Industry Roles – Production
The Producer will work on the production for the entire process from the initial concept right through to marketing and distribution. They are vital to the success of the final piece, as they oversee every aspect of production. They hire key members of the production team; approve locations, schedules, budgets, and scripts. They must be brilliant negotiators when dealing with suppliers, and motivators as they work directly with the production and post-production team to ensure that everyone is on track and happy.
The Digital Producer is responsible for producing film, video and digital media, ensuring that proposed campaigns can be delivered on time and on budget. The Digital Producer manages creative and technical projects for Television and New Media including the Internet, and Mobile Communications. They must balance what is technically possible and achievable within the given budget, whilst aiming to create something which is creatively exceptional.
As Edit Producer does not work on location, their role starts at a later date as they supervise the edit suites. If a show is being shot and cut at the same time an Edit Producer is brought in to work from the edit suites while the PD is busy on location. The Edit Producer organises the rushes and script and develops the narrative, so they are expert storytellers.
The Executive Producer secures funding, and organises marketing strategies to try and make sure that the projects they are working on are popular, as they are held ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the project. Executive Producers must have creativity and vision, to be able to recognise good ideas which will be commercially successful, and they must also have a strong understanding of business in terms of finance and legal obligations.
The Series Producer has a key role in shaping the production story, as they oversee the whole production and post-production team. They develop scripts, are involved in the filming process, and supervise the edit. Since they are so heavily involved in the show from start to finish, they are considered as a senior member of the team.
The Producer / Director works closely with an Editor/ Series Producer, to take an idea from conception with the aim of delivering a programme on time and on budget to the highest standard possible. There are several attributes a PD must possess in order to be successful. They must have the ability to generate original and creative ideas and be able to explain them clearly. In addition they should be highly reliable and organised, and be able to manage a team, so good communication skills are essential.
The Director is responsible for the creative vision; they write or study scripts and decide how it is best to interpret them. Directors must have a strong understanding of all areas of the production from the initial concept right through to the edit. In addition to casting, directing the camera crew, choosing appropriate kit and locations, they must be aware of any budget or schedule restraints. Directors are highly creative and multitalented; and there are several different types of specialist including Animation, Art, Casting, Studio, and Film Directors.
Production Runner/ Assistant
The Production Runner / Assistant is an entry level role, which can be office or location based. Duties vary extensively from ensuring contributors needs are met, performing admin duties, fetching lunches, to cleaning up sets. Sometimes the Runner / Assistant is required to drive crew to and from locations, so many companies will specify that they need to hire someone over the age of 25 for insurance reasons. Hours are often long and pay can be low, but it’s a brilliant role for gaining contacts and then moving into other areas.
The Production Coordinator works closely with the Production Manager. They have a mainly office based role, often co-ordinating staff and sourcing CVs for the Production Manager and Producer to consider. The Co-ordinator also works with the crew writing shooting schedules, call sheets, risk assessments, and organising any travel (such as flights), accommodation, visas, and carnets for international shoots. They liaise between Production and Post-Production teams and complete Post-Production delivery paperwork.
The Production Manager is an extremely important role, as they are ultimately responsible for organising all aspects of the production schedule and budgeting. They work across all genres of television to guarantee that the production meets deadlines, channel guidelines, stays within budget and that the day to day running of the production is as efficient as possible.