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Editorial

In response to Jackie Apodaca's May 5 column, The

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In response to Jackie Apodaca's May 5 column, The Working Actor, which defined job titles in the film industry:

I find that your definition of all producers' titles other than the pure producer title is a bit disrespectful. I am sure that there will be many executive producers, associate producers, co-producers, supervising producers, and assistant producers who will agree with me. The problem is that the information about the producer titles should be more about what producers normally do—not the exceptions that are not as deserving. I know how much time can be extended to each of these positions; to disgrace the title and the work behind that title is not appropriate.

Actors are proud of their titles, as they should be. And you know what? A lawyer is a creative part of filmmaking, and without the financing there would be no movie. If there are token titles being given, so be it; there is usually an important deal-making reason for that happening. It would be better not to emphasize that, but instead to respect and support the Producers Guild standards.

Here are the descriptions of the producer titles directly from the Producers Guild website at www.producersguild .org:

What does a Producer do?

A producer initiates, coordinates, supervises, and controls, either on his own authority, or subject to the authority of an employer, all aspects of the motion-picture and/or television production process, including creative, financial, technological, and administrative. A producer is involved throughout all phases of production from inception to completion, including coordination, supervision, and control of all other talents and crafts, subject to the provisions of their collective bargaining agreements and personal service contracts.

What does an Executive Producer do?

An executive producer supervises, either on his own authority (entrepreneur executive producer) or subject to the authority of an employer (employee executive producer) one or more producers in the performance of all of his/her/their producer functions on single or multiple productions. In television, an executive producer may also be the creator-writer of a series.

What does an Associate Producer do?

An associate producer performs one or more producer functions delegated to him/her by a producer, under the supervision of such producer.

What does a Co-Producer do?

Co-producers are two or more functioning producers who perform jointly or cumulatively all of the producer functions as a team or group.

What does a Supervising Producer do?

A supervising producer supervises one or more producers in the performance of some or all of his/her/their producer functions, on single or multiple productions, either in place of, or subject to the overriding authority of an executive producer.

What does a Segment Producer do?

A segment producer produces one or more individual segments of a multisegment production, also containing individual segments produced by others.

What does a Coordinating Producer do?

A coordinating producer coordinates the work of two or more individual producers working separately on single or multiple productions in order to achieve a unified end result.

What does a Line Producer do?

A line producer performs the producer functions involved in supervising the physical aspects of the making of a motion picture or television production where the creative decision-making process is reserved to others, except to such extent as the line producer is permitted to participate. Unit production managers, who perform no more than the customary services of a unit production manager, should be credited only as such.

—Betty McCormick Aggas via the Internet

The following is a response from Jackie Apodaca:

I certainly did not mean to disgrace anyone with my descriptions of the Executive Producer, Co-Producer, and Associate Producer titles. Although I did give some real-world examples that differ with the official job descriptions as provided by the Producers Guild, I did so only to emphasize the malleability of those job titles, not to infer any disrespect. After all, my husband, who helped me with the column, is the example for "the production manager who did a really great job, so let's give him a better title," and I don't think he was "less deserving" than any other associate producer.

You are right that the column, a self-described "mini primer course" was in no way comprehensive. I hope it was clear to most readers that it was meant as a quick explainer, the kind of rundown you'd get from a friend over a beer, and not an official guide. This is emphasized in Part Two, running this week on the back page. After all, talent is more than "anyone who appears on-camera" as well.

If you would like to send your comments or letters to Back Stage West's editorial department, please email us at bsweditorial@backstage.com or write to us at Letter to the Editor, Back Stage West, 5055 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Letters may be edited/shortened to fit our space.

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