How to Become an Assistant Producer

Become an Assistant Producer

What is an Assistant Producer
Coming from widely different backgrounds, Assistant Producers are experienced professionals hired by Producers and Executive Producers to help them in a variety of tasks. Often referred to as the AP, Assistant Producers responsibilities are varied, ranging from script editing to finance raising.

Assistant Producers are commonly found working on productions and are perhaps one of the most well-known roles in the industry. They can be found working across a range of mediums to include radio, film and television. In this article, we will discuss the responsibilities which fall under the remit of the Assistant Producers, the skills they possess and what it’ll take for you to become one.

The Main Responsibilities of an Assistant Producer
Assistant Producers are accountable for the execution of a production in relation to the specific brief. As an Assistant Producer, you will be expected to assist in the development of ideas for programmes and the pitching of programmes. You will need to be able to interpret story ideas and demonstrate your artistic/creative abilities in ensuring the concept meets the style of production specified in the brief.

The main responsibilities involve supervision and financial duties. Coordinating different departments, from pre to post-production, is also common. You’ll need to have a strong understanding of internal and external market costs of production in order to deliver on budget. As an Assistant Producer you will also be expected to implement production schedules.

Assistant Producer Jobs

In this role you will also need great interpersonal skills as you will be expected to inspire members of the production team providing direction, feedback, and support.

Interested? Why not take a look at this video, which features an Assistant Producer for BBC Radio.

Key Skills
Along with a broad and practical experience of the production process, quick and smart problem solving is the main skill needed by an Assistant Producer. Assistant Producers should also be familiar with different research techniques, health and safety guidelines, and sources. Knowledge of various editing software is also essential.

Effective communication, leadership and motivational skills are also essential to lead the crew towards the completion of the production. Often being given high responsibility jobs, under-pressure decision-making can be crucial to carry out tasks.

The ability to delegate, supervise and plan are also skills that anyone applying to such a position should have mastered during his/her years of experience.

So, in summary:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Good knowledge of the production process and its technical requirements

Salary & Working Hours

Assistant Producer Salary

According to Televisual’s 2016 survey the salary for an Assistant Producer ranges from £34,000-£35,500. However, pay is largely dependant on experience and location. You can find the full report here. As is the norm within this industry, working hours can often be long and at times unsociable. So, to succeed in this role you will need to willing to put in the hours.

How to Become an Assistant Producer
If you are looking to become an Assistant Producer it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends as potential employers will be looking for you to showcase your enthusiasm and passion for the role. This includes staying up-to-date with production and post-production processes, techniques and technology.

Work experience is essential if you are looking to become an Assistant Producer. Usually, before becoming an Assistant Producer you will work as a Runner or Junior Researcher.

While work experience is essential for this role, a degree or qualification can be useful to differentiate you from the crowd in this highly competitive industry. Not only does it demonstrate your passion, but it also gives you a good starting point and a solid foundation in terms of your knowledge. A degree in Mass Communications or Media would provide you with a good starting point for this role.

Institutions such as the MetFilm school, a world-leading film, television and online media school, offer various undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses which could help you get that first step into the industry.

Become an Assistant Producer Today
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Assistant Producer vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest Producer vacancies here.