Do you really need an apprenticeship?
How do you become a film and television producer? Here you can find out everything about training!
What are the tasks of a film and television producer?
To produce a film you need a lot of people with the most varied of skills and talents. The most obvious people involved are the directors, cameramen, cutters and sound designers. But what do you really need most urgently to produce a film? Exactly: money!
The job of the producer is not always defined uniformly and varies a little in the various film branches (advertising, feature film, ...). One important thing all producers have in common is money. More precisely, the commercial administration of money. It can be the case that a producer takes his own money into his own hands or raises funds (from subsidies or clients). With this money, the film is finally made. The budgets can range from € 5,000 (small commercials) to € 5,000,000 (feature films). The producer has the responsibility to handle the given funds carefully. The size and specific selection of the film team, the technical equipment, the budgets for the drama, locations and props - all of this is largely determined by the producer and thus also plays a key role in the artistic implementation of the film. The latter has a lot of potential for conflict with the director, who is responsible for the purely artistic and content-related implementation of the film. A good producer not only has to be able to handle money well, he also has to know what makes a good film. In addition, the ability to work in a team, negotiating skills and a certain assertiveness are absolutely essential for a good producer. So here really a lot of different character abilities come together that you should be aware of.
In the private sector, producers can be employed (mostly by large advertising agencies) or self-employed. In my opinion, the latter should make up the majority.
What training do you have to do to become a producer?
The good news first: You don't need any special training to become a producer. There are many producers who have become successful without studying. Becausethe profession of film producer is not protected by the state (as opposed to doctors, lawyers, etc.). Anyone who wants to make a film as a producer can do so at any time and without any conditions. Whether for private or commercial purposes, it does not matter. All you need is money.
Now comes the big oneBUT: In order to become a film producer, it is nevertheless advisable to undertake a corresponding degree. The main reasons are as follows:
Network: By far the most important asset of filmmakers (directors, producers, cameramen, ...) is the network. If you don't have a big name, you at least need a large network. Otherwise there is no money to be made. With the help of a degree you lay the most important cornerstone for this. Because you are surrounded by (future) filmmakers and everyone knows that a network is essential for survival. Accordingly, contacts can be found quickly that will last a lifetime.
Training: You also learn something. You can do a lot of self-study and browse various business administration books. But some universities are able to offer not only a lot of theory, but also a lot of practice. And practice is always the best way to develop yourself. As I said, as a producer you don't just have to be able to deal with numbers, but also with artists and artistic products. It's hard to learn that with a book alone.
Exchange: During the course there is enough time to get to know like-minded people and to exchange ideas. You can address possible productions, discuss them and maybe even realize them. In any case, the course is also a great opportunity to understand the medium of film even better.
Legal hurdles:Lots of film productions(especially documentaries, series and feature films) are realized in Germany through state subsidies. In the funding regulations, it is not uncommon for it to be proven which training the most important people involved bring with them. The position of the producer is also judged very strictly, after all, it is about tax revenues. Appropriate training is therefore not infrequently a must.
What training centers are there?
The profession of film producer is usually tied to a degree that can be completed with a bachelor's or master's degree. There is therefore no classic professional training to become a producer. However, one can certainly try a lateral entry with a commercial qualification.
Which courses are available:
General University:Many universities offer courses related to media, such as communication and media studies. These then have their own modules in the direction of “film”. However, this is a purely scientific and theoretical view of the film industry itself. These courses are less suitable for producers. On the other hand, two other subjects are much more suitable: media management and business administration. The former is pretty much the most predestined course if you want to become a film producer. However, one does not only study there in the areas of film and television, but in all media areas (music, radio, ...). You should therefore find out whether you can somehow specialize in the direction of film. You can also become a producer with a degree in business administration, but you then have to take care of how you approach the subject of film and television and how you further educate yourself.
Film University / University of Applied Sciences:In Germany there are a handful of universities or technical colleges that specialize only in film productions. This small selection is highly regarded in Germany and in some cases also enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. Experienced professionals from science and business train you here to become a producer. In addition to the theoretical mediation, you also get several opportunities to realize your own film projects. Through agreements between university and business, one is also supported by well-known film production companies and well-known brands. The reputable institutions are as follows:
Film University Konrad Wolf
Film Academy Ludwigsburg (No. 1 for commercials)
Private universities: Private universities often have very good facilities and offer a wide range of options, but they also cost a lot of money. The quality of the training also varies greatly between the various offers. It is therefore always worth taking a closer look at the respective offer.Important: Always make sure that the degree is officially recognized!
As you can see, there are several ways and means to become a producer. Anyone who is young enough and still has their studies ahead of them should definitely consider a possible degree.
If studying is not an option, you can try a lateral entry. A previous commercial experience would be useful. But in general, anyone who is able to take money for films from other people can become a producer;)
In this sense, good luck to all interested parties.
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