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Old 07-11-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
Johnnycomelately
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Default What does a "production executive" do?

If someone is a production executive on a film, what does he do?

Are there people who do this freelance?

Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
SoCalScribe
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

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Originally Posted by Johnnycomelately View Post
If someone is a production executive on a film, what does he do?

Are there people who do this freelance?

Thanks.

Production executives fill a variety of roles, depending on what they were hired to do for the company. Some production executives are independent producers who have agreed to work exclusively for one production company in exchange for a regular salary and other perks. All production executives however, as the name implies, are responsible for some aspect of a company's production slate. It may be budgeting and scheduling a script; it may be acting as a liaison between the people on set and the financiers; it may be overseeing the entire production process on a specific film; it may be overseeing the company's entire production slate by working closely with the producers of the individual projects.

I'm a production executive at my company... and I'm responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of all of our productions. Making sure they're properly prepped, stay on budget and on schedule during production, and coordinating with the people on set and in post (since we usually shoot in tax-incentivized states) so that the executives at our company, the studio, the financiers, etc. are all aware of how the project is progressing, what concerns there are (if any), and whether we're on track with our plans for production, post, marketing and release.

By definition, a production executive is typically an employee of the company and therefore not freelance. The people that do this work freelance (i.e. as independent contractors) can be anything from producers to production coordinators, to post production supervisors.

It all depends on what company you're looking at, and what production needs that have. That will determine what aspects of a production their executives oversee and manage.

When you see "production executive" credits on a film, it's usually those executives in the production department at a company who are being recognized for their contribution to the success of a production, but who don't qualify for full-on producer, production coordinator, etc. credits alongside the rest of the crew.

Last edited by SoCalScribe : 07-11-2009 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Added additional information.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
NikeeGoddess
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

an executive producer title usually involves money... getting backing for the production.

other producers' titles have different functions... usually more hands on and oftentimes they freelance being hired for the specific jobs as they come... like the previous poster said in a whole lot of words.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

sCal... I tip my hat to you. You are on top of the game. Could you give sprinkle some of that wisdom over this question/s... please?

What are the distinctions between Exec Prod... Co-Exec Prod... Producer... Co-Producer... and how is their compensation arrived at and does it vary w/ those that share the exact same 'title'? Who has final say on it?

I NEVER see answers on this question. It's like it's a secret society on the down-low taboo. Can you help me out sCal? (or others as well of course) I'd be most appreciative... going into the trenches soon on a property. Thanks sCal. Cut loose!
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

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Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
sCal... I tip my hat to you. You are on top of the game. Could you give sprinkle some of that wisdom over this question/s... please?

What are the distinctions between Exec Prod... Co-Exec Prod... Producer... Co-Producer... and how is their compensation arrived at and does it vary w/ those that share the exact same 'title'? Who has final say on it?

I NEVER see answers on this question. It's like it's a secret society on the down-low taboo. Can you help me out sCal? (or others as well of course) I'd be most appreciative... going into the trenches soon on a property. Thanks sCal. Cut loose!

Unfortunately, the PGA is not a very strong guild in terms of its ability to assert authority over who gets what kind of producer credit. As a result, there are a lot of producer credits that go to a lot of different people on a film... some are deserved credits, others not so much. But I'll do my best to provide some workable definitions.

I need to start with the following DISCLAIMER: these definitions are general, ideal definitions. They are not absolute, and they don't take into consideration "baggage producers" and the like. The following is merely meant to give a simplified overview of what should be the usual responsibilities and requirements of different types of producers.

That said, there are two key producer roles on a movie: PRODUCER and EXECUTIVE PRODUCER.

A PRODUCER is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the production. He or she is the driving force behind the picture, the one that makes the final decisions in terms of casting, budget, shooting locations... everything. The producer’s job is to shepherd the project from the script acquisition and development process all the way through its distribution and release. The producer is essentially the studio/company/financier/investor’s emissary, tasked with looking after their interests on a project, overseeing operations, and making sure any obstacles are overcome so that the movie gets made and released as planned.

An EXECUTIVE PRODUCER is responsible for bringing something to the project that’s instrumental to getting it made. It could be the president of the production company or distribution entity. It could be a financier. It could be someone who introduced the production company to a financier. It could be the manager of an A-list actor who brought that actor onboard and used his or her name to secure financing or distribution. The executive producers rarely go to set (except to visit and look around), and rarely get involved with the actual production of the film. By the time the project is shooting, it’s likely that their contribution to the process has already been made.

Beyond those two roles, other "producer" credits are given to individuals who contribute to the process in some meaningful way, but not enough to deserve a Producer or EP credit. In order, from most influential to least influential, these titles are CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CO-PRODUCER, and ASSOCIATE PRODUCER.

A CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER is just like an executive producer in terms of what they bring to the project... they just bring something less influential. Maybe a portion of the financing. Or providing the location that's used in a fixed-location production. Or a manager who secures a supporting actor that helps make the production package more appealing.

A CO-PRODUCER is someone who contributes less than an a Co-EP, but still brings something valuable to the table. A casting director with the connections to put together a marketable ensemble or supporting cast. A production executive at the production company. A minority share investor. A Line Producer or UPM will sometimes be given a co-producer credit if they really do a stand-out job.

An ASSOCIATE PRODUCER is someone who contributes a minimal amount to the production. These credits are somewhat of a joke in the industry, because they're often given away like candy, to anyone who does anything to help the production. A production coordinator at the production company. A writer, actor, etc. who defers his pay until after the film is made. The neice of the director, who has some "thoughts" on the script.

The compensation for these producer titles is dependent on the individual and the budget... they're not necessarily fixed or equal. Producers, like actors and writers, have quotes based on their past work. That quote, more than anything, determines how much they can expect to be paid on a project. It's possible that one Producer may get $100,000 for his services, and another, more seasoned Producer may get $250,000. More important than the title they have, fees for producers are determined by what the individual brings to the production. An EP that secures the financing, for example, will probably command a higher fee than an EP/manager who attaches his actor client. A production executive at a company would likely receive a producer credit of some kind on the film, but probably not any additional compensation beyond their regular salary (maybe a bonus if the film does well).

Generally speaking, though, the line item in a budget for all the producers on a project is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10%. Which means that if it's a $10M production, there's about a million dollars in the "producer's pool" to play around with. The company's job is to then negotiate and figure out which producers get what fees for their work (and how those fees are paid out). Generally speaking, a Producer gets a good chunk of that fee, as do EPs. Depending on the nature of the contribution, Co-EPs, Co-Producers, and Associate Producers could have fees worth tens of thousands of dollars... or there may be no compensation associated with the credit.

If you're going "into the trenches" on a project where you're going to be asking for recognition as a producer, the typical approach is to merely request a "producer credit" and let the company propose what credit and associated fees... so that you can then negotiate back and forth until you can mutually agree on the kind of producer and the money involved.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:10 AM   #6
Charisma
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalScribe View Post
Unfortunately, the PGA is not a very strong guild in terms of its ability to assert authority over who gets what kind of producer credit. As a result, there are a lot of producer credits that go to a lot of different people on a film... some are deserved credits, others not so much. But I'll do my best to provide some workable definitions.

I need to start with the following DISCLAIMER: these definitions are general, ideal definitions. They are not absolute, and they don't take into consideration "baggage producers" and the like. The following is merely meant to give a simplified overview of what should be the usual responsibilities and requirements of different types of producers.

That said, there are two key producer roles on a movie: PRODUCER and EXECUTIVE PRODUCER.

A PRODUCER is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the production. He or she is the driving force behind the picture, the one that makes the final decisions in terms of casting, budget, shooting locations... everything. The producer’s job is to shepherd the project from the script acquisition and development process all the way through its distribution and release. The producer is essentially the studio/company/financier/investor’s emissary, tasked with looking after their interests on a project, overseeing operations, and making sure any obstacles are overcome so that the movie gets made and released as planned.

An EXECUTIVE PRODUCER is responsible for bringing something to the project that’s instrumental to getting it made. It could be the president of the production company or distribution entity. It could be a financier. It could be someone who introduced the production company to a financier. It could be the manager of an A-list actor who brought that actor onboard and used his or her name to secure financing or distribution. The executive producers rarely go to set (except to visit and look around), and rarely get involved with the actual production of the film. By the time the project is shooting, it’s likely that their contribution to the process has already been made.

Beyond those two roles, other "producer" credits are given to individuals who contribute to the process in some meaningful way, but not enough to deserve a Producer or EP credit. In order, from most influential to least influential, these titles are CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CO-PRODUCER, and ASSOCIATE PRODUCER.

A CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER is just like an executive producer in terms of what they bring to the project... they just bring something less influential. Maybe a portion of the financing. Or providing the location that's used in a fixed-location production. Or a manager who secures a supporting actor that helps make the production package more appealing.

A CO-PRODUCER is someone who contributes less than an a Co-EP, but still brings something valuable to the table. A casting director with the connections to put together a marketable ensemble or supporting cast. A production executive at the production company. A minority share investor. A Line Producer or UPM will sometimes be given a co-producer credit if they really do a stand-out job.

An ASSOCIATE PRODUCER is someone who contributes a minimal amount to the production. These credits are somewhat of a joke in the industry, because they're often given away like candy, to anyone who does anything to help the production. A production coordinator at the production company. A writer, actor, etc. who defers his pay until after the film is made. The neice of the director, who has some "thoughts" on the script.

The compensation for these producer titles is dependent on the individual and the budget... they're not necessarily fixed or equal. Producers, like actors and writers, have quotes based on their past work. That quote, more than anything, determines how much they can expect to be paid on a project. It's possible that one Producer may get $100,000 for his services, and another, more seasoned Producer may get $250,000. More important than the title they have, fees for producers are determined by what the individual brings to the production. An EP that secures the financing, for example, will probably command a higher fee than an EP/manager who attaches his actor client. A production executive at a company would likely receive a producer credit of some kind on the film, but probably not any additional compensation beyond their regular salary (maybe a bonus if the film does well).

Generally speaking, though, the line item in a budget for all the producers on a project is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10%. Which means that if it's a $10M production, there's about a million dollars in the "producer's pool" to play around with. The company's job is to then negotiate and figure out which producers get what fees for their work (and how those fees are paid out). Generally speaking, a Producer gets a good chunk of that fee, as do EPs. Depending on the nature of the contribution, Co-EPs, Co-Producers, and Associate Producers could have fees worth tens of thousands of dollars... or there may be no compensation associated with the credit.

If you're going "into the trenches" on a project where you're going to be asking for recognition as a producer, the typical approach is to merely request a "producer credit" and let the company propose what credit and associated fees... so that you can then negotiate back and forth until you can mutually agree on the kind of producer and the money involved.

Hope this helps.
sCal... a masterpiece. Thanks a zillion. Soaking it in like Spongebob! What's the deal on needing to have a producer on board that has previously 'produced' a like-budgeted project -- something about a requirement for the completion bond? Whoops ... one more ? I see the logo/artwork for production co's in the opening credits... like Happy Madison before Blart Mall Cop... then Relativity ... I guess HM is Sadler's but he's also on the producer credit by name. What's the dealio on Prod co's getting in? Thanks sCal.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:37 AM   #7
Johnnycomelately
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

Great information, SoCal. Thank you!
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

Thanks for breaking it down.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
an executive producer title usually involves money... getting backing for the production.
A Production Executive is not an Executive Producer.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: What does a "production executive" do?

A production executive is someone who oversees production for the studio or production company...they're not a producer but more of a monitor...someone who keeps tabs on things and serves as the communicator between the production and the studio brass who funds the project.
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