Being a movie producer may sound like a glamorous job, but it is fraught with responsibilities. Producers of film projects are arguably the most crucial element of a production team, as they are charged both with providing financial stability and the administrative security to make sure the project goes on despite any number of conflicts. Movie producers tend to earn quite a bit of money in salary, but earnings are usually tied to gross profits earned by a film.
A movie producer is responsible for administrative and financial stability throughout the process of shooting a film. The movie producer is chiefly responsible for raising and handling the money that is needed to shoot the movie, but also serves as the point man for the coordination of the entire filming process. Producers must communicate with business people, hire the creative team and facilitate relationships between members of the production.
Producers do not typically have set salaries, as their contracts generally state that they earn a portion of the total profits earned by a film. However, producer pay is roughly similar to that of directors: in 2008, both earned a median hourly wage of $41.32. The average salary for producers involved with motion pictures and video was $108,580 as of 2009.
Percentage of Budget
The exact amount that a producer earns from a film varies from project to project. Usually, this is based on the amount of the budget set aside for the film; producers responsible for producing movies with larger budgets will earn more than small-budget filmmakers. Many film producers working on large-budget films earn about 7 percent of a film's total gross profits as their personal salary.
Finding the Money
A film requires a steady stream of fresh funds to be produced. Sometimes these funds are provided directly by the producer as an out-of-pocket expense, especially in independent filming situations where movies are produced without the help of a large studio. Producers working independent of a studio are more commonly found in the film industry; most movie studios stick to projects that take a budget of $30 million and earn three to seven times as much money. Independent producers either believe enough in the movie's profitability to put up the money themselves or find private investors to provide funding.
- StateUniversity.com: Producer Job Description
- MovieStaff: Movie Producers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Career Guide to Industries - Motion Picture and Video Industries
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics - Producers and Directors
- FilmMakers Magazine: The Film Producer