing a film, they enjoy complete control over every aspect of a film project.
Just a smattering of famous producers would be Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick and Nora Ephron, just to name a few. There are actually too many producers to cover them all, but we'll try our best to speak of the giants at least.
There are several positions within the movie production team that also bear the title of producer. At the very top is the Executive Producer - usually the CEO or direct representative of the film studio. Below the Executive Producer is the Co-Producer, who reports to the Producer or Executive Producer. Then you have the Associate Producer who acts as the representative of the Producer. The Assistant Producer is usually just under the Associate Producer. The Production Director is assigned to the set as a representative of the film company. The Production Director title is typically NOT used in feature filmmaking. The Line Producer reports to the film studio or finacier and oversees the film's budget as well as the day to day activities.
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