ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Become a Film Producer

Updated on October 21, 2021
Kenna McHugh profile image

I work in modeling and film production and like to share insights into both businesses.

Benefits Film School

You can say, "No film school." You save money that way, and then you work your way up the industry ladder, becoming a movie producer.

I talked with the owner of a puppet artist company. He has worked in the film industry for decades and told me he hires not fresh out of film school. He likes working with people who work hard and are willing to learn the ropes - not think they already know it all. He explained that film school students tend to have preconceived ideas of what it means to work in film. "They don't want to work hard and work their way up the industry ladder."

The film industry has its fair share of movie producers who were college dropouts or didn't attend secondary education. Self-taught directors and producers seem endless if you look at the list. Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and Francis Ford Coppola are just a few to name. Each one has their own story of how they worked their way into the film industry and became successful without attending or finishing film school.

What Makes a Good Movie Producer?

Becoming a movie producer is a brave choice of profession. A producer makes a production happen. In Myrl A. Schreibman's book "Creative Producing from A to Z," he writes, "The producer is the one who is able to obtain the creative ingredients to prompt a project to go or the person who is able to raise the funding to give the project a green light but who then turns it over to another producer who makes it happen."

I recommend reading Schreibman's book because it covers all aspects of filmmaking, from location scouting to funding a movie.

To become a movie producer, you need to learn what a movie producer does and how to take on the hat of a producer by having the mindset of being willing to be the creative force behind the project, whether it's a movie, TV, or Cable show or theatrical play.

Some producers take on filmmaking responsibilities like earning tax or industry incentives, financing, product placement, or distribution deals. They work the business's niche until they are professional and know all there is to know about the particular aspect of film production. They become part of a movie production because their experience is beneficial for that production.

“The producer is the one who is able to obtain the creative ingredients to prompt a project to go or the person who is able to raise the funding to give the project a green light but who then turns it over to another producer who makes it happen.”

— Myrl A. Schreibman, "Creative Producing from A to Z"

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, at one time, sponsored a film website, which was highly ranked by Google. The site said, “… learning how to become a movie producer puts you in the driver’s seat of film production. The producer is possibly the most misunderstood yet most important person involved with any movie. The producers – people like Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, and Jerry Bruckheimer – all join a film project at the very beginning and commit themselves to see it through to completion. In short, they’re the generals running the entire production, doing it all.”

Nothing could be closer to the truth. Producers are the ones who make sure the project gets done. They are the CEO or the general of the camp. It’s hard work, yet it has many rewards – like an Oscar or food on the table.

Film School or Not

Would you go to film school?

See results

Advantages of Film School Alumni

You can attend a film school with a proactive alumni and network. There you can meet students who have the same desire as you - produce movies. Writer and director Nicole Holofcener told me in an interview how she hooked up with her producer while she was in film school in New York.

They met in film school, and he produced her first movie called Walking and Talking. The film was her first feature film that launched the careers of Catherine Keener, Liev Schreiber, and Anne Heche.

Holofcener told me that her producer friend was instrumental in getting the film completed and in the movie theaters. During the same interview, she told me going to film school is a great idea as long as you have the funds.

Movie Producer in Hollywood

Jordan Peele wears many hats in the movie industry. He's an actor, director, and producer. He understands how to make movies.

He knows what it takes to become a successful movie producer. As you can see in the video interview, he is so down-to-earth and realistic about the movie-making process. It's hard for me to believe he starred in Mad TV and is a comedian.

Jordan Peele Director of "Get Out" and Producer of "BlacK k Klansman"

Tim McGahan Describes Producing "Winchester"

Movie Producer Contract

A movie producer's average salary is between 44 thousand and 176 thousand per movie, but there are bonuses. Bonuses are how the movie producer excels in the industry.

Those pleasant perks are what make being a producer so much fun. The bonuses include profit sharing and commission. Profit-sharing means sharing the profits, while commission means bringing in investors and getting a percentage of that investment. Then, there is the good old bonus, which is whatever the producer's contract stipulates. An example is producing a movie under budget.

Movie Producer Benefits

The character of being a producer and the related jobs that go with the position is nothing short of an adventure. Once a producer is successful, they rarely quit the movie business because it is creative and rewarding. When you become a producer, you will hustle and work very hard because many people will count on you. Their duties will be in your hands.

© 2014 Kenna McHugh


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)