film producer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A film producer (film producer) manages and controls the manufacturing process of audiovisual productions. He is responsible for the technical and economic success in all phases : From the development of the material and script to the project development , the film calculation and film financing , the production to the post-production and completion of the zero copy or the broadcast tape. The film director , on the other hand, is responsible for artistic success .

The producer produces moving images for all exploitation purposes: cinema, television, advertising or industrial films for television , cinema , audio-visual media , the Internet and other media suitable for the transmission of audiovisual content.

Producers often specialize in specific media. A distinction is made between cinema film producer, television producer (TV fiction), TV entertainment producer (TV entertainment), animation film producer, documentary film producer and advertising film producer. There are numerous producers who produce for both television and cinema.

In a broader sense, the film production company is also referred to as a film producer. The legal form for this is a corporation (GmbH or AG), a partnership (KG or OHG) or a BGB company (e.g. in the case of a co-production), a silent partnership or a sole proprietorship / sole trader with unlimited liability. The company form most frequently chosen for reasons of liability is that of a GmbH.


One speaks of a film producer when he bears the economic and technical responsibility for the production, organizes its implementation and influences its content.

  1. For economic responsibility which belongs calculation of the film project (also called "budgeting" called), to monitor compliance with this calculation, and the assumption of the economic risk of film production (so-called. Overrun risk, ie the risk that production is more expensive than calculated), if necessary secured by a completion bond.
  2. For financial control and heard. a. the financing (e.g. for a cinema film from own funds, distribution and distribution guarantees , film funding , co-financing by TV broadcasters), drawing up the financing plan, organizing the cash flow (liquidity planning) for the film production and assuming the financing risk ; this includes B. the risk that a financing partner becomes insolvent.
  3. The technical and organizational tasks of the producer include a. Initiative, planning and development of the film project, the selection of creative and technical staff (e.g. scriptwriter , film director , actor , cameraman , film editor ), participation in the development of the script , preparation of the shooting (e.g. location search, studio construction), Determination of the shooting schedule, supervision of the shooting and later the post-production .
  4. From a legal point of view, this usually involves the acquisition of the filming rights (e.g. to a literary original) as well as the conclusion of contracts with authors (e.g. director, screenwriter) and performing artists (e.g. actors) .
  5. From an artistic point of view, the film producer gives his creative input in all phases of film creation: from the first idea, through the development of the script or format, the selection of actors, the shooting, the editing, to the final production. The producer Richard D. Zanuck compared this to the work of a conductor: “The producer is like the conductor of an orchestra. Maybe he can't play every instrument, but he knows what every instrument should sound like. "

As part of the typical division of labor organization of a film production, the individual functions of the film producer can be delegated to employed or freelance employees or subcontractors. The development, support and creative control of a film project in a large film production company is often taken over by a producer. With producer is known in Germany, in contrast to the producers and the directors and / or (co-) owner of a film production company, an employee who is responsible for one or more projects a film production company. The organizational control of one or more film projects is often taken over by a production manager and / or production manager . However, the risks of film production (e.g. overshoot risk, financing risk) remain with the production company; therefore, responsibility and the right to make final decisions lie with the film producer and not with the producer or production manager.

The names of production functions in the credits differ from German and Anglo-American cinema or television films: In Germany, the production company is usually referred to as the production company. In the end credits, however, the person responsible for the content is named as the producer ; this can be a person from the management, a producer or a freelance producer who, for example, takes on the creative development and control of a film project. With LineProducer a function that lies between the production manager and line producer is known. The production manager is also known as the production manager in the USA . The executive producer is the producer who is responsible for the production, or a person who was in any way important for the production, e.g. B. as an initiator. So it happens that a prominent leading actor often receives a corresponding credit in the credits. As associate producer , as referred to in Germany in the English-speaking world, a producer who is involved indirectly in production, d. H. has no direct influence, but still participates in profits and losses - e.g. B. because he is a co-owner of the production company. Production companies often have several shareholders who do not always have to be actively responsible for the same project. Instead, as an executive, you can focus on a specific project, and your shareholders are then your associates (and vice versa).

Legal meaning

In German law, the film producer is referred to as a "film manufacturer". The film producer is according to § 94 Copyright Act , a related right to the cinematographic work or moving images. The ancillary copyright gives him - along with other rights holders to the film (e.g. the director) - the right to permit or prohibit the reproduction, distribution, broadcasting and making available to the public of the film or moving images. However, the term film producer is not defined in the law. However, there is agreement that a company is only a film manufacturer if it is supported by the above. four characteristics (economic, financial, organizational and creative responsibility) fulfilled at least three. A director is not a film manufacturer, even if he has a significant say in the film project - in terms of content and organization - because he is i. d. Usually does not bear the economic and financial responsibility. This is u. a. was judicially resolved in the film project The marriage of Maria Braun when Rainer Werner Fassbinder judicially demanded the status of a co-producer .

German film funding law, cf. The Film Funding Act (FFG) is based on the term film producer. Only one film producer is entitled to apply for project funding or reference funding from the Film Funding Agency (FFA). In order to be able to obtain funding as a foreign EU production company, there must be at least one branch in Germany, and the film producer must be “responsible for the implementation of the film project” ( Section 40  (6) FFG). In tax law , too , a film manufacturer is someone who - according to the formulation of the Federal Fiscal Court - assumes "... influence and risk" on the film project.

Contract producer

As a contract manufacturer , the manufacturer of a custom production is called. The film producer is provided by a third party, e.g. B. by a television station, commissioned to realize a specific film project. In the end credits of television programs, this is made clear by expressions such as "Made on behalf of ...". In the case of commissioned productions, a distinction is made between genuine and fake commissioned production. In the case of a real commissioned production, the commissioned producer must be a film manufacturer and three of the four above-mentioned Meet characteristics. In the case of a fake commissioned production, the client becomes the film manufacturer.

In the case of fully financed commissioned productions, the producer generally has to transfer to the client all copyright rights of use, ancillary copyrights and other property rights that have arisen, arisen or are acquired or to be acquired by him in connection with the realization of the project.

Independent producer

An “independent producer” is a producer who is not dependent on broadcasters. In his favor, Article 5 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive provides a quota of 10% of the airtime, which does not consist of news, sports reports, game shows or advertising.


The largest association at the federal level is the Alliance of German Producers - Film & Television (Producer Alliance ) with around 270 member companies as a representative of the interests of producers for cinema films, television fiction, entertainment, animation, documentary and advertising films.

Oldest association of independent film producers in Germany with about 110 members is founded in 1966, producers Association eV

Documentary film producers are mostly organized in the AG DOK ; some are also in the producers' association and / or in the producer alliance .

In Switzerland, the Swiss Association of Film Producers and GARP are the associations that unite the production companies that produce independent television and documentary films in Switzerland.

Internationally, the associations of film producers are organized in the umbrella organization FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films). Throughout Europe, the broadcaster-independent producers are also organized in the CEPI association; (Entertainment) producers who develop the interests of TV formats are represented by Frapa worldwide.

The MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America), in which the Hollywood majors are organized: Paramount Pictures , Warner Bros. Entertainment , Sony Pictures Entertainment , Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group , Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox , as well as since 2019 Netflix .

See also


  • Diana Iljine / Klaus Keil: The producer. The job description of the film and television producer in Germany . Munich: TR-Verlagsunion 1997 ( Film Production Series , Vol. 1)

Web links

Commons : Film Producers  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Film producer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. On the phases of film production from the first idea to final production , cf. Iljine / Keil, The Producer , 2nd edition 2000, pp. 185 ff .; Markus Hochhaus, The European Studio System , 2009, p. 18 ff.
  2. Cf. Iljine / Keil, Der Produzent , 2nd ed. 2000, p. 131 ff., Here a distinction is made according to genre into documentary film producer, animation producer, web TV producer, television producer, cinema film producer, commercial film producer, commercial film producer, and according to funding size and -art in co-producer, low-budget producer, backpack producer
  3. a b Hartlieb / Schwarz , Handbuch des Film-, Fernseh- und Videorechts , 5th ed., 2004, p. 244.
  4. Producer mission statement on the producer alliance website ( archive link ( memento of the original from 10 June 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Cf. Baur , The concept of film producers in copyright, film funding and tax law , UFITA 2004 / III, p. 665 ff.
  6. See judgment of the Federal Court of Justice , in GRUR 1993, 473 ff.
  7. On the tasks of the Film Funding Agency and the Film Funding Act, cf. [1] .
  8. Federal Fiscal Court in BStBl. 1997 II, p. 321
  9. On the distinction between Loewenheim and Castendyk , Handbook of Copyright , 2nd edition 2010, § 75, Rn. 113 ff.
  10. On the term cf. Castendyk / Keil , Possibilities of legal regulation in favor of film and television producers , 2006, paragraphs 95 ff .; PDF .
  11. About us . Alliance of German Producers - Film & Fernsehen eV Retrieved on July 19, 2019.
  12. The Association. Association of German Film Producers (VDFP), accessed on May 10, 2019 .
  13. cf. the websites of Swiss Film Producers and GARP