What Is a Video Producer? Plus Salary and Career Outlook
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published December 14, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Television and online publishers are often looking for people who have the creativity and skills to produce quality videos. For those who love movies and enjoy the artistic process of making movies, becoming a video producer might be an attractive career option. Before applying for work as a video producer, it may be helpful to know what the job entails. In this article, we review what video producers are, what they do, the kind of skills that are useful to video producers and the average salary and job outlook a prospective video producer might expect.
What is a video producer?
Video producers are audiovisual professionals who manage the process of making videos from pre-production to post-production. They might work on a variety of video projects including instructional videos, commercials, documentaries and entertainment videos. The video producer normally works behind the scenes determining budgets, hiring talent, writing scripts, finding locations and performing other managerial or administrative tasks. If the production team is very small, the video producer may have a more practical role in the creation process.
What does a video producer do?
The video producer is usually the person who coordinates and manages all aspects of a video or movie project. Because of this, their job responsibilities can be both numerous and varied. They may include:
Hiring talent: A video producer is responsible for hiring all the people needed for every aspect of each video project and setting each person's salary. The number of people needed may vary according to the size of the project, but they could include camera operators, sound and lighting technicians, editors, software specialists, actors and writers.
Scripting or storyboarding: The video producer usually has the initial vision for the video project. Part of their job may be to provide a first draft of a script or a rough storyboard that presents their video idea to the team who can then help refine that idea and create the video.
Budgeting: Even if the video producer is making the video alone, there may be costs involved such as travel and accommodation, equipment, props, scenery, actors, meals, costumes and make-up. It's the video producer's responsibility to allocate the necessary funds for each element of the project and try to keep the overall expenditure within the limits of that budget.
Talking to clients: Some video producers work with clients to make films or videos for specific client needs such as product or service advertising, instructional presentations or special events, like weddings or concerts. The video producer is responsible for meeting with the client and other stakeholders to understand the project requirements and scope, negotiate the budget and establish a delivery date.
Meeting deadlines: Whether the video is a client project or the producer's own creative endeavor, each video project should have a deadline to help you stay within budget and fit within a release schedule. One of the duties of the video producer is to establish that project deadline and meet it as closely as possible.
Making creative decisions: During the video creation process, the video producer is responsible for making many creative decisions. These could include selecting the best format for the final video, making edits to both the audio and video, choosing appropriate music and sound effects and approving graphical elements such as titles or animation.
Planning shoots: There's usually a lot of planning behind a video, including deciding where to shoot the video and managing the logistics of location shooting. It's the job of the video producer to find the best location for the video, obtain any necessary permissions to film in that place, make reservations, pay any required fees and determine how to make the best use of the site in the video.
Problem-solving: Situations often arise on a video project that may require problem-solving skills, such as an unexpected change in weather in an outdoor location, equipment failures, problems with a script or a lack of funds. It's normally up to the video producer to find solutions to such issues quickly to keep the project within budget and on schedule.
Where does a video producer work?
Video producers might plan projects, write scripts and perform other administrative tasks in an office. Once filming begins, the video producer normally follows the production to wherever the filming takes place, whether in a studio, at an outdoor location or even in another country. Post-production work might take place in an editing studio, a music studio or in the video producer's office, depending on the size and scope of the project.
Skills for a video producer
There are many skills that can be useful to a video producer. If you plan to have a career in this field, these are some of the skills you might want to cultivate:
Creativity: Producing videos is an art that involves requires creativity in a number of ways such as your vision for the video's story, the script you write or the design decisions you might make.
Communication: Good communication skills can help you as you interact and negotiate with clients, discuss the project with potential investors, manage actors, technicians and other talent and promote the project to the press and general public.
Leadership: Your leadership skills as the video producer are important for making the final decisions on all aspects of the project and providing supervision and guidance to those working for you.
Time management: Video producers usually have many responsibilities to manage including the project budget, crew and client communications and project deadlines. Your ability to manage time well can help you make sure the project stays on track while you attend to the needs of all those involved.
Patience: Working to a deadline, and the unpredictability that is often a part of creative work, can sometimes result in stress and anxiety for the video producer. Your ability to stay calm and be patient while under pressure can help you stay focused and be better able to problem-solve.
Flexibility: The video producer normally has a plan for the video project, but may also need to change that plan as situations arise outside your control. Being flexible is a useful skill at times like these since you can change directions or make quick decisions as necessary to complete the project on time.
The career outlook for a video producer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a very healthy career outlook for producers and directors. According to their data, they project job growth through 2030 to be 24%, which is a much faster rate of growth than other occupations. Part of the demand could come from vacancies due to workers changing careers or retiring out of the industry. They also expect the current demand for video content for television and for online platforms to continue increasing.
The average salary for a video producer
According to BLS, the average salary for producers and directors is $76,400 per year. Location can be a significant influence on your salary as a video producer. For example, many films are produced in California and New York, so producers who live in these states tend to earn more than those who live elsewhere. Also, your experience level, the quality of your previous work and your reputation can all factor into the salary you may receive.
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