May 22, 2012

What's in a Name? The Producer Role at Hot Studio

Alison Rand's picture
Alison Rand
Director, Program Planning
2 comments

“Producer” is an almost comically nebulous job title. Just try explaining it at a cocktail party.

There are movie producers, record producers, digital producers... the list goes on. Each of these jobs has very different meanings relative to their specific industries, yet each still falls under the “producer” umbrella.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the word “producer” doesn’t really explain much. It carries gravitas, but lacks explicit meaning. For instance, many people know that it’s the producer—not the director or the movie star—that accepts the Academy Award for Best Picture every year. So the producer must be important. But how many people know what a film producer actually does?

Even within creative agencies, being a producer can mean very different things, and the title is frequently interchanged with other names, like project manager, program planner, trafficker, or coordinator. These titles connote similar things: they suggest the role of someone behind the scenes, helping to pull strings, forward initiatives, organize efforts. But they still don’t explain the role completely, and the fact that they’re used interchangeably only adds to the confusion.

As Director of Program Planning at Hot Studio, one of my big initiatives has been to define and differentiate the Producer role at Hot. Today, we see Producers as more than simple project managers or behind-the-scenes grunts (though project management and behind-the-scenes work remain important parts of the job). The Producer at Hot Studio has creative agency within individual projects, helps manage client relationships, and is just as much of a design thinker as the visual designers and user experience architects.

Producers are a collaborative part of the team working on any given project. We work with the Creative Lead to own the vision; ideally this relationship is the business yin to the creative yang.

Producers at Hot not only impact individual projects, we contribute voice and vision to the program as a whole. This is especially true in a small studio like we have here in New York. Producers here need to act independently in terms of client relationships, account planning, design thinking, and identifying new business opportunities.

It’s not an easy task finding people with this unique blend of organizational know-how, and strategic and creative vision. In larger companies people are often siloed into roles—they have to choose a “major,” like project management, where the tasks are more discreet. By design, being a Producer at Hot Studio is far more dynamic.

We’re looking to hire experienced Producers for both our San Francisco and New York offices throughout the year. If being a Producer at Hot sounds good, we’d love to hear from you.

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2 comments

Bob's picture

Maybe you should talk to Margot: http://www.hotstudio.com/thoughts/producer-project-manager-whats-name

Vladimir's picture

Maybe you should talk to Margot: http://www.hotstudio.com/thoughts/producer-project-manager-whats-name

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