What you do in the job?
The plasticity of the Production Department means that there are some crossovers between the various roles in the organisation, particularly in the Producers' roles. Indeed, it is sometimes only those who are actually involved in a film's production who can define a specific Producer's role on that production. However, this flexibility also makes the work of Producers, and of the Production Department, challenging, exciting and rewarding.
But, the buck stops here! Producers oversee the whole production and to bring together all the different elements and people in the studio or on location. Often responsible for the initial concept and occasionally raising essential finance. Producers may specialise in a particular subject area, the arts, science for example, or perhaps in a particular type of programme, say documentaries or music, and make both live or recorded programmes from quizzes to drama.
What qualities are required?
Editorial judgement, creative and organisational skills. A high degree of motivation is needed as is an ability to lead and motivate a small, close-knit team.
How you start and where you can go with it?
Probably starting as a researcher on a work experience basis, from there becoming an Assistant Producer and then a Producer. It's not unheard of for presenters to move across to become Producers, or Radio Producers to make the move across into TV. Many Producers, once established, work on a freelance basis, moving from programme to programme. For this reason, pay can be quite high (upwards of £1000 per week for an experienced Producer) but must be balanced against the lack of security and a standard, regular salary.