Video Production Tips

What is an executive producer?

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You've probably seen title cards for executive producers on some of your favorite television shows and movies. When you're watching Law and Order, and Dick Wolf's name pops up, for example. But what do executive producers actually contribute to a film? Is it merely providing budget for the film or a vanity title?

film clapperboard

Well, you might be surprised. An executive producer plays an essential role in the film production process.

Keep reading to find out what an executive producer does and why it's an important role to consider when creating different types of video content.

What is an executive producer?

An executive producer's first and most important role is to find the funding for your project. If they're independently wealthy and working on a passion project, they may fund the film with their own money. They also may solicit money from different sources. Some places that executive producers may get money from include hedge funds, angel investors, grants, crowdfunding, government funding, and many other sources. 

An executive producer makes sure that a project stays on budget and that there are enough resources to complete a project. That's why when you're starting a new project, you'll need to make sure that the executive producer role is filled.

An executive producer will get some credit for a successful project, like a film that tops the box office. However, they will also take the heat if a particular project fails. The executive producer may have multiple roles in the production, particularly if it's a passion project.

Many actors, such as Reese Witherspoon, will become executive producers to act in projects they care about and want to see. Likewise, directors and writers will become executive producers to control a project, ensuring their vision is carried out the exact way they want it.

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Is an executive producer different from a producer?

It's essential to understand what an executive producer does because without the money, you wouldn't be able to create any video content. An executive producer plays a different role than a regular producer. If you're wondering, "What does a producer do?" or "What does a movie producer do?" we also have answers for you.

A standard producer oversees different parts of a production and makes sure that the process is going smoothly. A producer ensures necessary personnel is on set, all the equipment is available, and the locations are chosen.

Different producers will usually be responsible for different parts of a production and work in concert to ensure a successful production. Producers may also be responsible for specific aspects of the pre-production or post-production process.

When to seek an executive producer for your photo or video projects?

The executive producer will generally be responsible for overseeing all of the other producers and ensuring that they're completing their goals in a timely and efficient manner.

The executive producer will also oversee other parts of the production process, such as:

  • casting

  • directing

  • cinematography

  • editing

  • sound recording and sound mixing

  • lighting

  • special effects

  • set design

  • costume

  • hair and makeup

Basically, everything that goes into producing and creating different types of video content.

How do executive producers contribute to a film?

When you're working on large-scale productions, like significant television series, there's almost always an executive producer involved.

They may not be on hand all the time, but they're keeping a close eye on the money and making sure that every single thing on a project is going smoothly and without a hiccup. So, an executive producer is always a vital part of major productions. 

Are executive producers used to create social media videos or YouTube videos?

Executive producers may play a slightly different role in social media videos than movies and television shows. However, like video games and music, executive producers still play a role in finding funding and managing projects in the social media sphere.

They may just be working on a smaller scale than if they were working in television or the world of movies. Bigger corporations who make regular video series, like Buzzfeed, may be more likely to have designated executive producers. It all depends on the particular platform and the content being created.

In some situations, producers will be listed as social media producers, but they will essentially be doing the job of an executive producer. This is more of a cultural and business difference than a substantive difference.

If you're creating all your video content by yourself, finding the funding, executing, and organizing, then you're probably the executive producer of your video content.

Some executive producers you have probably heard of include:

  • Judd Apatow

  • Janet Yang

  • Nina Jacobson

  • Martin Scorsese

  • Spike Lee

  • Kathleen Kennedy

  • Stanley Kubrick

  • Megan Ellison

  • Broderick Johnson

  • Andrew Kosove

  • Roy Lee

  • Steven Spielberg

So, if you want to be as successful as one of these executive producers, you'll need to get started sourcing funding and creating content for different platforms.

Look at how these big-time executive producers got started in the world of executive producer and what you think you need to do to succeed in this field.

Now you know what it takes to become an executive producer

Now that you know what an executive producer is, you'll be able to start on the path to becoming one.

With a lot of hard work and time developing your skills, we're sure you can become the next best in the business.

Are you looking to learn more about the wonderful world of video? Check out Clipchamp's glossary of terms for all you need to understand from video production to video editing!

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