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Become A Freelance Producer

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Working As A Freelance 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

  • $63,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Freelance 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 Freelance 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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Freelance Producer Career Paths

Freelance Producer
Producer Owner Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Production Manager
Vice President Of Production
8 Yearsyrs
Producer Production Manager Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Editor Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Technical Writer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor Content Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Producer Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Producer Production Manager Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Producer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Producer Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Senior Writer Senior Editor
Bureau Chief
7 Yearsyrs
Editor, Freelance Managing Editor Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Senior Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital Marketing Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Producer Director Director Of Strategy
Director Of Digital Strategy
10 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Social Media Manager Manager Of Digital Media
Digital Media Director
7 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Content Manager Web Manager
Ecommerce Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Artist Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Freelance Producer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Producer 4.0 years
Producer Director 3.9 years
Broadcast Producer 3.8 years
Writer/Producer 3.7 years
Executive Producer 3.5 years
Freelance Producer 3.0 years
Media Producer 3.0 years
Editor & Producer 2.9 years
Video Producer 2.8 years
Creative Producer 2.8 years
Producer 2.7 years
Digital Producer 1.9 years
Co-Producer 1.8 years
Assistant Producer 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Freelance Producer
Producer 16.3%
Internship 7.3%
Editor 3.4%
Reporter 3.4%
Director 2.9%
Server 1.9%
Top Careers After Freelance Producer
Producer 17.6%
Owner 3.6%
Editor 3.5%
Reporter 2.3%

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Top Skills for A Freelance Producer

  1. Video Production
  2. Web Series
  3. Photography
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed day-to-day operations overseeing all aspects of running a video production center.
  • Prepare the outline draft of contracts of film/TV/ web series of cast and crew to insure marketing/promotion clearance.
  • Produce editorial and commercial photography and digital videos from initial conceptual phase to delivery of final artwork execution.
  • Produce game day highlights for NHL hockey games delivered to the web, develop on-air talent, and schedule edit staff.
  • Supervised editing of video material, teases and scripts Editor/Producer ABC College Football Saturdays.

Freelance Producer Demographics

Gender

Male

51.5%

Female

37.2%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

59.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.4%

French

12.2%

German

8.8%

Italian

6.1%

Portuguese

5.0%

Arabic

3.3%

Mandarin

2.8%

Russian

2.8%

Chinese

2.8%

Hindi

1.7%

Tagalog

1.7%

Korean

1.1%

Hebrew

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Basque

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%

Malay

0.6%

Cantonese

0.6%

Yiddish

0.6%

Greek

0.6%
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Freelance Producer Education

Schools

New York University

15.6%

Columbia College Chicago

8.2%

University of Southern California

6.2%

University of Texas at Austin

6.2%

Full Sail University

5.8%

Temple University

5.3%

Berklee College of Music

5.3%

Syracuse University

5.0%

Emerson College

5.0%

American University

4.8%

School of Visual Arts

4.3%

New School

3.8%

Boston University

3.8%

Hofstra University

3.6%

San Francisco State University

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

Howard University

2.9%

Savannah College of Art and Design

2.6%

Fordham University

2.6%

University of Central Florida

2.6%
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Majors

Photography

21.2%

Communication

19.5%

Journalism

13.4%

Business

4.7%

Music

4.3%

Digital Media

4.2%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

4.2%

Fine Arts

3.6%

English

3.6%

Marketing

3.0%

Political Science

2.6%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Entertainment Business

2.5%

Theatre

1.8%

Psychology

1.8%

Public Relations

1.7%

Management

1.4%

Writing

1.3%

Advertising

1.3%

Education

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.3%

Masters

17.1%

Other

13.3%

Associate

4.1%

Certificate

2.6%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.1%
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