Producer & Director
What you need to know
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.
Producers and directors work on film and television sets and in theatres. Producers usually manage the business side of the production while directors are the creative minds. They 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 more about what our producer and director role models do:
- 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 about how to become a successful producer or director:
The average pay for producers and directors in the United States was $79,000 in May 2021 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The pay for producers and directors depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
About 17,500 new job openings for producers and directors are projected each year, on average, over the next 10 years in the United States.
Overall employment of producers and directors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is faster than the average growth rate 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.
There are plenty of routes to becoming a producer and director. The first step for many producers and directors is obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Many students study film or cinema in programs at colleges and universities. There are many different options for those who wish to pursue a career in film.
An aspiring producer or director for film could enroll in programs where they learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process. Some examples include:
Others producers and directors choose degrees related to writing. Some examples include:
Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management. If you’re interested in this route a Management and Leadership major is an option.
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.
Watch this video to learn more about how to become a producer and director from our role models: