What Is an Executive Producer?
An executive producer (EP) is in charge of hiring for, managing, and organizing a movie, television, radio, music, or stage production. Job duties include securing funding, maintaining a schedule, and managing cast and crew. Education requirements vary, although a bachelor’s degree in film or journalism may be helpful.
Executive producers usually work their way up through a production company or start their own. Because it is a relatively high-level career, EPs must demonstrate an affinity for delegating tasks and the ability to multitask.
Degree Level Varies; bachelor’s degree common
Degree Field(s) Film, journalism, music production, communication, or related field
Experience Industry experience is vital
Key Skills Delegation, multi-tasking, communication, organization, negotiation, and planning skills; basic business and market skills a plus
Job Outlook (2018-2028)* 5% growth (for producers and directors)
Median Annual Salary (2019)** $95,398
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Executive Producer Job Description
An executive producer is the head producer who oversees the creation of a film, television show, radio broadcast, music album, or theater performance. An executive producer usually works for a production company, but may have his or her own production company. Job locations can vary from inside a studio or theater to exotic filming locations.
Executive Producer Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that producers and directors held about 152,400 jobs in 2018, with a projected employment growth of 5% between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as average compared to other jobs during this same time period. Executive producers made a median annual salary of $95,398 as reported in September 2019 by Payscale.com.
What Does an Executive Producer Do?
Executive producers work on the business side of production and are responsible for seeing a production through from beginning to end. They ensure that a production meets goals such as helping a television station remain competitive, projecting the intended brand image of a company, and introducing new concepts or ideas.
Producer vs. Executive Producer
While an executive producer is in charge of the big picture, a producer is more involved with the day-to-day aspects of production. The producer is generally in charge of various administrative aspects, including hiring and overseeing cast and crew, writing and editing content, maintaining a budget, and creating work schedules. The producer is frequently hired by the executive producer and may be responsible for ensuring the executive producer’s vision comes to fruition. A producer must also understand and work within union regulations.
There are no specific education requirements for an executive producer. Many executive producers advance into the position after working within the industry. A bachelor’s degree in film, music management, communications, or journalism may provide an aspiring executive producer with a helpful background.
A bachelor’s degree program in filmmaking covers technical aspects of production including screenwriting, audio and digital video recording, and editing. Students also learn about the industry, marketing, and administrative aspects of producing. For those who would like to further their studies, a master’s degree in film and video editing may also be a good option.
A music management degree can help a would-be record producer learn about the latest technology in recording. Classes might also cover aspects of contract negotiation, marketing through radio broadcasts, and concert promotion techniques useful to executive producers.
A degree in business communications may benefit executive producers by giving them background knowledge on how to make deals with other businesses, as well as the hiring and management aspects of the executive producer role.
A bachelor’s degree program in journalism provides a student with skills that are useful for producing, including effective writing, editing, reporting, and communications. Journalism coursework might also cover related topics such as advertising, public relations, and broadcasting.
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