TV or film producer

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Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would look after the business side of TV or film productions. It would be your job to help to bring together all the different things and people needed to bring a director's vision to life on the screen. 

You might:

  • Decide which projects to produce, or come up with ideas yourself
  • Read scripts
  • Secure the rights for books or screenplays, or get writers to produce new screenplays
  • Pitch to television broadcasters to commission your programme
  • Find sources of film funding and pitch projects to investors
  • Decide what resources will be needed
  • Plan the schedule
  • Hire technical resources and support services
  • Hire key production staff and crew, and help cast performers
  • Edit scripts
  • Manage cash flow
  • Make sure that the entire production stays on schedule and within budget
  • Take overall responsibility for the quality of the production

On feature film and large-scale TV productions, you would be part of a team of producers and may be responsible for just some of these duties. On a smaller production such as a documentary, you would often do all of these tasks and may also direct the project.

This is a very high pressure job that requires a creative flair as well as good business sense. 

Working conditions

Hours

Working hours can be long and irregular according to the demands of a production. Freelance contract work is very common.

Environment

The work is mainly office-based, but you would also visit studios or locations for meetings.

Travel

Location work could be anywhere in the UK or overseas, so you may need to travel and stay away from home for long periods.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Taking the lead
  • Presenting to people
  • Using computers
  • Being creative
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

It's not essential to have studied film or media production before looking for work, though it may be helpful to take a course that includes practical skills, work placements and the chance to make industry contacts.

Many film producers have a relevant degree (SCQF level 9/10) in:

  • Media
  • Film
  • Television
  • Production
  • Broadcasting
  • Business-related qualifications

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND. Some courses require Highers in one sitting. 

With Advanced Highers (SCQF level 7) or a relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8), you may be able to enter the second or third year of some degrees. 

The most useful qualifications include practical skills and work-placements.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Media studies
  • Social studies

You will also need

  • In-depth understanding of the production process
  • A good network of contacts in the industry

 

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show understanding of the industry, creative, management and business skills such as Skills for Work Creative Industries (SCQF level 4) or relevant college or university qualifications such as a Higher National Diploma in Television Production (SCQF level 8). 

There are also a number of industry bodies that can offer relevant training and qualifications such as the British Film Institute. 

Build up as much practical industry experience as you can through activities like student film and TV, work experience placements, or hospital or community radio.