How To Become a Producer/Director

How To Become a Producer-Director

What is a Producer/Director?
The role of Producer/Director, essentially takes the role of director, and the role of producer, and combines them into one position. As a Producer/Director, you will be involved throughout all phases of production from inception to completion. You will initiate, coordinate, supervise and manage the creation and production of movies, television shows, commercial videos and other productions.

What is the Job?
The role of Producer/Director is one of the highest-level jobs within the film and TV industry. It’s undoubtedly a stressful job, and so only a select few can really succeed at the role. It’s reserved for those individuals who can cope with the pressure of being in charge of everything and taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

There is no end to the duties you might take on as a Producer/Director; you’ll be a manager, collaborator, enabler, problem solver and much more. The role of a Producer/Director may include the following:

  • Hiring and managing team members.
  • Setting budgets for the project.
  • Creating schedules using production management software.
  • Overseeing post-production.
  • Marketing the project and working with the PR team.
  • Motivating and leading the crew at all stages of production.

The key responsibilities of a Producer/Director will vary depending on the company you’re working for, the type of production, and the way that you lead your production team. For example, some productions (particularly larger ones) will have Associate, Assistant, and Line Producers who will share responsibilities. However, in general, you’ll be responsible for identifying and selecting stories for films and programmes, and will have to creatively define the mood and personality of those chosen story lines. In addition to this, you will have to collaborate with Assistant Producers and Researchers, and work closely with Presenters, ensuring they are properly briefed.

On top of this, unlike any other member of the production team, as a Producer/Director, you’ll be attached to the film for several years after it has been produced and publicised.

As a Producer/Director you are unlikely to have a set, specific job, but instead you will oversee all departments and ensure everything is running smoothly. In short, as a Producer/Director you will do a little bit of everything.

Key Skills
For a Producer/Director, the level of skills and experience required are quite high, as it’s a high level position and a role with a lot of responsibility and duties. Skills required are likely to include:

  • Wide range of knowledge of production processes.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Effective negotiating and management skills.
  • Experience leading and motivating teams.
  • Communication skills.
  • Dedication and patience.
  • Resilience and stamina to sustain performance when under pressure.
  • Ability to generate creative ideas and to think strategically about new programme ideas.
  • Excellent scripting and narrative skills.
  • Ability to direct to a high standard with a fast turnaround.
  • Leadership skills.

Salary & Working Hours
As with every job, the salary for this role with vary depending on a number of factors. Firstly, who you are working for, and secondly, the size and type of production you’re working on. However, on average, the weekly rate for a Producer/Director is around £1540, with the day rate averaging at around £280.

With regards to working hours, again this will depend on the type of production you are working on. Work assignments can range from one day to a few months, and work hours can be long and irregular. Working in the evening, at the weekend and having to work during holidays is common. Many Producer/Directors do not work a standard workweek due to the fact that they have such variable schedules.

How To Become a Producer/Director
Despite being such a high-level position, there are no specific education requirements to become a Producer/Director. However, an undergraduate degree in a related subject such as Film, Television, or Digital Production is recommended. This is because the curriculum on these degrees will cover all areas of film and TV production and will also be likely to provide opportunities to learn about the different aspects of producing, such as budgeting, auditioning and planning. This will provide you with a good foundation of knowledge, and it may also give you the opportunity to have a go at creating your own film – so it will give you a taste for producing and directing.

The first step in terms of starting a career, is to obtain employment in the industry – regardless of what level the job is at. A good starting point for someone who wants to work towards becoming a Producer/Director is to work as a Production Assistant. The duties of Production Assistants will vary widely, so will provide you with a wide range of experience working on set.

The next step is to build a portfolio of work. The work you produce will be the first thing anyone looks at – and it will tell them straight away as to whether you are good enough for the job. Therefore, it is essential to produce as much quality work as possible. A good way to build a portfolio is looking for ways to produce in smaller markets, or working on lower budget productions.

A hugely important step in becoming a Producer/Director is to network! Networking will help you to develop contacts in the industry. Furthermore, many production companies will promote from within the company, and so getting in and getting to know people may provide you with lots of opportunities.

Latest Producer-Director Jobs

Where Can It Take You?
The role of Producer/Director is a fairly high-level position, and therefore for many people, it is the final step in their career path. However, there is the possibility of promotion, and this may be through advancement to Series Producing, or in terms of moving on to more interesting, larger-scale and more demanding productions.

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