Michaelangelo Masangkay is a filmmaker, producer and drone pilot with more than 15 years’ experience in the independent film industry. He is Director of Production for the Toronto Film School’s film production program.
Producers in the entertainment industry have complex jobs as they manage almost every aspect of a production – think of them as the general manager of any production project. They make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, commercial, or stage production. To be effective, they need to have developed a range of unique skills and attributes.
Perhaps most importantly, producers need to be business savvy and have an entrepreneurial approach to their work. They are often required to raise money for projects, hire the director and crew, which can include set and costume designers, film and video editors, musical directors and other workers. 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.
With the ever-increasing consumer demands for content from streaming services, film studios and in the advertising industry, there are many more opportunities for those interested in becoming a producer in the entertainment industry. In particular, there is great demand for those in the role of line producer.
What is a line producer?
A line producer oversees all operations and logistics for a film and is often coupled with the title production manager or production supervisor, depending on the project. A line producer is an essential managerial position in the production of a movie, television series or commercial. This role is directly responsible for the financial aspects of a production and requires continuous review of the budget line-by-line. Line producers are involved in the hiring of crew, firming up locations, scheduling and overseeing day-to-day logistics and tracking deadlines.
A line producer is a hired producer who is the day-to-day operations manager who operates like a business owner. In some instances, there are producers who are rights owners to a film – that means they are also the owner of the intellectual property of the film.
A line producer “plugs in and plugs out” of a production – they deal with the pre-production process and come in once development is in place. They are not typically involved in post-production work.