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The film producer drives and underpins a film production from start to finish. The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises and controls issues such as budgeting, financing, content development, project development, pre-production, post-production, marketing and distribution. The film producer is involved all phases of film production and distribution -- requiring a range of economic and organizational as well as artistic and creative skills.

In a film production company, the producer directs the business of film production. Depending on the legal status of the company, the producer may be the owner, the manager or the CEO. In a broader sense, also the company itself is often referred to as the "producer".

In smaller film production companies - as in Germany today it is typical that one producer wears many hats, cutting the cost of a multi-headed organization. And a film production company is formed for each film as needed (especially re: distribution, production).

Film producers are members of a professional association called the International film producers association FIAPF. The US equivalent is the Producers Guild of America.