Though more light is shone on the directors as the commanders of the creative expression in a movie, the truth is producers like Simon Kinberg, Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen, and many more also play a part– sometimes even more.
They are usually responsible for transforming an idea into reality through the screenwriters, cast, and crew. Sometimes, they work hand-in-hand with the directors to ensure that their shoot days and schedules go according to plan.
Before the idea of a movie is birthed, producers are responsible for sourcing for finances, employing crew, optimizing logistics, managing pre-production, post-production, and production. They are also responsible for developing market plans which include and are not limited to public relations, advertising, finding the target audience, distribution and release.
Producers either work for a production company in Hollywood or work alone. However, some producers like to work independently so they’d have enough grip over the movie’s finances, the script, and the final product. After the movie comes to fruition, independent producers receive greater money than producers who work with production companies.
Several American producers have made a name for themselves and bagged several awards over the years. Although we can’t list them all, here are our top four American producers who have attained great heights in the 21st century.
Steven Spielberg debuted his production career when he produced “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Used Cars” in 1978 and 1980, respectively. Robert Zemeckis directed these movies.
Alongside Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, he wrote and produced “Poltergeist” in 1982. He also directed and produced “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” beside Kathleen Kennedy and Melissa Mathison. This was a few months after “Poltergeist.”
The two movies grossed so much at the box office, and the next twenty years saw Spielberg produce or co-produce movies like “The Goonies,” “Gremlins,” “The Color Purple,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Mask of Zorro,” “Men in Black,” “Jaws,” “Ready Player One,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Schindler’s List.” The last movie won him an award for Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars.
For a decade now, Spielberg has served in the capacity of executive producer on several T.V. series. He also has numerous upcoming film projects like the “West Side Story,” “Indiana Jones 5,” “Oslo,” “Maestro,” and “Halo.” “West Side Story” is reported to be out by December 10, 2021.
At the beginning of his career, he wrote a screenplay for 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” Since then, his career has taken an exponential turn, growing from a writer to a popular producer.
He was the producer of the famous “X-Men” franchise, and in an interview, he mentioned one of the biggest hurdles he faced while working on 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
“It was a very ambitious swing to get two casts together to do a time-travel movie that was really complicated.” This grossed about $748 million globally, making it his highest-grossing hit.
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He also wrote and produced a 2018 untitled “Star Wars” and “Fantastic Four.” On Hollywood’s reliance on sequels, remakes and reboots, he said, “So many of my favorite films, whether it’s The Godfather: Part II or Empire Strikes Back or Terminator 2, were either sequels or based on other material. The challenge is keeping these films fresh and unique and their own experience and their own event.”
Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen
Former roommates Godfrey and Bowen, who owned Temple Hill Entertainment, were turned into top production companies by the “Twilight” franchise. It grossed $3.34 billion worldwide, and through this, they had to make the other five films consecutively, with four directors.
“That was all I did, every minute of every day,” 46-year-old Godfrey admitted. “It took an attention to detail and a single-mindedness that you’re not always capable of as a producer.”
Since the end of the franchise in 2012, the duo has fixated on stories with female lead roles. Examples are 2014’s “The Fault in Our Stars” and 2015’s “Paper Towns,” another John Green adaptation.
Some projects with Fox, other than the franchise, include the “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” a sequel to last year’s “Maze Runner,” and an adaptation of Marie Lu’s “The Young Elites.”
Clint Eastwood began his career as a T.V. actor in Rawhide. His role in a host of “Spaghetti Westerns” was the Man with No Name.
In a quintet of Dirty Harry movies, he played Harry Callahan. Eastwood later turned his focus to producing, with his first act being “Absolute Power” in 1977.
In 1992, Eastwood bagged the Best Picture and Best Director awards in the Oscars for “Unforgiven.” He also repeated this with 2004’s “Million Dollar Baby.”
Eastwood, who shows no signs of resting on his laurels, has acted 71 times, produced 46 times, and directed 41 times.