“Producer” is one of those nebulous job descriptions that often leave people wondering what it is exactly that a producer does. Producers are generally involved with many more facets of an entertainment production. A producer makes the final financial business determinations that can get a show on the air or keep it in production. A producer, like actors and directors, often has attained the education to pursue employment in the field of television production, but not always. A person who wants to become a television producer can often get a job based on talent and the right experience.
There are many roads a person can take in the journey to become a television producer, but there are a few common denominators that are helpful. Creativity is a must, and experience in a related field, such as directing, is often necessary to become a television producer. A television producer also needs good business judgment.
No formal education degree is necessary, but a common path is for a producer to begin in a related field. Sometimes the path starts with a job under a director, or with related work for a performing arts organization. Some educational degrees are available that will help with the journey to become a television producer, such as an arts management degree. Other times, actors and directors who have achieved success in their respective fields can move on to become television producers.
A television producer spends the workday overseeing many others involved in a production. He or she gets to approve or decline writers’ ideas and their scripts, and also hires others involved in the television show, such as directors and actors. Nothing can be done without the necessary funding, which means the producer also has to make sure secure financing is in place.
Some schools offer courses in the many facets of production that a student needs to learn to become a television producer. These courses include creative thinking and production coordination skills. Other courses are designed to boost students’ confidence that they can do the job while also building their people skills, such as a course titled “Personal Effectiveness for Production,” offered by the BBC Academy in Great Britain and online. In the United States, the Academy of Radio and Television and Broadcasting offers similar courses.