Let’s face it: No industry is as competitive as the film industry. Cities like Los Angeles are full of beautiful, glamorous, talented people dying to get their shot at stardom. So how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you go from a nobody to an executive producer on your passion project?
What a Producer Does
If you’re going to produce a film, you have to know what that means. Producers are often considered a jack-of-all-trades of sorts. There are some jobs they don’t do, like shooting, acting, editing, directing, and writing. But other than that, anything is fair game.
Decades ago, a producer was just the guy who bankrolled the project. Bankrolling is still one of the most significant parts, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. Producers are responsible for getting their budget by pitching the film to institutions, investors, or studios willing to take on the project and lend it a budget.
You’ll also need to consider what kind of producer you want to be. Different technical producers handle various aspects of the set. Maybe you’re interested in visual effects, so you can set up some of the film’s shots and work on the postproduction art. Perhaps you’ve got a head for numbers, so you’re more interested in being a line producer.
Producers are part of the project from its inception through its release. You’ll be one of the most foundational people in the film.
No One Path
If there were a magic wand you could wave, you’d have already waved it. The entertainment industry is full of uncertainty! It’s not the kind of place where you can go to school, get a stable job, and then have 2.5 kids and a picket fence.
The fastest way to be a producer is through bankrolling. But let’s face it, a lot of us don’t have money. So what next?
You’ll want to get your foot in the door with a production office or a film management company. The connections you make will matter more than the exact position. As time goes on, you can work your way up, pitching ideas and shopping stories until you’re landing yourself an exec credit.