What Do TV Executive Producers Do, Exactly?

There are many people behind the camera working to make a film or a television series. These film and television projects cannot be done by actors alone. There are teams of people who work behind the scenes. These are people who approved the show, make or stage the show, and release and distribute the show. There are the directors, the producers, the scriptwriters, the stage handlers, the camera crew, the costume designers, the stunt crew, the extras, and the lists goes on and on.

However, there is one job in the entertainment industry that seems to be the first thing to appear in the end credits, and this is the Executive Producers. So what are executive producers? Are they the same as producers? What sets them apart? What is their job?

Executive producers vs. producers

The role of executive producers is to secure the finances for a film and make sure that they have enough money to make a film. They can secure it through an investment company, or studio or themselves. These people are responsible for bridging the concerns between financiers and producers.

The primary responsibilities of an executive producer are securing funding, finding talents, hiring producers, and approving the film production budget. Most prominent producers finance the film themselves while others tie-up with financing corporations. In terms of talent search, executive producers have actors and directors in mind for the project. They usually suggest that these talents are part of their movie to entice financiers. They also talk with talent agencies and negotiate artists’ contracts.

Executive producers also hire producers. The difference between the two of them is that an executive producer knows the material of the films and makes sure to have the money to get it done. Producers, on the other hand, have projects that they are working on and will seek and executive producer to have it done. Producers are also involved in the set every day of filming, while executive producers only visit the set to check and to make sure that the movie is still on-brand.

Lastly, an executive producer approves the budget for the film. A line producer will breakdown the entire script for the executive producer. From this breakdown, the executive producer should decide whether or not they need to raise more funds, or they have enough of a buffer to keep the production going. Should there be any changes in the scenes, the executive producer should know as these changes can all cause changes in the budget. The executive producer is an overseer of the entire production.