What Do Associate Producers Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

An Associate Producer (AP) typically assists a Producer in the production of a film or TV program. They may also work in the theatre to produce plays. The AP is a below-the-line producer, which means that they are hired after accounting for the budget for the Director, Producers, and Actor salaries. This is a supportive role that involves a variety of tasks assigned by the Producer.

An Associate Producer may spend their day organizing, editing, or writing scripts for TV programs or assisting with the development of a film production. Working as an Associate Producer may also provide a path to becoming a Producer.



Associate Producers

The main responsibility of the Associate Producer is to assist their employer, which is typically an above-the-line Producer. The job duties of the AP depend on the tasks delegated by the Producer.

Salary: $55000
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What they do

The main responsibility of the Associate Producer is to assist their employer, which is typically an above-the-line Producer. The job duties of the AP depend on the tasks delegated by the Producer.

Assist the Producer through each stage of production

Associate Producers work with Producers throughout the various stages of production. They are sometimes hired during the development stage when the Producer helps develop a script or concept for a film or television show.

In some cases, the Associate Producer is hired during the pre-production stage. After developing the project, the Producer may enlist the help of an Associate Producer. The Associate Producer may assist with scheduling and other pre-production tasks.

Coordinate production activities on a film or TV set

The Associate Producer may supervise various production activities on behalf of the Producer, including the design of lighting and sound plans for the set. On some film and television productions, the Associate Producer may also be assigned to coordinate the construction of the sets.

The AP may explain the Producer’s requests to the heads of each department, such as the art/design department and the sets department. The AP may also relay information between departments and provide the Producer with frequent updates.

Assist with the organizing, writing, and editing of scripts

Depending on the type of production, the Producer may need to organize multiple scripts, produce new scripts, or edit existing scripts. The AP may be assigned to complete some of these tasks. For example, the Producer may decide that a script needs a few changes. The AP may discuss these changes with a Screenwriter or a writer’s room with a team of Writers.

Monitor the production and editing of broadcast news segments

When working in the broadcast news industry, the AP may be responsible for ensuring that video and audio segments are ready for broadcast. They may also monitor the editing process and work with other Producers to assemble the footage before the scheduled air date. Associate Producers may also assist with the production of news segments, including the filming of on-location reports from Field Reporters.

Perform various administrative and clerical tasks

Along with performing essential duties on behalf of the Producer, the Associate Producer may complete a wide range of administrative and clerical tasks. The Producer may need the AP to file paperwork or review the budget and shooting schedule.

The AP may screen phone calls to the Producer, contact people for the Producer, and take messages. Other common administrative and clerical tasks include generating financial reports and arranging meetings.

Check in with various departments and crew members

The Producer may rely on the Associate Producer to provide status updates on the progress of various tasks. For example, the AP may need to check in with the sets team to receive an update on their progress constructing and dressing a set. The AP checks in with various departments to help the Producer ensure that the production is on schedule.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

You get to become an active part of a film set

Associate Producers are directly involved in the daily activities of a film set, which can be a fun experience for fans of cinema and television.

You may get to work with famous Actors

As you gain experience and work on higher-profile projects, you may get the chance to work with your favorite Actors and Actresses.

Your job is often interesting and never dull

Associate Producers may work on a wide range of projects, from documentaries and reality TV programs to big-budget action films. The variety of productions keeps this job interesting and eventful.

You may use this job to advance your career in film or TV production

Working as an Associate Producer is a common path for those who want to become Producers. You get to perform many of the duties assigned to the Producer, giving you hands-on experience.

Cons

The long hours and workweeks may keep you from home

Finding a work/life balance is difficult due to the long hours. You may occasionally work six days a week and 12-hour workdays.

The demands of the job can be stressful

Associate Producers may occasionally experience stress when working on a project with a hectic production schedule.


Where they work

Film Studios
Theatre Companies
Advertising Agencies
Broadcast News Organizations


Associate Producers typically work in the film, television, or theatre industries. They are often employed by film studios and theatre programs while working directly for a Producer involved in the production.

Along with film, TV, and stage productions, Associate Producers may help produce advertisements, commercials, music videos, corporate videos, and broadcast news programs. Advertising agencies and specialized production companies may hire an Associate Producer to assist with projects that involve a Producer.

How to become one

Step 1: Participate in local or school theatre productions

Aspiring Associate Producers can learn more about what goes into a production by participating in theatre productions in their local area or high school.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s degree

There are no specific educational requirements for Associate Producers. However, many Producers prefer to hire individuals with a college education, such as a Bachelor’s degree. Studying Filmmaking provides useful skills and networking opportunities for aspiring Associate Producers.

Step 3: Look for entry-level positions

After earning a degree, start looking for entry-level positions at production companies. You may need to start as a Production Assistant (PA) to gain industry experience and contracts.

Step 4: Use your experience and contacts to seek advancement

Associate Producers typically obtain their positions through a combination of experience and networking. Get to know the Development Producers at production companies as they are often responsible for hiring the APs.

Should you become one

Associate Producers require good listening skills to understand and fulfill the tasks delegated by the Producer. Social skills are also important for Associate Producers as entering this field requires you to network and develop contacts.

Being able to remain cool under pressure also helps Associate Producers succeed as this job can be highly stressful at times. Time management skills are also useful due to the need to manage your time and work without direct supervision to complete your assigned tasks.

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