Producer vs Director: What’s the Difference?

Producer And Director

Film making is a delicate and serious business and it requires a diverse team to be able to manage the making of the film. We don`t see all the things that are left behind the scenes, and we judge just the end product.

The result of the filmmaking process falls in the great part to the shoulders of these two people – a producer and a director.

Most of us don`t know the difference between them, and we for sure don`t know what is their job, but now we are here to cover these topics and tie up all the loose ends.

So what is the difference between these two key filming roles?

From the producer starts the process of making the material to be filmed. The first idea about the idea comes from the producer. After the idea is born, he or she is responsible for finding the funding for the project, hiring the crew, and amongst them a director, budgeting, pre-production, production, and post-production of the film, and marketing. So, from the first spark to the movie theater, it all falls on the producer.

A director has a completely different role. The director is responsible for the creative input that will make the whole project take a certain shape. The first step is reviewing the script with a writer, and adjusting it for filming purposes.

Then with a producer will be discussed how the film will look. When the script and the vibe of the film are known, then comes the casting of actors. The bulk of the work when the filming starts falls on the director’s shoulders.

He will discuss with the actors how to go through the scenes, and how it should look like when filmed. The director’s final input is in the post-production – working together with the sound team and a colorist.

Producer Director
Responsible for financing the project Responsible for the art part of the project
Hires the heads of the departments Chooses actors (in coordination with the producer)
Hires a writer Works with writer

What did you make of this? Are producers and directors working together, or as a team? Do they share the responsibility or do they stand behind just their part of the job? How the whole process of making the film looks like from the position of the producer and a director? Don`t worry, we will cover all this, and even more, just stay with us until the last paragraph!

Sharing The Responsibility – Two People And Their Jobs

These two people have so much power and responsibility when it comes to filmmaking, so they must work together, right? Yes, their jobs are different, but when they need to make a critical decision, they must think in unison.

Sometimes that comes after a lot of talks or even arguments, but one can`t work without the other. Their ideas for a film in some moment need to come together, and if that moment doesn`t come it can lead to a disaster and canceling of the project, or even worst – to a bad end product.

But each of them has their priority sectors of the project to take care of, so we will now try to explain where the responsibility for a director and a producer comes from.

Producer Role

The producer is the boss of all bosses, and here are his tasks:

  • Coming with the original idea. It can be from a book, newspapers, another film, or an original idea, it doesn`t matter. The producer must have something to plan his future work.
  • Calculating the budget. Before anything a producer needs to know what amount of funds would be needed for his project. It is a massive and hard job, but if it is not done properly, the whole project sometimes can be scraped.
  • Finding financial support. Rarely a producer can finance his ideas, so he needs to go in search of someone willing to share his ideas, and splash out the amount needed for the project.
  • Assembling the team. Several departments work together in the process of filming. Producers firstly choose a director, and then together choose the heads of each department. The producer should choose a director that can work well with his ideas, but choosing other major contributors should be done together with a director.
  • Supervising pre-production and production. Before filming even starts, a producer is meeting with all the sector bosses and discussing the future filming. All topics are covered, from finance, equipment, to locations. During filming he is often on the set, together with the director, adding creative input to the movie set.
  • Post-production and marketing. When the filming is done, a producer should supervise the final checking and tweaking of the sound and coloring. After that, maybe one of the toughest parts of the producer’s job comes. He is responsible for presenting and distributing material to the potential buyers of rights to show the film.

Director Role

The director, a creative mind that delivers magic to the movie, and here are his part of the filmmaking work:

  • Working on the script. He takes the original work from the writer and adds his input on the topic. He is responsible for the developing of the themes, and building characters.
  • Working with the heads of other departments. From photography, scenography, production, and all other departments, all plans and ideas go through him. From choosing equipment to priority in locations in which the scenes are shot it is all part of the director’s daily tasks.
  • Casting. Director and the producer are together working on a cast that would handle the film in the best way. Director is having the upper hand in the selection, but the producer also has a word in this decision-making.
  • Work on the set. It is the director’s job to follow how the filming is going and to talk with everyone involved, especially actors. If he thinks that some scene should come out differently, he is there to point that out.
  • Post-production work. After the completion of the film, the producer works with the editors, sound chief, and other staff, to check on every aspect of the film. They usually have around 10 weeks to finish this off, before the studio and the producer can get involved.

FAQ About Director`s And Producer`s

Who has more power, a director or a producer?

The producer hires a director but has to respect his wishes if he wants the project to end as a success.

Who is the boss of the movie?

A producer is responsible for the financial part of the project, but he is not viewed as an unquestionable leader. He is always talking with the writer, director, and other heads of the department.

What is the difference between a producer and an executive producer?

A producer is answering to the executive producer who is responsible for the finance of the film. A producer is involved in the day-to-day work on the set, while the executive is not. In some cases, an executive producer comes with the script, which he offers to the producer to work on.

Can a director also be a producer?

Yes. Some famous people from the film industries as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and George Lucas are producers and directors of most of their films.

Who has the author’s right to the movie, a producer or a director?

All author rights go to the producer unless something different is stated in the contract.

Who chooses and hires the writer?

The final word is on the producer, but directors are also there with their suggestions.

The movie industry is a mystery, but we hope that we shed some light on this complicating question. Both producer and a director are vital parts of the filming project, and nothing can be made without them. They have their responsibilities but need to work together regularly.

If you learned something from this then we are more than happy with our contribution. If you are interested in the topics covered in the same manner, stay with us, we guarantee some interesting stuff for you to read!

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