Difference between a Movie Director and Producer

By: | Updated: Dec-18, 2017
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When we love a movie, we tend to single out the actors, for obvious reasons. However, other people are involved in making the movie. Avid movie lovers usually know who the director is, are able to recognize their style and appreciate their vision. However, for those who still mistake the producer for the director, we have prepared this article. Read on and see how well you can distinguish between the two.

Summary Table

Movie Director Movie Producer
Manages the shooting and editing process Manages the logistic and legal aspects of the film
Has control over the artistic aspects Has control over the project as a whole
Receives rewards for best director Receives award for best movie


Steven Spielberg
Famous movie director and producer, Steven Spielberg

A movie director is the person who controls the artistic aspects of the movie and who manages the entire process on set. This person is very active in selecting the cast, deciding on the production design, on the script and the way actors deliver their lines. They are always on set and they are the ones who control the shooting scene by scene. In fact, the entire shooting and editing process is supervised by the director.

It is the job of a director to mediate set disputes regarding different artistic visions between the actors. Otherwise, every person works in his/her own style. Some give actors more freedom to perform according to their own interpretation of their characters, while others like to micro-manage everything.

In award ceremonies, directors can receive awards for directing.

A movie producer takes care of the logistics of film making. This is the person who secures the resources necessary for the project: the money for the staff, for the actors, for the costumes, for the sets. The task of getting legal approvals and the necessary papers also falls in the care of the producer. As far as post-production goes, the producer must handle marketing and promotion.

In award ceremonies, producers can receive awards for best movie.

Movie Director vs Producer

So what is the difference between a movie director and producer?

It is understandable how some people are confused about the roles of director and producer. This isn’t helped by the fact that some movie makers take on both sets of responsibilities. However, when it comes to drawing a line between them, the director takes care of the artistic aspects and oversees the production, while the producer makes sure that the movie has all the resources it needs.

When it comes to control over the movie, the director can manage all the activity on set and in the editing phase, while the producer manages the project as a whole. Additionally, the producer can have a vision of the movie and can choose to work with the director who best brings that to light.

As far as awards go, directors receive awards for best directors, whereas producers go home with the awards for best movie.

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