I am an entrepreneuer in film business. I work in production department in roles of a Line Producer, a Production Manager and a Producer. What do these titles consist of? What does one do, when one is a Line Producer? This is a subject a lot wished and asked for so here goes. This could easily become an essee with source references, but I went the other way; I am writing from my own experience and perspective.
I have started as a Production Trainee, then moved on to Production Assistant post and then to Production Coordinator. These earlier positions should always last a bit longer, many many gigs, specially assistant and even more specially coordinator posts. They are preparing you for what is coming. You are collecting valuable experience and understanding about the department and the entire field, so for all the coordinators out there: don’t rush into becoming Production Managers – it isn’t helping anyone especially not yourself.
Production Manager, Line Producer, Producer…
It is not that simple to say who does what precisely. It is a bigger question about the structure of the whole production department. The duties vary; different production companies have different ways they are used to do things and it is also very different even in every production. It’s always a question about the people in the department and their experience how the duties are and can be divided.
Basic idea is that Producer is in charge and responsible of the budget and the production in more creative way as well. It is normal, that Producer is involved with the funding in some level (of course again there are company differences here). Line Producer is still quite new post in Finland and it is still very common (and this is also a money thing) that we have only Producer and Production Manager as a team and they share the Line Producer duties.
Line Producer is more involved with practical things like budgeting, negotiating contracts and contact with the client and/or Executive Producers. Line Producer is in charge of the whole production from pre production until the delivery, when Production Manager often comes in closer to the shooting period. Line Producer is over-seeing the production and Deparment Heads are responsible reporting to him/her. Line Producers duties are both above and below the line (which we dive in deeper in my next budgeting blog that handles production part).
Production Manager has similar duties as the Line Producer, but it is in it’s all simplicity about this: as the Line Producer creates the budget and schedule the Production Manager executes it. Line Producers work can happen more in the production office and Production Managers in the set, but again, this varies a lot.
When someone who doesn’t know our field of business at all asks me what do I do, I often say: ”It is my job to make sure that we have everything needed in front and behind the camera”. This means: I hire people to work in the production and I book the equipment needed. I make sure that all the crew has what they need to do their job as well as possible.
Hopefully this answered some of your questions and cleared up at least on some level what do I do for a living! Please, leave a comment here or DM me in Instagram anytime.