Film producer and director are two of the most crucial occupations in the film industry. They are two of the most responsible parties for the failure or success of a film. On a film, there are bound to be many producers on the set of a film because there are so many moving parts to a film. However, there is bound to be only one director on the movie set.
So, what is the difference between producer and director? Producers have different duties on set from directors but they need to collaborate for a movie to be completed. Simply, producers handle the business and directors handling the art.
A film producer usually handles the business and financial side of producing the movie while a director handles the creative aspects of film production.
A producer’s role is to supervises all aspects of the film production process from beginning to finish while a director supervises the actor performances and coordinates the crew.
A film producer and a director are separated by the responsibilities they have on a film set which will then decide they role they play.
There are different types of producers which may include an executive producer, associate producer etc.
Produces are like managers and executive producers like executive managers of a company.
On the other hand, there is only one director, though there may be assistant if the director wishes.
Without a producer and director, there can be no film. Read on to find out the difference between the two and you should understand movie credits going forward.
What Is the Difference Between a Producer and a Director?
A film producer is responsible for the initiation, coordination, supervision and creation of a film production.
A film production may include a movie, television show, web series and commercials.
A producer may be self-employed or many be contracted by a studio or production company.
As stated above, the difference between a producer and a director is the roles they play on a film set.
Therefore, we shall look at the responsibilities of a film producer which include:
Before a movie is made, there has to be a plan for the production.
Since it takes money, there has to be a budget and the movie producer is responsible for making it.
The budget the producer comes up with will determine whether investors will put their money into the film.
If it costs too much to make the movie, it may not be viable to make the movie based on box office estimates.
A budget will establish a financial road map for the movie to follow.
It will keep the hiring and purchases on track so they do not exceed the available funds.
It takes varying amounts of money to make different types of movies.
However, for most movies, it takes millions to make most movies so it fundraising is necessary to make most movies.
The producer is responsible for raising funds to make the movie.
If they cannot, they will at least find people who can help raise the money.
Raising funds helps to attract talent and resources to make the film.
Other producers attached to the film are usually encountered at the fundraising stage.
Fundraising is where a producer can be creative in the film making process.
They can try all means necessary to obtain the funds calculated in the budget.
The producer is also responsible for making the movie schedule.
With conclusive consultation, the producer should come up with a date when production of the film should be wrapped up.
The budget should be vital indicator of how long the movie should take since you cannot keep filming if you don’t have any money.
Scheduling should also take the crew’s needs into account as they are a vital part of the film production process.
Scheduling involves locations, logistics, accommodation and any other aspect of the film process.
A film producer needs to ensure that the entire production process is streamlined so it happens to schedule with little to no variation.
Hiring Cast and Crew
The producer is responsible for hiring everyone who will be involved in the making of the film including the director.
Therefore, the producer is ultimately responsible for the production of the film.
Once the director is hired, the producer may put the hiring of actors and other creative personnel in the hands of the director.
However, such decisions are made jointly with the producer and director having the final say on different matters.
All the peripheral crew is hired by the director based on the budget the producer formulated.
In this regard, the producer is ultimately in charge of all personnel on a film set.
The producer is responsible for all elements of the production process from preproduction to post production.
In preproduction, they are responsible for acquiring permits, securing locations and creating contracts.
During production, producers ensure all department heads are coordinated and in communication.
The executive producers will usually talk to other producers such as line producers during production.
Concerning post production, the producers work with editors to ensure the finished product is as envisioned. They are also necessary for acquiring anything else required in post-production.
The producers will also market and distribute the film which is an arduous process. However, without it, the film will not be successful.
A director is responsible for guiding the actors and the crew to realize the vision on the script and make it a reality on screen.
They control the film’s dramatic and artistic aspects.
Their roles include:
Interpreting The Script
The director is the one responsible for translating what the scriptwriters have written to the screen.
It involves a significant amount of collaboration with the writers.
The director has to completely understand the script for proper translation.
The art form of directing is that every director will have a different interpretation of the same script.
To that end, the director can make changes to the script together with the writer to make the words fit the director’s vision.
The translation is one of the hardest jobs of a director.
Set The Film Tone
A film is a visual medium so the way it looks is a very crucial aspect of the film.
The director is ultimately responsible for the way the movie looks.
Camera angles, static or dynamic shots and lighting all influence the way a movie is presented.
All of these are done during the shooting of the movie so a director will figure out how to shoot scenes so that they fulfill his vision.
To set the tone of the film, directors will also work with department heads such as production designers to achieve the look they want.
Scheduling and Hiring
Directors work hand in hand with producers to ensure the production goes according to schedule.
Directors are actually better placed than producers to know the filming’s scheduling needs since they are in the creative side of film making.
If there any changes to be made, the director will talk to the producer about it. The director also has a significant say in hiring of the crew especially the actors.
The director will also have other people they have worked before so they may recommend them to the producer.
They will also fire anyone who impedes the creation of the movie.
Choosing the movie’s cast is one of the most crucial parts of making the movie. Just like a sports team, the cast will ultimately decide the performance of the movie.
The movie director has to be included in the casting auditions and selecting the talent to future in the movie. They have the ultimate say so as to how is selected.
Sometimes, the director will cast an actor who they think is suitable for the role without an addition especially for established actors. In this way, they have tremendous influence over casting.
The director is responsible for the direction the movie takes.
There is a myriad of ways in which you could shoot a movie and every director has a style that is usually evident by the way they shoot their movies.
Direction also pertains to giving actors instructions. Some actors require or want a lot of direction while others only need minimal direction.
It is up to the director to decide which approach to use with which actors. Direction is the most creative and possibly hardest part of the director’s job.
You will often see a ‘Director’s Cut’ before a movie is released.
That is usually the version of the movie the director had in mind before post production is completed.
However, there are many other people with a say in the matter.
So the director’s cut will often be far different than the movie’s final cut.
However, the director will be heavily involved in the post production process. As said earlier, the director is responsible for all creative aspects of the film.
As you can clearly see, there is a large difference between a producer and a director.
However, they can overlap when a director is involved in fundraising or other production duties.
What is true is that they will often work together before the movie is done.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.