The ins and outs of being a video producer

In a video project, there are many pieces that need to managed and coordinated from beginning to end. This is where the video producer comes in.

A video producer creates a video based on a needed or desired concept. They are in charge of every aspect of the production from the beginning to the end. Their roles are to assists in everything from organizing logistics, deadlines and write scripts, to making a budget, corresponding with clients and customers and leading the production in a creative direction. 

A producer creates content that goes beyond just filmmaking. A video producer produces promotional, social, recruiting, product marketing, and corporate training videos. The primary purpose of a video producer is keep production moving.

Nowadays, the delivery of content has changed. Video and content creation are everywhere, from Facebook to YouTube. These platforms create a growing demand for video producers, as companies are vying to get their brands seen. Many businesses realize that video production is an essential part of client services and communication. 

What’s expected of a video producer

Video producers are video storytellers. They produce, edit and deliver many video assignments for the web and television. A video producer is skillful in using video equipment and editing software. Video producers often work in creative and heavily deadline-driven environments.

 a video producer develops and generates content that goes beyond filmmaking.


A video producer works independently or with a team to make a project. The final product has a high creative standard and is delivered by the deadline. For every project, video producers ensure the content, the tone, the style and the length requirements are satisfactory. They improve the communication between the members of the production members and the client. 


Pre-production involves scripting and development. Before anything is a-go, there must be an agreement on the script, the budget and the schedule. For this, there is generally a hard deadline. Once approval is made on the creative direction and budget, then the project is ready to set up the logistics of the crew, securing equipment, locations and whatever else is essential to the film.

Pre-production is a very complicated and intimidating task. Certain elements come to play in a video project:

  • Budgeting
  • Concept development
  • Script development
  • Storyboarding
  • Shot list
  • Location
  • Hiring crew and talent
  • Communication with the client.  

A video producer assists in coordinating the entire project by developing a strategy and creative vision. The main purpose is to meet the goals and ideas of the client, thus giving the video project the opportunity to be successful.

For example, script development is a written submission obtained and made into a final shooting script. The producer handles all of the written material. Video producers find, evaluate, and buy the scripts.


The responsibility of accounting and reifying all the production expenses belongs to the video producer. Producers budget and actualize expenses. They also secure locations and require permits needed. However, client approval comes first. The client and video producer secure the budget. After that, they develop a concept and a script. In addition, video producers build the storyboard and shot lists after approval.

During pre-production, the video producer schedules everything from rehearsals, shoots and reshoots. Rehearsals allow talent and actors to practice, thus allowing production to save time. Scheduling reshoots well in advance prevents delays, which helps the cost the production.

The video producer has the responsibility of leaving time for reshoots. It is best to overestimate the time needed for travel, shooting and editing by 20%, this way the project isn’t rushed.

The video producer leaves creative wiggle room for other ideas. For instance, scripts can change on the spot, the actors may come up with better lines or there are adjustments to the shot list in order for the shots look better.


Scouting for location is a crucial part of the pre-production process. It requires finding real places to serve as the fictional locations and settings described in a screenplay. The video producer has the responsibility to find the right location that backs and assists the narrative of the film.

By the first day of shooting, the video producer must make sure that all permits and contracts for each location scouted are finalized. Having a preliminary schedule is helpful to a video producer, as it allows the planning stages to run much smoother.


The production phase of a video project is the quickest part of digital media production. The length of the project production depends on different factors—the number of locations, the length of the script and the key members involved. The video producer provides supervision in line with client communication, handles interviews and makes sure that everything happens as it should. In other words, the buck stops with them. 

Video producers are in charge of management and logistics:

  • Load-in
  • Set preparation
  • Camera set-up
  • Continuity
  • Catering
  • Coordinating and offering directions to set
  • Management of actors and talent
  • The equipment needed
  • The schedule for the day
  • Gear tear-down
  • Load out
  • Quality control.

During this stage, a video producer ensures that everything filmed comes from the breakdown of what needs to be accomplished that day.

Go with the flow and continuity

Continuity makes sure that every detail of the shot in a scene is consistent from shot to shot. Above all, it is important to deliver more suspension of disbelief within the film and keep the audience engaged. The video producer makes sure that the scene of the project sustains fluidity and no errors.

For this, a producer uses a continuity report. A continuity report provides a thorough record of the day’s shoot. It cuts down on mistakes; it’s important to catch mistakes early so they don’t happen again during the reshoot.


The video producer and editor review the raw footage. After that, they edit video and sound projects. A video producer chooses the right program format and manages the video library. They ensure the footage taken goes through a successful post-production phase. Editing is a significant part of video production; therefore, a video producer must create a good pace for the video so it doesn’t drag.

In post-production, a lot of detail goes into editing. That can be difficult for others to understand. However, that does not mean that the editing and development process cannot be satisfying. This entails writing, figuring out shots, and editing. With this, video producers must have a collaborative nature about themselves, as video production requires teamwork.

The client and video producer usually meet twice to discuss the project. Once before the start of the project, and again towards the end, which is when the producer shares their first final draft. This is when the client shares their input and desired changes they want to see. After that, the video producer goes back and employs those changes onto the project. Video is shared and distributed. Afterwards, the producer makes changes to the approved final product.

The final decision

With producing, the most difficult part is not having a clear understanding of the medium and how much money it takes. It takes a great deal of time and effort to complete a product. However, many do not understand this collaboration and do not comprehend that after a certain amount of time of review. This makes changes difficult.

Above all, a video producer has the responsibility to educate their clients to better understand that choosing certain elements affect the budget. Therefore, it is the responsibility of video producers to avoid pitfalls with their ability to articulate the plans for film in the beginning.

The skills that pay the bills

A video producer keeps track of a lot of things all at one time. This makes video production very complicated. They must understand systems that can keep schedules, emails, documents and contacts organized. Therefore, one must posess great organizational skills. In addition, good time management skills help the project run smoothly and avert from overspending. 

Video production is a collaborative effort. Therefore, interpersonal skills are important for a video producer to have. Everyone should understand the intentions involved in the project to satisfy everyone’s needs. People skills give the video producer the ability to converse with all players within the production and allows them to handle different personalities.

It’s also important for a video producer to be flexible and willing to compromise. Last-minute changes happen a lot; therefore, a video producer must have a Plan B.

Be creative

The video producer translates the ideas and vision of the client. They should exhibit good creative and storytelling skills; therefore, they must understand the client’s story and their need to share. It is important to create a video that accurately tells their story.

Above all, there is a need for passion when it comes to a video producer. They must possess the passion and drive for provoking images and deciphering what those images communicate.

The technical skills

The possession of technical skills is important for video producers to have. They must have a clear understanding of technology and industry trends. Producers should be familiar with various types of professional cameras, HD/SD formats and studio and field production. 

The two most essential technical skills for a video producer to have is the ability to operate a camera and use editing software such as Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X. The understanding of different cameras and lenses allows producers to create certain shots and it gives them the capability to capture footage at a moment’s notice. These skills grant video producers the proficiency to be more hands-on and have the patience to see the bigger picture.

Becoming a video producer

A video producer requires in-depth knowledge of filmmaking. This requires hands-on experience, formal training and a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields:

  • Film
  • Video production
  • Broadcasting
  • Communication

Similarly, degrees in related fields like theater and art management are just as helpful. This training supplies the skills of critical thinking, writing, decision-making, time-management, monitoring and active listening.

Internships and jobs in that particular field are great ways to get one’s foot in the door. It gives them one to five years of industry experience. The more experience one has, the better chance they have of landing jobs in production managing and line producing.   

Jobs in primary and post-production make entry into the particular field much easier. In addition, movie studios and art management agencies are great ways to start out working as assistants. It allows many to work their way up by gaining experience behind the scenes.

In addition, another great way to break into the field is to look into groups that work with the media and film industry directly. There are many colleges that offer certificate programs for production and production management. Small, independent projects also provide great experience.

Final thoughts

Like any other job, the role of a video producer can be challenging. Most importantly, video producers are ultimately a very significant part of any video project. Often times, projects are easily derailed; therefore, video producer needs to act as the point person in each stage of the production.

A person that possesses this role must have the ability to manage all the details that come with the project and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Above all, avoid any pitfalls. There is solace in being able to walk away from the final product of the project that outdoes any preconceived expectation. 

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