Producers and Directors

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Also known as:
Broadcast Producer, Casting Director, Film Maker, Independent Film Maker, Independent Video Producer, Motion Picture Director, Movie Producer, Music Video Director, Music Video Producer, News Production Supervisor

ABOUT PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR CAREERS
Video transcript

A lot of work goes into the making of entertainment magic. That work is done by producers, director, and actors. Most of the jobs they get are away from the bright lights of Broadway and Hollywood, in local theaters, television and radio studios, comedy clubs, circuses - even rodeos.

Actors entertain and communicate through their interpretation of dramatic roles. Many actors carve a career taking all kinds of parts, from pitching products in commercials to leading roles in a play. And many actors take in jobs outside of the profession to help support themselves financially.

Members in unions, such as Actors' Equity, The Screen Actors Guild, and AFTRA, help actors obtain insurance benefits, even without regular employment.

Directors interpret plays or scripts. They also audition and select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of cast and crew. They often exercise creative control over an entire project, supervising scenery, costumes, choreography, and music.

Producers pull the financial strings. They arrange the money to pay for projects and determine the size, cost, and content of a production. Their pay is often a percentage of a show's earnings. The producer hires the director, who hires the actors. And because the money is spent upfront, preparing something that an audience may or may not accept, show business is famously unsteady.

College courses in all aspects of the business are available, but actors, directors, and producers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and training. What they share is a strong desire to stick with a dream - the dream of making a living with make-believe.

SNAPSHOT

Produce or direct stage, television, radio, video, or film productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Responsible for creative decisions, such as interpretation of script, choice of actors or guests, set design, sound, special effects, and choreography.

Daily tasks

Resolve personnel problems that arise during the production process by acting as liaisons between dissenting parties when necessary.

Consult with writers, producers, or actors about script changes or "workshop" scripts, through rehearsal with writers and actors to create final drafts.

Identify and approve equipment and elements required for productions, such as scenery, lights, props, costumes, choreography, and music.

Compile scripts, program notes, and other material related to productions.

Perform administrative duties, such as preparing operational reports, distributing rehearsal call sheets and script copies, and arranging for rehearsal quarters.

Conduct meetings with staff to discuss production progress and to ensure production objectives are attained.

Plan details such as framing, composition, camera movement, sound, and actor movement for each shot or scene.

Confer with technical directors, managers, crew members, and writers to discuss details of production, such as photography, script, music, sets, and costumes.

Direct live broadcasts, films and recordings, or non-broadcast programming for public entertainment or education.

Research production topics using the internet, video archives, and other informational sources.

Establish pace of programs and sequences of scenes according to time requirements and cast and set accessibility.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
TOP SKILLS
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.