Differences Between a Producer and an Executive Producer
Producers secure equipment and workers needed for movie production.
The movie has started and, as the opening credits roll, the producer, executive producer, co-executive producer and co-producer are all introduced, as if you are expected to automatically know what those people did in the completion of the movie. In reality though, listing all of these separately is confusing to many moviegoers who simply want to sit and watch a good production. Knowing the differences between a producer and an executive producer may not enhance your movie-watching experience, but it can make you a more discerning movie connoisseur.
One of the major differences between a producer and an executive producer in the completion of a film project is in how the money is handled by each. The executive producer, much like top executives in the business world, is responsible for initiating the movie production process by securing the necessary funding to move forward with the movie. The producer, on the other hand, is more closely akin to the manager who works under the top executive. Producers have the task of managing the money once it has been secured by the executive producer. In many cases, the executive producer is a well-known producer who has gained acclaim in the industry and can gain funding from investors by the sheer power of his name.
For the most part, the executive producer has very little to do with the hiring process, aside from hiring the producer. Once the producer has been hired, it is then up to the producer to hire the necessary personnel to carry out the film production. The producer has charge of managing the money and must, therefore, use it to finance the operations of the film.
The producer and the director, rather than the executive producer, typically handle the technical aspects of the movie. The executive producer may play an advisory role in some of the major technological aspects of the movie, but the execution of the technical production of the movie is left in the hands of the producer.
The overall management of the film project itself is also handled differently by both the producer and the executive producer. The executive producer is largely responsible for ensuring that the film moves forward in a timely fashion under the direction of the producer and other key staff. The producer is the time manager, however. Whereas the executive producer knows that the project should be completed within a certain number of months or weeks, the producer handles the micromanagement of the time schedule to ensure the project gets done within the specified time frame.
About the Author
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor s degree in history, a master s degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.