Executive Producer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Executive Producer, or EP, is responsible for supervising the creation of a theater performance, commercial, web series, television show or film. Their duties include coming up with a concept and writing the script, setting budget expectations and assuring production quality on a film set.

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Executive Producer Duties and Responsibilities

An Executive Producer makes financial and business decisions for stage productions, commercials, TV shows or motion pictures. They raise capital for the project and hire Directors and crew including Choreographers, Musical Directors, film and video Editors and Set and Costume Designers. A job description for an Executive Producer may contain the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Introducing new ideas and concepts that might align with a project’s brand initiatives
  • Ensuring production projects the intended brand image and meets competitive goals
  • Supervising other Producers and making sure they and the rest of the production team are working within union regulations
  • Overseeing and approving the hiring of marquee talent
  • Maintaining the budget and approving schedules

Larger productions usually have several Producers who share various responsibilities. An Executive Producer supervises the entire production while a Line Producer runs the day-to-day operations. 

What Does an Executive Producer Do? 

An Executive Producer works with a film, video or theater production company to plan filming schedules, distribute project funds and coordinate resources on set. They usually own the intellectual property of the project they are working on and plan the strategy of the entire film from fundraising to release. Executive Producers give instruction to other Producers on their staff who manage the small details and technical aspects of a project. They manage staff schedules and approve promotional materials to generate excitement for a project’s release and contribute to its creative brand.

Executive Producer Skills and Qualifications

A job description for an Executive Producer may contain the following skills and qualifications:

  • Communication skills for coordinating the work of various people to finish a project within budget and on-time.
  • Creativity in deciding how a script will be interpreted and representing the script’s ideas on the stage or screen.
  • Leadership skills for instructing Actors and helping them portray characters in a believable manner. They also need these skills for supervising the crew which is responsible for completing behind-the-scenes work. 
  • Time-management skills in finding and hiring the best crew and Director for the project while making sure that everyone involved effectively do their jobs and keep the project on schedule and within budget.

Executive Producer Salary Expectations

The average salary for an Executive Producer is $88,003 per year. This information is based on 70 anonymously submitted salaries to Indeed from employees and users along with past and present Executive Producer job postings on Indeed within the last 36 months. They may also be eligible for profit-sharing averaging $16,500 a year.

Executive Producer Education and Training Requirements 

The Executive Producer position typically requires a bachelor’s degree and advance coursework in cinema or film where individuals gain knowledge of film history, the filmmaking process, cinematography, screenwriting and editing. As of 2017, 180 postsecondary institutions received accreditation for their programs in theater arts from the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Some Executive Producers pursue degrees in nonprofit management, arts management, communications, acting, writing or journalism. 

Executive Producer Experience Requirements

Executive Producers often begin their careers working in theatrical management offices as company or business Managers. In film or television, they may start out in low-profile studio jobs or as Assistant Producers or Producers. As an Executive Producer’s reputation grows they may work on more expensive and larger projects that attract more publicity or attention. 

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Frequently asked questions about Executive Producers

 

What is the difference between an Executive Producer and a Director?

Executive Producers are in charge of the general strategy and business involved with creating and releasing a film project, while Directors oversee the creative decisions made on set. Executive Producers and Directors collaborate to decide on the artistic vision at the start of a project, with the Executive Producer then handling the logistics and the Director guiding actor performances and capturing the right shots for a film. The Executive Producer prepares the filming schedule and selects filming locations and the Director uses the time and resources allotted to tell a visual story.

 

What are the daily duties of an Executive Producer?

Executive Producers spend most of their time meeting with business partners, film crews and creative talent to delegate filming tasks and coordinate the different stages of film production. During pre-production, Executive Producers write and edit scripts in their office and secure funding sources to sponsor their project. They meet with Set Designers and ensure that the shooting location is prepared when the Actors and Directors arrive to begin filming. During post-production, Executive Producers lead advertising for the project, schedule interviews and generate press for its release.

 

What are the characteristics of a good Executive Producer?

A good Executive Producer is creative enough to think of a compelling story and practical enough to acquire and manage resources to share the story with an audience. Because Executive Producers play an important role in hiring the film crew and selecting a creative team, they should be a good judge of character and open to collaboration. Successful Executive Producers are skilled in time management and coordinating several different activities to align with a centralized schedule. They are budget-conscious and fiscally responsible, considering how various expenses could impact the production as a whole.

 

Who reports to an Executive Producer?

Executive Producers supervise different parts of a film crew at each stage of the production process. When preparing the script, they work with screenwriters and script editors to produce a polished product that can translate to film or stage performance. Through the course of the film, Advertising Specialists, Brand Managers, Accountants, Publicists, Video Editors, Production Managers and Development Executives all report to the Executive Producer.

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