Filmmaking is teamwork. Numerous people are involved before a film flickers across the screen. At all stages of the project, there are many steps to be taken. Every film production needs people who keep track of everything. These people are the producers.
As project managers, they are responsible for the overall product, from initial planning to post-production. Producers coordinate and organize all the processes necessary to realize the project. Budget, Time, Quality—these are, in short, their main concerns. They bear the financial responsibility and ensure that all team members work well together.
Typical questions for producers:
Although, they usually operate in the background, producers also have an influence on the content and artistic design. In production companies, they are often the first to select the material and then initiate its realization. TV- and film-producers, for example, bring together directors and screenwriters and help select the artists.
Producers also pay attention to the needs of employees and what equipment is necessary. They monitor deadlines and are often involved in marketing the respective products.
Especially in the fields of animation, games and VFX, the demand for producers is enormous. Hardly any film or game today can do without effects.
The profession of producers is often subdivided within large-scale productions. In Germany, the regular producers are directly linked to the production of the project. They are in constant and direct exchange with the entire team.
In contrast, so-called line producers (or "Herstellungsleitung" in German) concentrate on the big picture and usually oversee several projects at once.
The term executive producer, however, originates from the American entertainment industry and corresponds to a managing producer.
Producers of animated films, games and VFX should have organizational skills. In this field, projects are usually personnel and time intensive. Producers often coordinate large groups and manage numerous tasks within tight time frames.
Time management skills are important. Prioritizing tasks is necessary to effectively structure pipelines. Analytical skills are needed to assess processes and plan them in a meaningful way.
Producers should be able to work under pressure, as it is not uncommon for a large amount of work to be done in a short period of time. Since problems often have to be ironed out during production, flexibility and originality are also required, as well as critical thinking in general when reviewing processes. For this purpose, they should understand artistic as well as technical work steps.
Knowledge of computer programs such as Excel is helpful for calculations. Experience in budgeting and project management of all types is an asset in their role.
In addition to a passion for the media industry, for film and TV producers, a good cinematic grasp is also required. Creativity is essential, such as in story development. It is also important to have a feel for the film and media market in order to be able to assess the commercial success of planned products.
Producers also file contracts and fill positions in production companies. Here, it is important to be able to assess the abilities of people and companies in order to delegate tasks precisely. Producers must have a large network of media professionals and creative people at their disposal. It is sometimes part of their jobs to discover talent and promote it through projects.
The most important skills for producers, however, are people and communication skills. In a team, they must always keep an eye on personal dynamics and sensitivities. They are usually the ones team members turn to when problems arise.
To start a career in Animation and Effects Producing, you need practical experience in the relevant areas of the film and media industry. In addition, universities such as the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg provide study programs in film producing.
At Filmakademie's Animationsinstitut, students have the opportunity to specialize in Animation and Effects Producing with a postgraduate course. The prerequisite for this is a business degree or business training, preferably in the media field.
The comprehensive training at Animationsinstitut is practice-oriented. During their studies, students supervise numerous projects that are produced at Filmakademie. Working in teams, they assume organizational responsibility for the production of animated short films, VFX and games projects, advertising clips and other media products.
The students are supported by internationally successful producers. They gain practical experience through project work as well as workshops and individual mentoring. Through FMX, they gain contacts within the industry, which makes a successful career entry highly likely.