All kinds of things, really. It depends upon the particular project. Essentially, producers like Heather Parry are ultimately responsible for everything that goes into a film, from the initial concept to the finished product and the marketing.
Before a movie or television show can be made, someone has to start the ball rolling, and that person is the producer. The first step is to arrange contractual agreements to use the source material for the original concept. Then the producer must locate and secure funding for the project. Once the financing is in place, the producer must hire writers to create a script, a director and heads of all of the crew members.
It is the producer’s responsibility to supervise all daily operations during filming. This can involve everything from the shooting locations to the catering to watching the dailies—raw footage from that day’s filming. The buck stops at the top and successful producers know how to delegate so that everything runs smoothly.
After filming is over and the crew and actors are finished and on to other things, the producer shifts to overseeing post-production activities. This means working closely with the editor whose job it is to make the cuts and combine the sections into a cohesive, working film. The producer is also in touch with the composer and sound crew who add that crucial emotional impact that can make or break a film. If the film calls for special effects, the producer oversees those, as well. And as the final touches are being added before release, the producer must work closely with the folks who are marketing and distributing the movie or TV show.
If that sounds like a lot to do, that is because it is. Talented producers are worth their weight in gold—Oscar and Emmy gold, that is.
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