How much money does a producer make
The production makes its money with the production and exploitation of the film. In fact, it earns more with the production than with the exploitation, hardly any producer lives from the profits that a film makes.
The production consists of three positions:
The producer, who is actually an entrepreneur and managing director and only takes care of individual films in very small film production companies and then actually takes on the role of producer in personal union. Today the managing director is often a lawyer or businessman and is not very busy with the actual production, but only with the acquisition of new productions and the management of the business.
Today, the producer is responsible for the activities that were actually assigned to the producer. They develop the film, they acquire the finances, they supervise the implementation of the production.
Producer is therefore the most popular job in the entire film industry: Everyone wants to become a producer (if he is not a director - see under “Directing”). The producer is infinitely creative, but can leave the “real” work to others, mostly the poor writers. He just needs to have the "idea". In fact, the job would be a dream if it weren't for a big horse: at the end of the day a producer is a salesman. He has to sell the idea to the funders and get the contract and that's damn difficult and a very tough, often frustrating job.
It is also the reason why there is hardly a job that has such high wage differences. For the junior producers, the most sought-after entry-level position, it often starts at just over 1,000 euros a month and ends at perhaps a million - but the latter is only given to the few stars who, in return, bring their employers in double-digit million sales. Realistic fee demands for a seasoned producer who has a track record (films for which he / she is responsible) and sales successes are between 5,000 and 8,000 euros per month (plus the usual employee benefits). Usually there is still a commission for noteworthy new orders. For a TV movie he can calculate around 30,000 euros as an executive producer for a cinema film with a budget of around 4 million euros, around 50,000 euros.
The production manager is a kind of “over” production manager and oversees all productions of a production company. In addition, he is usually the chief financial officer of the production company and often the commercial director. Production managers are mostly experienced warhorses who have gone through the entire spectrum of the film industry, and they are therefore to be remunerated with 6,000 to 9,000 euros per month. Whoever gets more usually has a very convincing argument for it.
Of course, depending on the size of the company, various assistants, bookkeeping and other functions that a producer considers necessary are also represented here. However, it is classically only these three that really belong to a production company. That is why one often experiences entire departments being founded and then closed again (very popular: "Development" as a department usually does not survive a year).
These three items have something in common: TV broadcasters and most other financiers do not accept them as cost items in a calculation. The producer has to finance them from his proceeds.
You have to be able to admit defeat: In “Filmrecht” I suggested exchanging the term “producer” for “film production” for a production company. Hardly any suggestion has gone unheard, so I return ruefully - for the most part, and with the malicious assurance that it is the only way it is, because people love to call themselves producers with all the nimbus that this profession once had would have.
“By not becoming a director, by not remaining a production assistant and having business cards and letterheads printed.” The quote was valid for many decades, but here, too, the constant output of the film schools is noticeable. Every self-respecting film school trains "production" and the competitive advantage of having only dealt with this subject for four to five years pays off. In any case, all hopeful start-ups are almost exclusively those successful film college graduates.
In the past, a producer liked to be a journalist, one even a police officer, others came from the production management or from the editorial office.
Start-ups are often the result of talents who have started their own business. Directors, comedians and presenters particularly often set up their own production companies. It takes a certain business acumen and a certain business acumen to make it happen. The advantage is that the fees for producing also remain in the pocket of whoever is the real talent. The disadvantage is that the actual job is more than busy and that these additional tasks are usually overwhelmed. For most of them it is enough to produce themselves, and the company "dies" when production ends. However, some succeed in developing another successful mainstay and producing other productions that are not dependent on the main actor. The collective of directors that "X-Films" founded is one of them, for example, even if a very top-class film producer was part of the team from the start.
The producer's fee is not a big secret: a distinction is made between cinema and TV. There are also special conditions for various sectors, especially for advertising. The starting point for all calculations is the production costs of the film.
The TV stations all pay two types of winnings without hesitation, following a strangely elaborate compromise from the 1950s:
One is the so-called handling costs (short: HU). Handling costs are a lump sum for everything that the producer has to pay for a production himself: assistants, flights, office, telephone and the like, as well as fees for producers and line managers. For a reason that cannot really be determined, this amount is calculated and paid at 6-7.5%.
The production costs plus the HU, i.e. a total of 106.5%, are used as the basis for calculating the profit. A profit of 6–7.5% is also paid out as profit. It is usually the case that if the HU is calculated at 6%, the profit is 7.5%. Conversely, some broadcasters only give 6% profit, but 7% HU, so in the end the result is always about the same number.
Everything is different in the cinema. The producer should actually live on the profits a film makes, most just don't. How many films do not bring in a profit (it is often said that only one in ten makes a profit) is given with mostly adventurous odds. The Hollywood saying is: Most films lose money. The loss-making business and the misery of the poor producers are loudly lamented.
Do not believe a sound. If that were true, there would be no producers for a long time. Producers do not finance themselves from the profits a film makes, but from the budget that a film costs. Either openly or hidden, the 10% producer fee is factored in and in addition there are items in every calculation that do not cost what they should cost. It's an open secret. A producer achieves around 15% of the budget as "his part".
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