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How to become a Media Producer

media producer careers

What does a Media Producer do?

Producers orchestrate the various resources needed to complete productions in sectors such as film, TV, radio and video. Some producers have creative input, originating ideas and developing initial concepts for a project, and they may be involved in casting decisions and script editing, whereas others are specialists in finance or law and therefore have a more business-related role. All producers' work combines detailed knowledge of the industry with extensive business skills.

Factors such as the available budget and the size and type of production can determine the producer's actual responsibilities. Typically, the producer assesses the resources needed and oversees the production from start to finish, working to tight schedules and budgetary restrictions. They may be responsible for selecting and hiring key creative personnel such as the cast and crew, and for ensuring that all the necessary technical resources and support services are in place. Senior positions involve managing other producers.

In some instances such as in film production, the producer may be required to approach several backers to raise the initial finances, and must manage the cash flow according to different terms and conditions. Those working in radio and TV must understand and satisfy the commissioning criteria of broadcasters, and bid for funding and schedule space. Producers in radio could also research and present their own programmes.

What's the working environment like working as a Media Producer?

Producers work long, irregular hours according to the demands of the project being undertaken. Freelance and contract work is possible.

While much of the work is office-based, there will be significant travel to monitor the production's progress and to attend meetings.

What does it take to become a Media Producer?

To be a producer you should:

  • have an extensive background of work in a media production, financial or business environment
  • have a thorough knowledge of the industry and the different roles within it
  • be aware of the laws affecting the media, including copyright, compliance and health and safety
  • have creative vision and the ability to present ideas
  • display commitment, patience and determination, and have plenty of stamina
  • be highly organised, with strong research, financial, budgeting and planning skills
  • be adept at writing and script editing
  • have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • be an effective leader and manager
  • understand your target audience and the possibilities for a project's commercial exploitation.

Media Producer Career Opportunities

The majority of producers are permanently employed by the many independent production companies around the UK, with the remainder working for broadcasters and other audio-visual companies.

Those with extensive experience can progress to senior positions including executive producer and series producer.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Media Producer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Skillset Careers
Tel: 08080 300 900 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Tel: 0808 100 8094 for Scotland
www.skillset.org/careers

Skillset
Prospect House
80-110 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1HB
www.skillset.org

New Producers Alliance
9 Bourlet Close
London
W1W 7BP
Tel: 020 7580 2480
www.npa.org.uk

The Production Guild
Tel: 01753 651767
www.productionguild.com

Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT)
The Eye
2nd Floor
1 Procter Street
Holborn
London
WC1V 6DW
Tel: 020 7067 4367
www.pact.co.uk

Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)
373-377 Clapham Road
London
SW9 9BT
www.bectu.org.uk