In addition, they must make sure that the set is safe, the crew is safe and must make sure that
union breaks are taken according to union rules and guidelines.
The Producer of a feature film or television series is a completely different position with completely
The Producer is the person responsible for putting together the project, from hiring the writer(s), gathering
the production team (including the Line Producer), and being the main contact between the production and the studio, or the
entity putting up the money for the film.
It's even possible that the Producer is not on the set every day. They are usually "behind" the scenes, taking care of business
outside the production. The Line Producer is the one on the front lines -- going into battle. As any of you know,
a film production set can be like a war zone!
So, is this role for you?
Do you have what it takes to sit in this chair?
In order to be a Line Producer you must be:
• A leader
• A team player
• A negotiator
• Be diplomatic
• Ability to solve problems quickly
• Ability to deal with emergency situations
• Work very long hours
• Keep up moral on the set
• A-type personality
One of the most basic questions asked is "Why are they called Line Producers?"
They are called Line Producers because they cannot start work until they know what the 'line'
is between the 'above-the-line' costs for writers, producers, directors and cast, and the 'below-the-line'
costs which include everything else.
What is the difference
between Above-The-Line and Below-The-Line?
Line Producers, therefore, are usually the one who break down
the script and as such, are very close to knowing what is needed for each scene for the day's shoot.
As such, knowledge and expertise in a film scheduling program is essential to the role of a Line Producer.
Aside from creating the schedule for the film, the Line Producer is also responsible to creating the budget.
During pre-production, Line Producers work with the Director, Production Manager, First Assistant Director,
Art Director and other Heads of Department.
While the Assistant Director is the go to person for Director, the Line Producer is the go to person for everyone else.
They oversee all preproduction duties and responsibilities. With approval of the Producer and Executive Producer, they hire the
production team, set up the production office, coordinate with Location Managers regarding location scouting, and negotiate with
vendors and rental houses in regards to equipment needed for production.
You’ve heard of the phrase “On Time and On Budget”. This is the goal of the Line Producer.
They also delegate the day-to-day operations of the production office to the Production Manager. Which raises another
important question… what is the chain of command for all the Producer titles on a production? In general, it would be like this:
• Executive Producer
• Co-executive Producer
• Line Producer
• Supervising Producer
• Coordinating Producer
• Consulting Producer
• Associate Producer
• Segment Producer
• Field Producer
• Edit Producer
• Post Producer
Of course, not all production will have all these positions. Sometimes, on smaller productions, a certain
Producer title will actually be responsible for multiple roles in the Producer title. For example, it would be common for a
Line Producer to also be the Producer, if that person is responsible for acquiring the property (the screenplay and the
Above-The-Line crew, such as the actors), and also the finances for the production.
Sometimes you’d think a good Line Producer could have been a killer accountant, because they have to understand
budgeting well. They have to be able to move things around, and make the budget fit into the money available. Basically,
they need to really good with numbers. If you are looking for a Line Producer, somehow find out if their finances are in order –
or at least if they checkbook is balanced! Then you’ll know you have the right person for the job.
Line Producers are responsible for health and safety procedures, and for filing or resolving any insurance claims.
Line Producers are usually employed on a freelance basis. They work long hours, though the role is well paid. If a
Line Producer has a creative input, he or she is often credited as a Co-producer.
Jungle Software has some excellent tools to help you if you are or are planning to be a Line Producer.
Some forms you will need are:
• Call Sheet Template or software to create a Call Sheet
• Daily Production Report
You can download a Call Sheet Template and a Daily Production Report here.
For a complete working demo of Gorilla Scheduling and Budgeting click here for Macintosh
or here for Windows.