Video Producers: Career Info & Requirements

The chief responsibilities for a video producer are to find and champion a video project, hire the key personnel, manage the finances, and find distribution channels. Video producers come from a variety of backgrounds, but most have had prior experience in the entertainment industry, and some have postsecondary degrees in fine arts or business.

Career Definition for a Video Producer

Video producers make financial decisions involving theatrical, documentary, or industrial productions to be captured on videotape or electronic video systems. They review and select scripts, green-light project development, arrange for financing, and specify the overall budget. The video producer typically hires the director and is usually involved in hiring key staffers and principal actors. The video producer controls the funding, guarantees payments for all expenses, and negotiates with video broadcasters, distributors, and sponsors to release the project to the intended audience.

Education Bachelor's degree in business administration or performance arts recommended
Job Skills Eye for talent, self-marketing, confidence, persistence
Median Salary (2017)* $71,620 for all producers and directors
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 12% for all producers and directors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Information

The typical preparation for a career as a video producer would be a bachelor's degree program in business administration or one of the performance arts. A number of institutions offer exposure to both theatrical and financial worlds by offering degree programs in arts management. However, many video producers have risen through the ranks of studios or production houses, or spent time as staff or performers in video productions, gaining their experience in the craft without formal college training.

Skills Required

An eye for talent and a sense of what the public will find interesting will increase a video producer's success. Short-term jobs are the norm: most video producers are actively engaged in assembling their next projects while still finishing the current one, so persistence, confidence, and a facility for self-marketing are important. The ability to cultivate business relationships is useful in securing financing as well as attracting qualified talent. It helps to have a good reputation for consistently producing a quality product and making a profit.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers in video production will grow by a faster than average amount of 12% from 2016-2026, although many unknowns in the growth of interactive media and the development of new distribution channels make for a somewhat unpredictable future. The competition for video producer jobs will continue to be fierce, with many more qualified applicants than jobs. Most video producers will contract for a percentage of the production's profits rather than a straight fee, and there are wide disparities in earnings, but the median annual salary in May 2017 was $71,620, per the BLS. Unions and guilds within the entertainment industry are influential, and video producers should consider joining the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and other professional organizations.

Alternate Career Options

Consider these other options for a career in the film industry:

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

Normally having some postsecondary education, along with on-the-job training, these techs set up and operate the equipment used for sound recordings, movies and concerts, in addition to working with the electrical equipment used in TV and radio broadcasts. The BLS anticipated average employment growth of 8% during the 2016-2026 decade. That same source also revealed their annual median wage in 2017 as $42,650.

Multimedia Artist and Animator

Usually earning a bachelor's degree in art or computer graphics while developing an impressive work portfolio, multimedia artists and animators then seek employment creating projects for video games, TV, and movies, in the form of visual effects and animations. A nationwide average job growth of 8% was forecast by the BLS, for 2016 through 2026. According to the BLS, these artists and animators earned median wages of $70,530 per year in 2017.

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