What Does a Freelance Producer Do?


Think you need to find a freelance producer, but unsure what you’d actually be getting? The role of a producer is absolutely essential, but so broad in scope that it can also be tricky to define. For this reason, Yellow Cat has selected it as one of several creative roles to break down for you in detail, so you can make an informed decision when hiring for your project. So if you choose to book a freelance producer, what will they actually do?

What is a freelance producer?

In essence, a freelance producer is responsible for bringing your project to fruition. Their role is to handle the logistics involved in creating a piece of content, such as a TV show, advert or music video. They can be  involved in any and all stages of the development, planning, execution and marketing of a project, depending on the brief they are set.

What types of freelance producers are there?

There are more producer roles than we could ever list, but we’ve picked a few that are useful to be aware of:

  • Television Producer – Responsible for the production of a TV programme or series for broadcast. They are often involved with the development stage, as well as day-to-day management. Their job is to  ensure consistency between episodes, as well as retaining the channel’s tone of voice.
  • Advertising Producer – In charge of producing video advertorial content, whether for TV or online. They will often be working on multiple projects over various brand accounts.
  • Post-Producer – Key supervisor for all editing, dubbing and other activities that take place after shooting and taping are completed.
  • Animation/VFX Producer – Handles all production that is related to animated content, or live action footage mixed with special effects.
  • Self-Shooting – A producer who will also film or ‘shoot’ their own content. They may also function as the director on smaller projects, known as a ‘self-shooting PD’.
  • Preditor – Less worrying than it sounds, a preditor will function as both producer and editor.
  • Versioning Producer – Oversees the production of content that must be adapted into different versions, e.g. for an overseas audience.
  • Promo Producer – Promotes companies, brands or TV content by producing short video content that ‘teases’ their current or upcoming work.

What’s in a producer’s job description?

What are the more day to day responsibilities of a producer? Depending on your project’s brief, they can be tasked with any of the following:

  • Manage finances, and keep the production within an allocated budget
  • Hire all key staff, crew members, and post-production teams
  • Scout shoot locations
  • Allocate resources and arrange booking of required kit
  • Create and distribute call sheets
  • Supervise and liaise with all team members and key stakeholders
  • Troubleshoot any issues that arise during production
  • Keep project on schedule and within allocated timeline
  • Weigh in on creative or conceptual aspects of production
  • Ensure all health and safety conditions are met

What is a producer’s skill set?

Most of a producer’s essential skills are based in communication, as they are constantly negotiating, delegating, coordinating and motivating the entire team, as well as the project’s external stakeholders. A producer must be confident with financial and time management also, as it is their responsibility to deliver the project on schedule and within budget.

Why should you hire a freelance producer?

A producer is the glue that holds a project together. Flexible to your needs, they allow all team members to do their best work, while ensuring that no element falls by the wayside. Their role can be incredibly challenging, but a good producer will always deliver the required results on time and to a high standard.

We hope that clarifies a job title that is a mystery to so many! Feel free to get in touch with the Yellow Cat team to discuss our current network of talented freelance producers-  and stay tuned for next week’s instalment, where we turn the spotlight on the role of a freelance Editor.

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