Film Roles: Executive Producer

Last week we looked at the immense role that Producers have to to undertake throughout the entire process of making a film; right from coming up with a basic idea through to distributing it to the audience.

Executive Producers play a big role in the industry. However, whilst the Producer's overall role is quite far-reaching, in that it covers a various array of areas in the production, the Executive Producer's job is a lot more "niche". In fact, the Executive Producer has nothing to do with the actual making of the film, and they will more than likely never visit the set - unless, of course they are the Director, or very good friends with the Director.

The role typically splits into two areas:

  • Copyright
  • Finances
In terms of Copyright, it will be the Executive Producers job to manage the "legal" side of things, ensuring that permission is granted to use aspects, such as clips from films, TV shows or music tracks. If a character quotes a line from a book, or a famous person then this will need to be cleared too.

When it comes to finances, the Executive Producer will liaise with the Producers, the studio and anyone else who might have donated money to the film, before working out the budget and where that budget will go.

Quite often, the Executive Producer will be well-known in the industry, typically as a Director. George Lucas is perhaps as well known for his Executive Producer roles, as he is as the Director of the Star Wars films. However, the fact that he is the Director of the Star Wars films has immense potential to provide investors with a certain amount of confidence in a film, meaning that they are more likely to offer cash.

However, even George Lucas has been known to struggle to gain financial backing, because even his name alone has not been enough to secure money for one of his most recent films - Red Tails. Indeed, Lucas ended up paying for the film out of his own pocket, and subsequently, he retired from the industry soon after.

Find out more about other Film Roles:

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