What Does An Executive Producer Do?

A lot of work goes into producing a movie. If you have ever watched the credits after a film, you will see the large number of people that help to create these pieces of art. 

What Does An Executive Producer Do
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Though the actors and directors are the most recognizable names found in the credits, the executive producer nonetheless plays a vital role in the production of film or television (see also “What Does A Producer Do?“). It is believed that there are more than 18,000 executive producers in the United States.

This guide will help you to better understand the vital role that the executive producer plays.

An executive producer has one of the most senior roles in the production of a film or television show. It will be the job of this executive producer to find screenplays that can be adapted into movies.

The executive producer has the role of securing financing for a project. These funds can come from the executive producer or an independent studio. Often, the executive producer will liaise between the studio and the financiers.

The executive producer can also have a role in the legal side of film production (see also “What Is A Paralegal?“). For instance, they may need to obtain copyrights so that the film can depict certain characters. 

The role of the executive producer will differ between productions. Some executive producers will be more involved than others. For some people, being an executive producer will merely mean having credit for the film.

Other responsibilities will include approving budgets and hiring producers for the project.  The producers will be underneath the executives, meaning that they will have to report to them. 

It’s important to note that the responsibilities of an executive producer will differ depending on whether they are working for a film or television production.

Namely, television executive producers rarely cover the financing side of production. Instead, they will have a more creative role.

Producer Vs Executive Producer

On the hierarchy of film production, an executive position will be senior to a standard producer. Despite this, the producer often has a larger number of responsibilities than the executive producer.

The producer will supervise the production of a movie, having to oversee numerous elements of the movie. Meanwhile, an executive producer will not get involved with the day-to-day management of film production.

What Skills Does An Executive Producer Need?

If you are eager to secure a job as an executive producer, you will first need to cultivate the following skills:

  • Film industry knowledge: If you don’t have a deep understanding of the film industry, you will struggle to become an executive producer. Specifically, you will require market acumen, so that you can produce films that effectively make money.
  • Management skills: Since they have a management role, an executive producer must be capable of managing others. This may include making difficult decisions. 
  • Creativity: Creativity is vital in the film industry. Though executive producers have a less creative role than directors, actors, and other employees, executive producers must nonetheless be able to recognize creative sparks in a project. Creativity is especially essential for television executive producers.
  • Financial skills: Often, executive producers are involved in the financing of a film. As a result, they must have apt mathematical and financing skills. 
  • Negotiation: When making financial or legal deals, an executive producer must be able to negotiate to secure the best deal possible. 

How Can You Become An Executive Producer?

What Does An Executive Producer Do
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Due to the lofty position of an executive producer, it can take a long time to achieve this career goal. Generally, you will need to follow this career path if you are interested in becoming an executive producer:

Obtain Relevant Qualifications

The most obvious path to becoming an executive producer will require obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Before this, you will need to obtain relevant high school qualifications.

The best courses that you can take for this career include film studies, English, theatre, drama, or media studies.

After finishing high school, you can now turn your attention to acquiring a degree. Though a degree is not essential for this career, it can nevertheless be a helpful step.

Opt for a relevant bachelor’s degree in a subject such as journalism, theatre, or most importantly, film production. 

Find Specific Courses

Now, you can begin enrolling in courses related to the film and television industry. These courses will increase your knowledge of the industry, which is an essential skill.

Not to mention, they will give you valuable experience. You can even begin to network with the people that you meet during the course. 

Locate A Trainee Or Apprenticeship Program

To further your experience, you should search for a position as an apprentice or trainee that is related to film production.

This could include working on the administrative elements of a film or getting involved in film marketing.

Continue To Build Experience

Often, you can only become an executive producer once you have cultivated years of experience in the film industry. Consequently, you should get as much experience as you can.


Using networking tools, such as social media platforms, you can find connections within the industry. These professional contacts can assist you as you advance in your filmmaking career.

In particular, finding a mentor in the world of film production can help you to become an executive producer. 

How Much Does An Executive Producer Earn?

It has been estimated that the average pay for an executive producer is around $98,345.

However, the exact pay that you receive for this job will depend on numerous factors, such as the level of experience that you have and the company by which you are employed (see also “What Do Transportation Jobs Pay?“). Experienced executives can earn a significant amount of money.

Final Thoughts

If you have a passion for film, becoming an executive producer can be a lucrative career. Though it can take a long time to earn your role as an executive producer, you can earn a high wage.

Not to mention, if you are interested in the production of movies, it’s worth taking the time to become an executive producer.

Jason Sullivan
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