The line producer is described above; and as mentioned, the UPM has very similar responsibilities. Generally the one to prepare the first complete schedule and budget, she must function as a trou-bleshooter and problem-solver, think on her feet and have the ability to anticipate problems before they occur. She needs to be a good negotiator and thoroughly understand the production process, because she's the one who makes the deals, hires the crew and approves all expenditures, time cards, call sheets and production reports. Good people skills are a tremendous asset to a UPM, as she must routinely interact with the entire cast and crew, a myriad of vendors, agents and managers, union reps, studio executives (or investors and bond company reps), film commissioners, etc. She's quickly blamed when something goes wrong, not always appreciated when things go well and is well known for having to say "no" more often than others care to hear it. Having to work closely with each department to stay on top of what and how everyone's doing and to make sure they all have what they need, she's also under constant pressure to control or cut costs. It's quite a balancing act, and one must be diplomatic, creative and adept at finding compromises to do it well. And although her capabilities must be mul-tifaceted, the skill most valued by a studio is a UPM's ability to keep a show on (or under) budget.
Was this article helpful?