An executive producer is usually the head of a production, and he or she has a very fluid job description. There are three main entertainment industries that offer executive producer jobs: the film industry, the television industry, and the music industry. Executive producer job descriptions vary widely from industry to industry and can involve finances, personnel management, creative work or a combination of all three. Executive producers can be employees of a studio, own their own studio, or work independently or in cooperation with other producers.
Executive producer jobs in the film industry usually, but not always, focus on the business side of making a motion picture. Film executive producers often oversee all of the corporate aspects of a film's production, from concept to opening night. They may handle the legal and financial aspects of filmmaking, including raising capital to finance the film and managing the budget. Other job duties of an film executive producer may include hiring other producers; securing writers, directors, and other high level creative positions; and running the production like a business.
The executive producer jobs in television have four subcategories. First, a television station may hire an executive producer to oversee the financial and business functions of its news broadcast. Second, production companies focused on creating commercials and other filmed advertising will usually hire an executive producer to oversee productions. Third, for long format productions like made for TV movies, the executive producer job description is similar to that of an executive producer for a motion picture.
Series television often requires a different level of control than other the types of television executive producers, because a series must produce on average one episode a week for six months. The executive producer is usually responsible for making sure all aspects of the production reach the deadlines. Unlike most other production formats, series executive producers will probably have the final say in both business and creative decisions. They are often the lead writers on the series as well.
Music executive producer jobs are like series producer jobs in that they usually emphasize the creative side rather than strictly the business aspects of production. More like a film director than a film producer, the music executive producer often directs the creative elements of a production. The executive producer of an album or other musical production is usually not hired by a studio, but owns the recording label outright and therefore takes responsibility for all aspects of the production including financing the project.
The executive producer job description is so varied there may be exceptions within any of the above industries. For example, on independent films or in small commercial production companies, the executive producer may act as a writer as well as a business manager. Also, some film executive producers are famous actors who lend their name and celebrity to the production. In all three industries, executive producer jobs require flexibility, effective management skills, and dedication to the production.