Actors and Directors and Producers, Oh MY!
A Tiny Insight into the Film (and Television) Industry
This is something I didn’t know until I actually was in the industry. In simple terms:
Actors are the “talent” (they’re literally called that *eye roll*). They’re the faces that make the story real. I guess that’s why they make bank (sometimes, depending, not the bit parts).
Directors direct the movie. It’s their vision how the script comes alive. Their job is to make sure that there’s footage for the editor to put together and tell a story. It depends on how well known and regarded they are as to how much actual control they are given to see their vision come to life. For some directors (like Quentin Tarantino), they are given free reign to do whatever they want. For a younger director, they have not proved themselves yet so they have to deliver on the vision they pitched to the studio.
Then there’s the producer. There are a lot of producer titles out there*, but, essentially, the producer is the one who makes sure all the right people are in place to make the film. They choose the writers, the director, and have a hand at choosing the actors. They’re the boss of the film, perhaps only answering to the studio, who tends to be the money and distribution apparatus behind the film.
*For example, an Executive Producer in TV is different from an Executive Producer in Film. In TV, EPs are the big shots, they run the show, they make the decisions, they come up with the plots and fire the actors and make sure everything is running on time. In film, Executive Producer is a glory title – they tend to go to investors. Producers are the ones who make sure that everything is going how it needs to go. Media makes it seem like Directors are the captains of the ship, but, nope, really, the Producers are the ones who make sure everything runs smoothly. THEY can fire the DIRECTOR. The Director can’t fire the Producer. That’s why, when you’re watching the Academy Awards and the Award for Best Picture is announced, a bunch of people you don’t recognize go on stage to accept and though the actors may be in the background, you don’t have a clue who the people speaking into the mic are.