Most people think that the job of an executive producer is to source funds for a movie or TV show. That can often be true, but there are many different roles that EPs can have. Matthew Signer, a veteran executive producer and the former Executive Vice President of Production at Dimension Films, believes that the roles of an EP in a movie and TV shows are completely different.
TV executive producer vs. film executive producer
“Although the name Executive Producer is the same for TV and films, the jobs are often very different,” Matt Says. “A film executive producer’s job is more hands-off. His or her job is to put the pieces of a film together and make sure the film is great and comes in on time and on budget. Sometimes executive producers source the financing, sometimes they are the studio executives that help put the movie together, and sometimes executive producer credits are given for other reasons. There isn’t much regulation of EP credits in the film.”
“TV is different. The responsibility of an EP on a TV show or series is often much more a combination of creative and logistical. Over the years, I have been a part of many TV shows like Scream: The TV Series and two seasons of Spy Kids: Mission Critical and have seen how the process works. In TV, the EP works on getting the show-up and running but then usually acts as the creative talent behind the show as well, often as the creator and/or showrunner. He not only creates the show but also runs the day-to-day production operations. He or she really is the leader of the entire process. Everyone else supports him to make the show successful.”
Matt’s experience as an EP
Matt started as a receptionist at Miramax Films and later rose to the top Executive position at Dimension Films.
“I have had the chance to work on many films and TV series as an EP, and both are challenging jobs. The stakes are so high that you can’t afford to put the wrong foot forward. But although the work pressure can be great, the adrenaline keeps you going. That’s because I love the job. I love how the industry works. I love helping to make films and tv shows”
Matt has served as a studio executive and EP/producer on many TV shows and movies over his almost two-decade-long career.