What does a producer do?
We asked a crop of Hollywood heavy hitters to demystify their jobs while at the 27th annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 23 in Los Angeles.
But the answer–even for them–isn’t so simple. Or as Amy Ziering puts it: “What doesn’t a producer do?”
Ziering, the producer of “The Hunting Ground,” likens being a producer to “sort of like a jack of all trades.” “They oversee all facets,” she explains, “from budget to crew to cast.”
Producers are some of the most important players who work behind the scenes in television and movies.
“Sicario” producer Basil Iwanyk says that they often absorb the burden of success and failure. “You’re not the boss,” he says, “but you’re on the line for everything, both creatively and financially.”
“Back on Board: Greg Louganis” producer Will Sweeney compares his duties to “being a parent.”
“You’re there from the very beginning to the very end,” he explains. “We raise all the money, we come up with the ideas.”
As disciplined organizers of show business projects–and ultimately the person who says yes or no–being popular isn’t easy for a producer.
In fact, “Parks and Recreation’s” Tom Ragazzo shares that “trying to fit in without being a pain in the butt” is also one of the challenges of the job.