Executive Producer

What does an Executive Producer do?

An Executive Producer is in charge of the whole TV or film, but their participation during production can vary greatly. However, its typical that an Executive Producer will oversee the entire project from script to delivery.

They’ll be the ones pitching to commissioners to secure a greenlight on production and they’ll often handle all the legal, financial and marketing for a show. Sometimes an Executive Producer will be more hands-on during the production stages too, working with the broadcaster and the development and production teams to attract talent and staff up the production unit. This isn’t always guaranteed as most Executive Producers will balance multiple projects at once.

The title can also be given out as a credit to the original writer, especially if they have a high profile as this helps the show’s marketing appeal. In film, it’s common for a major financier to get an Executive Producer credit for investing in the project at the start.

What skills does an Executive Producer need?

Leadership – They are the face of each production. If there is a major production, they are the one who has to make the decision how to proceed.

Creativity – There are different routes to becoming an Executive Producer, many come from development. They’re used to spotting shows early and turning an original script into the basis of a successful show.

Business Acumen – Combined with their creativity, many Executive Producers have a business mind too. They are good at persuading commissioners to greenlight projects and securing financial funding for shows.

Who does the Executive Producer work with?

As the leadership figure of the entire production, the Executive Producer will be responsible for all staff working on the production. They will work closely with the development and production departments – either Head of or Line Producer – to make sure projects are completed and delivered on time.

How to become an Executive Producer

An Executive Producer tends to be the most senior role on any production and they have a combination of skills across multiple functions, there are multiple routes to becoming one.

Many take the development route, honing their skills and picking hit TV shows to develop. Yet others can come through the production route, starting out as a Runner, becoming a Production Manager and eventually a Producer.

How much does an Executive Producer earn?

Over the past decade, its become more common to see select cast members and financiers credited as Executive Producers for films and TV shows. While they may have had some input, much of their contribution is usually their celebrity status to elevate the content.

Traditional Executive Producers, the ones coming up with new ideas and overseeing the whole production from early stages, getting the commission and delivering it at the end, have rates that can vary by a significant amount. Typically, they are employed by one production company, hence they’ll often receive a sizable base salary well in excess of £120,000. Packages will depend on the terms each Executive Producer negotiates, however its common to see a variety of bonuses, including greenlight and re-commissioning bonuses, which can take their pay nearer the £200k mark.