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Become A Director/Executive Producer

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Working As A Director/Executive Producer

  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $60,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Director/Executive Producer Do

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

Duties

Producers and directors typically do the following:

  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography
  • Oversee the postproduction process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals

Large productions often have associate, assistant, and line producers who share responsibilities. For example, on a large movie set an executive producer is in charge of the entire production, and a line producer runs the day-to-day operations. A TV show may employ several assistant producers to whom the head or executive producer gives certain duties, such as supervising the costume and makeup team.

Similarly, large productions usually employ several assistant directors, who help the director with tasks such as making set changes or notifying the performers when it is their time to go onstage. The specific responsibilities of assistant producers or directors vary with the size and type of production they work on.

Producers make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, commercial, or stage production. They raise money for the project and hire the director and crew. The crew may include set and costume designers, film and video editors, a musical director, a choreographer, and other workers. Some producers may assist in the selection of cast members. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the production is completed on time, and they are ultimately responsible for the final product.

Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production. They select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of the cast and crew. During rehearsals, they work with the actors to help them more accurately portray their characters. For nonfiction video, such as documentaries or live broadcasts, directors choose topics or subjects to film. They investigate the topic and may interview relevant participants or experts on camera. Directors also work with cinematographers and other crew members to ensure the final product matches the overall vision.

Directors work with set designers, costume designers, location scouts, and art directors to build a project’s set. During a film’s postproduction phase, they work closely with film editors and music supervisors to make sure that the final product comes out the way the producer and director envisioned. Stage directors, unlike television or film directors who document their product with cameras, make sure the cast and crew give a consistently strong live performance. For more information, see the profiles on actors, writers and authors, film and video editors and camera operators, dancers and choreographers, and multimedia artists and animators.

Although directors are in charge of the creative aspects of a show, they ultimately answer to producers. Some directors also share producing duties for their own films.

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How To Become A Director/Executive Producer

Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree and several years of work experience in an occupation related to motion picture, TV, or theater production, such as an actor, film and video editor, or cinematographer.

Education

Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree. Many students study film or cinema at colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process. Others major in writing, acting, journalism, or communication. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Many stage directors complete a degree in theater and some go on to receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Classes may include directing, playwriting, set design, and acting. As of May 2015, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited more than 180 programs in theater arts.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Producers and directors might start out working in a theatrical management office as a business or company manager. In television or film, they might start out as an assistant or another low-profile studio job.

Advancement

As a producer’s or director’s reputation grows, he or she may work on larger projects that attract more attention or publicity.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Producers and directors must coordinate the work of many different people to finish a production on time and within budget.

Creativity. Because a script can be interpreted in different ways, directors must decide how they want to interpret it and then how to represent the script’s ideas on the screen or stage.

Leadership skills. A director instructs actors and helps them portray their characters in a believable manner. They also supervise the crew, who are responsible for the behind the scenes work.

Time-management skills. Producers must find and hire the best director and crew for the production. They make sure that all involved do their jobs effectively, keeping within a production schedule and a budget.

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Director/Executive Producer Career Paths

Director/Executive Producer
Executive Producer Consultant Marketing Manager
Senior Director Of Marketing
12 Yearsyrs
Executive Producer Production Manager Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Producer Production Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Producer Production Manager
Vice President Of Production
8 Yearsyrs
Producer Owner Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Producer Senior Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Producer Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Producer Producer Director Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Managing Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Managing Editor Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Senior Editor Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Senior Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Video Producer Social Media Manager
Digital Marketing Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Social Media Manager Digital Marketing Manager
Director Of Digital Strategy
10 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Media Manager Media Director
Digital Media Director
7 Yearsyrs
Video Producer Co-Founder Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Editor Managing Editor Web Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Producer 4.0 years
Writer/Producer 3.7 years
Executive Producer 3.5 years
Freelance Producer 3.1 years
Media Producer 3.0 years
Editor & Producer 2.9 years
Creative Producer 2.8 years
Video Producer 2.8 years
Producer 2.7 years
Line Producer 2.6 years
Writer/Director 2.5 years
Content Producer 2.1 years
Co-Producer 1.8 years
Assistant Producer 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Director/Executive Producer
Producer 9.6%
Director 6.7%
Internship 4.5%
Top Careers After Director/Executive Producer
Director 7.8%
Producer 6.4%
Owner 2.8%
President 2.6%
Editor 2.6%
Internship 2.4%

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Top Skills for A Director/Executive Producer

  1. Video Production
  2. Production Company
  3. Web Series
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Negotiated contracts with external production companies and rental houses and educated the University community on video production planning and policies.
  • Opened and operated creative film/video and post production company with 4 Final Cut edit suites with full graphics and audio capabilities.
  • Created and managed 4 web series with over 14 million channel views.
  • Control overall company image across all marketing collateral in print and electronic formats, including online.
  • Directed full-scale production operations of all on-air television programming for Countrywide Productions.

Director/Executive Producer Demographics

Gender

Male

61.7%

Female

27.2%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.2%

French

20.3%

Chinese

8.5%

Italian

8.5%

German

6.8%

Mandarin

5.1%

Portuguese

3.4%

Hebrew

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

Swedish

1.7%

Greek

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%
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Director/Executive Producer Education

Schools

New York University

14.9%

Emerson College

8.4%

Syracuse University

7.1%

Ithaca College

5.8%

University of Southern California

5.2%

University of North Texas

4.5%

Northwestern University

4.5%

Ohio State University

4.5%

Howard University

4.5%

Michigan State University

3.9%

San Francisco State University

3.9%

Temple University

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

Full Sail University

3.9%

University of Phoenix

3.9%

University of Miami

3.9%

New York Film Academy

3.2%

University of the Arts

3.2%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.2%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.2%
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Majors

Photography

23.7%

Communication

18.6%

Journalism

9.9%

Business

8.0%

Theatre

5.1%

Digital Media

4.2%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

3.7%

Fine Arts

3.4%

Entertainment Business

3.2%

English

3.0%

Marketing

2.4%

Psychology

2.1%

Political Science

2.1%

Law

1.9%

Management

1.6%

Writing

1.6%

Public Relations

1.6%

Computer Networking

1.4%

Electrical Engineering

1.3%

Business Communications

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.1%

Other

18.1%

Masters

17.2%

Associate

3.4%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

3.0%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.1%
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