Directors and Producers

Directors and Producers

Next to acting, careers in movie directing and producing are some of the most popular jobs in film -- in large part because directors and producers have creative control and can reap large rewards from their efforts.

The Work of Movie Directing and Producing

The director is responsible for every aspect of a motion picture production, from set design to music to cast decisions, and leads the cast and crew during filming to achieve a successful final production. In most large movies, there are layers of assistant directors, who work directly with technicians and cast members. All directors must ultimately answer to the executive producer, who has the final say on the production.

The producer manages the business and financial aspects of a movie, including everything from script selection to budget development to hiring and firing. Producers are the entrepreneurs of a film production. It is the producer who decides which screenplay gets made, how much money can be allocated, and who should direct it. In larger productions, a bevy of associate, assistant, and line producers work for the executive producer to coordinate the activities of writers, directors, managers, and agents.

Directing and producing can be stressful work, with long and irregular hours and pay, and the need to adhere to budgets and union rules.


Directors and producers enter the field in a myriad of ways. Many directors might start as actors or screenwriters, or get formal training as a direcor in a film program.

Producers might begin in stage management, or work first as a director. Producers may have degrees in arts management or nonprofit management.

Both directors and producers need management skills. Directors manage people in the film -- from actors to gaffers -- while producers manage the budget and the business.

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