If you are wondering how to become a film producer, you’re not alone. The complexities of producing a film are not like other businesses. Making a feature film takes a combination of many different skills and a bit of luck. And when you look at producing as a career, there is a difference between being a film producer and a WORKING film producer.
There are many different types of film producers. A producer can be on set every day or handle the business side of things. A producer source the financing or have a development deal with a studio to produce specific projects. There are also associate producers, executive producers, and co-producers.
Film Producing Career
To succeed as a working film producer, you’ll need to get along with very different personality types. You need to know how to keep projects on track and always stay focused on moving forward. And you need to be able to deal with the ups and downs of a creative career.
The good news is, there is more than one way to build a producing career. Becoming a working film producer should be your ultimate goal. Here is some advice on the three main career paths for getting there.
1. Employee Film Producer The indie producer works at a production company. An employee filmmaker gets a job at a production company. They show up each day on time. This film producer “starts at the bottom” and works their way up. Many spend years working on other people’s projects (OPP), and one day, if they are fortunate, they get permission to helm a movie.
2. Freelance Film Producer – The indie producer is hired on a per-project basis. You get hired on a per-project basis as a freelancer. Then when the production wraps, you go back to your network, seeking your next job. Eventually, you find ways to move up and take on other jobs. As a freelancer, you spend years working on other people’s projects (OPP) as an employee. If you’re fortunate, you get your shot.
3. Entrepreneurial Film Producer – The indie producer creates their projects and hires other people. In this scenario, your goal is to find a good screenplay, raise money and make your movie now! You don’t wait for anybody to permit you. But unlike an employee or freelance filmmaker, if your project doesn’t get made, you don’t get paid!
Take Action And Make Your Movie
To succeed, you will need cold-calling courage and the ability to face rejection every day. Additionally, you will have to face ridicule. In finding out how to become a filmmaker, many people stuck in the employee and freelance ruts will hate you, say mean things about you – Ironically, these same people will call you for a job.
But the upside is tremendous. Unlike the other paths, you can grab a camera and start putting together a production this year! While those other folks are still carrying cables, you’ll be making movies.
If you are a long-term reader of filmmaking stuff, the chances are good that you radiate towards entrepreneurial filmmaking. Good for you. Half of Hollywood doesn’t get it yet. But as a modern moviemaker, if you’re still trying to figure out how to become a filmmaker, stop searching.
Check out this video on building a robust network to advance your career as a filmmaker! And if you are still waiting for someone to give you permission to make your movie, STOP IT. Instead, grab a camera and capture something. If you are ready to make a movie, grab my filmmaker action pack.