What does a Development Producer do?
A development producer at a production company runs a slate of scripts with the aim of getting those projects commissioned by a broadcaster, studio, distributor or streaming platform.
Their daily responsibilities include reading and analysing the latest screenplays, offering feedback to the screenwriters with potential improvements and changes. When they aren’t looking at current projects on their development slate, they’ll be scouting for emerging writing talent and analysing submitted screenplays to see if there is potential to eventually get it commissioned.
The development process can take years of edits before the project is greenlit by a broadcaster or streamer.
Finally, a development producer could also work for a broadcaster within the commissioning team. They will provide feedback to the production company from the view of a broadcaster – they know their audiences in particular.
What skills does a Development Producer need?
Seeing potential: Rarely is a screenplay immediately ready for the screen, so a development producer needs to see the potential a project could blossom into with a few rewrites
Commercial Awareness: Understanding what content commissioners are looking for and what audiences want.
Who does a Development Producer work with?
The development producer will likely sit within a larger development team, typically consisted of a Head of Development, development producer, development executive and development assistant. The size of the team will vary depending on the production company’s size.
Outside of the team, they’ll work with screenwriters, who will take their feedback to rewrite the screenplays. The development producer will also work with the Script team- Script Editor, Script reader, Storyliner etc., who will ensure final scripts are ready for production and has the best chance of being turned into a successful show.
How to become a Development Producer?
You need a strong understanding of scripts and screenplays. Members of the development team often come from the script team. Script Editor or Readers can transition into development easily as the skills are transferable.
How much does a Development Producer earn?
BECTU recommends Development Producers earn between £1,000 and £1,300 a day on a freelance basis.