Producer & Director

What you need to know

Overview

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

What do producers & directors do?

Producers and directors work under a lot of pressure, and many are under stress to finish their work on time. Work hours for producers and directors can be long and irregular.

Some of the things a producer or director might do:

  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography
  • Oversee the post-production process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals

Watch this video to learn about some of the things our producer and director role models do in their careers:

Producer and Director overview
What skills are needed?
  • Communication skills: Producers and directors must coordinate the work of many different people to finish a production on time and within budget.
  • Creativity: Because a script can be interpreted in different ways, directors must decide how they want to interpret it and then how to represent the script’s ideas on the screen or stage.
  • Leadership skills: Directors instruct actors and help them portray their characters in a believable manner. They also supervise the crew, which is responsible for behind-the-scenes work.
  • Time-management skills: Producers must find and hire the best director and crew for the production. They make sure that all involved do their jobs effectively, keeping within a production schedule and a budget.

Watch this video to learn more from our producer and director role models:

What is the pay?

The average pay for producers and directors in the United States ranges from $38,210 to $206,860 as of May 2021.

The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.

What is the career outlook?

Employment of producers and directors is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The number of TV shows is expected to grow as the number of online-only platforms, such as streaming services, increases along with the number of shows produced for these platforms. This growth should lead to more opportunities for producers and directors.

What education is required to become a producer & director?

Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree. Many students study film or cinema in programs at colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process.

Others producers and directors have degrees in writing, acting, journalism, or communications. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Many stage directors complete a degree in theater, and some go on to earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Classes may include directing, playwriting, set design, and acting.

Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Film and Media, Theatre, Fine Art, English Creative/Writing, Journalism, Communications, or Management and Leadership.

Watch this video to learn more from our producer and director role models: