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What is an Associate Producer?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated May 17, 2024
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An associate producer is the assistant to the producer of a television show, a movie or sometimes a big radio show. He typically provides input on the show’s content, direction and promotion. A person in this position is normally supported in administrative functions by a production assistant.

From the time a producer broaches a theme or subject for a show or movie, the associate producer is generally expected to offer suggestions and recommendations on the development process. He is frequently given the responsibility to independently produce certain segments of the show. This gives him the opportunity to develop skills to eventually become a fully qualified producer.

If research is required for the production, the associate producer is typically in charge of gathering and organizing the information. He is also ordinarily the person who arranges interviews with experts and guests in the case of television or radio shows. In the event the story requires statements or opinions from government representatives, he normally procures and verifies them as well.

The associate producer frequently participates in the development, writing and editing of scripts as well. He is also generally the person in charge of the sets, music, props and other needs of the production crew. Actors’ questions and concerns are commonly referred to him for resolution.

On the more technical aspects of television or film production, the associate producer is frequently required to assist in the editing of tapes for continuity. He may be called upon to help create graphics and other visual concepts used to transition between segments. Familiarity with a wide range of production equipment is typically required for this position.

Some independent television productions, such as those normally broadcast by public television or local public access stations, require funding. In these cases, the associate producer is customarily required to develop a budget for this type of project and present it to the producer for approval. After it is endorsed, he is normally given the task of researching possible funding sources. He then typically writes and presents proposals asking for endowments.

This job usually requires excellent organizational skills to facilitate multitasking. Exemplary communication skills are generally required to work well with the support staff and interact with guests, authorities on subjects and project benefactors. Mechanical abilities typically enhance the associate producer’s ability to operate tools and equipment on the set.

A bachelor’s degree in multimedia production, media communications, public relations or journalism is generally required to apply for this position. Two years work experience in a related field is highly desirable. Writing, production and research skills are normally considered assets for an aspiring associate producer.

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