An executive producer (EP), sometimes called executive in charge of production, is a producer who was not involved in any technical aspects of the film making or music process in the original definition, but who was still responsible for the overall production.[1] Today, however, the title has become ambiguous,[2] particularly in feature films.

Motion pictures Edit

An executive producer of a motion picture is often the person who found and bought the literary property that a film is based on, such as a novel or play. He might hire another producer to develop the project further. If the project gets the green-light to go into principal photography, he might hire a line producer to watch over the production day to day. Since the 1980s, however, it has become increasingly common for the line producer to be given the title of Executive Producer, while the initiating producer takes the "Produced by" credit. On other projects, the reverse happens, with the line producer taking the "Produced by" credit. So the two credits have become effectively interchangeable, with no precise definition.

The executive producer can also be a person representing a financial investor in a film project, such as a film studio or a distributor, but who is not directly involved in the day to day production. It can also be someone with other special interests in the project, such as the author of the book that the film is based on, or one of the film's key actors who has been instrumental in persuading the studio to do the film. In such cases, the executive producer credit is mainly honorary.

Television Edit

Main article: Television producer

A television show may credit many executive producers. It may be a situation not unlike the one described above for motion pictures: someone with previous involvement with a particular work, a project's financier, or someone in control of the business aspect of production. Sometimes, this title is conferred upon a celebrity or notable creator who has lent his or her name to a project to boost its prestige or credibility, as a recognition of newly-acquired industry status, or as a perk to the show's main star or creative force.

However, under the unusual rules for establishing writing credits on television series (where writers are often credited as "producers"), the principal writer is almost always credited as an executive producer rather than the more descriptive title of "head writer".

For these reasons, it is not unusual for TV shows to have three sets of "executive producers": traditional EPs (production executives, financiers, etc.), head writer(s), and showrunner(s).

Music Edit

In the music industry, the executive producer of an album is often in control of the business side of production, distribution, and promotion, but more often than not, is in charge of the entire project as is a director. They decide what the albums themes will be, create the image for the artist, decide which songs will be singles, and have the final say on every single song's completion. It is the executive producer who makes the decision as to when the song is finished and ready to be shown to the public.

In some instances, an executive producer can be a person who "discovered" a particular act, or someone who represents an act, either as an agent or a lawyer.

Video games Edit

Main article: Video game producer

The title "executive producer" is not well-defined in the video game industry. It may refer to an external producer, from the publisher, who works with the developer. Sometimes the title is used by the studio head of the developer who created the game.

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