1408642708Macbeth © 2014 See-Saw Films

Line Producer

Film | High End TV | TV
Personality type:


The lowdown

  • Costing the production for investors
  • Supervising the preparation of the budget
  • Running the day-to-day business of the production

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • Have an in-depth knowledge of filmmaking processes
  • Have experience of scheduling and budgeting
  • Have good industry contacts
  • Have exceptional communication skills
  • Be diplomatic
  • Understand relevant health and safety laws and procedures
  • Be able to balance creative expectations with financial resources
  • Have good planning skills
  • Be a good team leader

What does a Line Producer do?

The Line Producer is one of the first people to be employed on a film's production by the Producer and Executive Producers. They are in charge of all the business aspects of the production of films.

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. 

Line Producers are given the script when in development to assess 'below-the-line' cost of the production. They break down the screenplay into a timetable for the film shoot that shows how long it will take to shoot each scene.

From this schedule the Line Producer estimates the cost of each day's shooting. They produce a provisional budget to show the total amount of funding required. Once the Producer and Executive Producers have raised the finance, the film can go into pre-production. 

During pre-production, Line Producers work with the Director, Production Manager, First Assistant Director, Art Director and other Heads of Department. They prepare the production schedule and budget, and to set the shoot date.

Line Producers oversee all other pre-production activities. They hire the production team, set up the production office, deal with location scouting, sourcing equipment and suppliers and selecting crew. They also hire supporting artistes and contributors, and monitor production departments. 

During production, Line Producers hand over control of the final budget to the Production Accountant. They delegate the day-to-day operation of the production office to the Production Manager and Production Co-ordinator. However, Line Producers are ultimately responsible for overseeing everything and making sure the production is completed on time and within budget.

They set up and implement financial monitoring systems, controlling production expenditure, controlling production materials, and monitoring and controlling the progress of productions. Line Producers usually cater for unforeseen circumstances, and spend much of their time juggling figures and resources.

Line Producers are responsible for certain health and safety procedures, and for sorting out any insurance claims. At the end of the shoot, the Line Producer oversees the 'wrap', or winding down, of the production.

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.

Will I need a qualification?

You don't need a specific qualification. If you are considering taking a film production course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the film industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in film:

Film production courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What's the best route in?

You can usually progress to the role of Line Producer by working your way through a variety of roles in assistant direction, location management and/or the production office. Many start their careers as Runners or Production Assistants. Line Producers must also attend the required health and safety courses. You can also get experience in TV or commercial production.


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