MULTIPLE PRODUCERS: EVERY MOVIE HAS 5 (Which one are you? Hopefully not #4.)
by Dov S-S Simens on July 22, 2016
The 5 Types of Movie Producers.
So you want to produce?
You have this great idea, but you don’t want to direct, and you’re not the writer so you guess you’re the producer.
Okay, but which type are you? And do you even know the differences?
There are 5 types of Producers represented by 5 OTCs (Opening Title Credits) which are usually single title cards.
They are the:
- EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
- LINE PRODUCER
- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
1st, THE PRODUCER: (“I got a great idea”)
No film ever gets made without a Producer.
However, 95% of all producers have never gone to a 4-year film school.
Why? They don’t need all that unnecessary technical crap. They have a business instinct, a common sense and a feeling for what is commercial or not.
The Producer, is a dreamer, a visionary, a businessman who wakes up one day and says, “I have an idea”. He/she then takes that idea, gets the treatment, gets the script, attaches actors, gets a budget, and brings it to, or partners with someone for, financing.
Then he/she oversees the shoot, the edit, selects a festival and, hopefully negotiates with distributors.
2nd, THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: (“I can get the money”)
Also an Opening Title Credit (OTC) which is obtained by the person the Producer goes to when he/she has a financeable package (Script, Budget, Talent commitments, Key crew, etc) but doesn’t have the money… then the Producer turns to an Executive Producer.
The Executive Producer doesn’t write any checks, but knows how to navigate the world of movie money to secure the investors whether from a Private Placement, a Crowd Fund, a Studio Deal, International Pre-Sells, Government tax Incentives, etc.
The Executive Producer, is usually, but not always, an entertainment attorney and sometimes a big-name actor with a bankable name.
3rd, THE CO-PRODUCER: (“I got the money”)
Eventually the Executive Producer, with the legal work finished to solicit investors, according to SEC rules, introduces the Producer to investors and knows how to close deals.
Now, if the Producer is successful in securing a financial commitment (5%, 10%, 25%, 100%, etc) from an investor it is fairly common that the investor will ask besides “What can I make” also “Do I get a credit?”
What are you, basically broke Producer, going to say, “No”.
Of course not, you know darn well your answer will be, “Sure” and what the investor gets, if the investor writes a big enough check… is Co-Producer.
A Co-Producer credit on the screen is usually after the Producer credit and the Executive Producer credit. It is usually a single-title card and has on-screen time equal to the Producer and Executive Producer’s on-screen time.
And remember, if you have more than 1 investor you can have more than 1 Co-Producer.
Big-Budget studio feature usually have 1 Co-Producer for Europe, 1 Co-Producer from Asia, 1 Co-Producer from Latin America and 2-3 Co-Producers from America, who are either wealthy individual or networks or studios and desire in return for their money either an equity interest in the film or an exclusive territory (UK, Italy, China, Middle East, etc.) ownership or a window (Pay-Cable, TV, DVD, On-Demand, etc.) stream ownership and exclusive time period within a specific nation or territory.
4th, THE ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: (“I know the money”)
This is the credit that nobody in Hollywood wants. For everybody knows that an Associate Producer basically does “nothing”.
What does an Associate Producer do during Pre-Production, “nothing”?
What does an Associate Producer do during the shoot, “nothing”?
What does an Associate Producer do during post-production, “nothing”?
What does an Associate Producer do during marketing and at festivals, “nothing, nothing, nothing”?
So why do we have this credit? It’s the freebie credit, the giveaway credit that you give to someone who merely introduces you to money. It is also for your girlfriend or boyfriend or for an investor who is not smart enough to demand a Co-Producer credit.
You can have numerous Associate Producer names on your film and it will not dilute the credibility you want as a Producer..
5th, THE LINE PRODUCER: (“Money. Screw money. I make movies”)
Every now and then a savvy Executive Producer or Investor who knows that you, the first-time Producer, really doesn’t know anything about the actual physical making of a movie will say, “You know what you need?”
You, of course will respond with, “what-what-what?”
And then you will be told “You need a Line Producer”. In essence, the person is telling you to either associate with or partner with someone who knows how to make a movie.
PRODUCER, EXECUTIVE P, CO-P, ASSOCIATE P, or LINE P?
Now… which one are you?
You’re not “the sugar daddy”…
You’re not “the attorney”…
You’re not the “line producer”…
And you don’t want to be just an “associate”.
You’re an “idea” man. You are a person with common sense. You are realistic. You do business one-step-at-a-time.
Therefore you are the Producer.
Then start with a Micro-Budget budget, get actors needing opening title credits and finance your film via crowd funding (donations or equity)….
And you now own 100% of a true “Low-Budget Feature”, attend Festivals and secure a Distributor or try Do-It-Yourself and go On-Demand.
And, if producing your idea is a higher budget then have someone (Associate Producer) introduce you to and partner with an attorney (Executive Producer), give away 50%, (you now own 50%) who knows investors (Co-Producers) who also get 50% and you can now raise the money and you and your Executive Producer have each kept 25%, , with you probably giving away 15% to cast & crew (Line Producer & DP) on deferrals and points, but you got the money, you received a salary for 4 months, own approximately 10-15% and have your first Opening Title Credit as a Producer.
Now, Producers… get a great idea, take my Film School (2-Day, DVD or Streaming at www.WebFilmSchool.com), learn the business of Show Business and produce your first feature film.
God Bless & Happy Filmmaking,
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