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Working As a Lead 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

  • $94,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead 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 Lead 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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Highest Lead Producer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Producer Microsoft Corporation Kirkland, WA May 05, 2014 $156,221
Lead Producer-Devices and Studios Engineering Group or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Dec 02, 2014 $156,221 -
$176,221
Lead Producer NBC Universal, Inc. Burbank, CA May 21, 2010 $151,840 -
$166,400
Lead Producer Scientific Games Corporation Chicago, IL Apr 27, 2015 $138,023
Lead Producer Caliber Films Inc. Sutter, CA Dec 02, 2015 $100,000
Lead Producer Caliber Films Inc. Burbank, CA Dec 01, 2013 $100,000

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Top Skills for A Lead Producer

  1. Customer Service
  2. Video Production
  3. Food Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Initiated a lucrative Joint Venture with 3chix Realty by using exceptional customer service and exhibiting industry knowledge and ingenuity.
  • Contacted clients: organized and directed video productions, promos, news productions, and live broadcast events.
  • Rotate product when stocking and understand and adhere to Food Safety guidelines and procedures.
  • Lead in stage design, painting, lighting, research, visual merchandising and restructuring of the sales floor layout.
  • Rotated, culled, cleaned and stocked overnight the produced and floral department.

Lead Producer Demographics

Gender

Male

59.2%

Female

30.0%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.5%

French

12.5%

Portuguese

5.0%

Swedish

2.5%

Danish

2.5%

Kurdish

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

German

2.5%

Korean

2.5%

Turkish

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Norwegian

2.5%

Tagalog

2.5%

Mandarin

2.5%

Thai

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Italian

2.5%
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Lead Producer Education

Schools

Syracuse University

11.6%

University of Washington

7.8%

New York University

6.2%

Full Sail University

6.2%

San Francisco State University

5.4%

University of Phoenix

5.4%

Arizona State University

4.7%

Columbia College Chicago

4.7%

Temple University

4.7%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

University of Southern California

4.7%

Columbia University

4.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.9%

Berklee College of Music

3.9%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.9%

DePaul University

3.9%

Gateway Technical College

3.9%

Brigham Young University

3.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.1%
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Majors

Business

16.9%

Communication

16.1%

Photography

8.9%

Journalism

7.7%

Fine Arts

5.2%

Graphic Design

4.8%

English

3.8%

Political Science

3.4%

Computer Science

3.0%

Psychology

3.0%

Finance

3.0%

History

3.0%

Accounting

3.0%

Management

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Music

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Entertainment Business

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.9%

Other

23.1%

Masters

11.8%

Associate

8.8%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.6%
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