Have you ever read the credits before or after a movie and wondered to yourself what all those people do? What those titles even mean? Why there seems to be 7,500 different types of "producers"? Here's your explanation, straight from The Gorilla's current project.
"Producer" is a broad title. It varies from being eye-roll worthy (slapped on someone for political reasons or because no other position fits) to being The Most Important Person In The Room. But, in a nutshell, a producer is someone who makes the creative idea happen. Either financially (they provide/manage/allocate the dollars) or logistically.
These guys are Associate Producers (AP's).
I'm starting with them because I like them. I worked with the one on the left on the movie where I met my husband. I hired the one on the right many, many moons ago on a television show and he has worked for The Gorilla on and off since. I take full credit for any and all of his successes.
Associate Producers, like most producers, function in a variety of ways depending on the project. On this movie, these guys research and find ways to make a stunt happen. For example, if the idea was to have a grizzly bear chase someone up a tree, then they would find the grizzly bear. When they work for The Gorilla on a television show, they would also be responsible for finding the tree. But on the movie they have a specific Location Manager for that.
Often times these two Associate Producers' research leads them to another idea that hadn't been considered yet. That's when they're part of the creative team. You can tell by looking that these guys aren't exactly the bean counter-types. In their personal life, they are two of the most creative people I know.
Once they've facilitated the planning of the idea, they then follow through with executing the idea. Other positions may help with that, too, like Production Coordinators, Production Managers, and the above-mentioned Location Manager. But the AP's will be on set, planning for the next setup and helping manage the current one.
If you can believe it, there are two other types of Associate Producers on this movie. Same title, totally different function. We'll cover them down the road.
Are you going to picture these scruffy, hatted guys next time you see the AP title float up the credits? Because that's what I'm going for. End credits education.