A Day in the Life

Production Manager

Fix up meetings with graphic design companies and the producer to discuss the new programme titles. 10:00
Meet producer who’s had an idea for an extra filming project. Call the post production company to try and fit in the extra editing and dubbing we will require. Also I’m concerned about the cost implications. Have to negotiate as we have spent most of the budget. 11:00
Call freelance editors etc. to find the team to cover the extra commitments. 12:00
More changes in Schedule - Call travel company to change the details of the US Shooting. Flights, hire cars, hotels and contributors all have to be moved. 14:30
Meet unit manager to discuss the implications of the new budgeting software system. Training and troubleshooting is needed. This helpful new system is proving a headache! 16:00
Chase up more editors, and the post production company re changes, and update the producer with the extra cost implications of their latest brainwave! 17:00
Email the team with all the new schedule details, and the changed staffing plans. They’ll not all be happy!

What you do: The range of the job?

Similar to the PA/BA role, but the job involves much more responsibility, especially in the area of money and budgets which is becoming increasingly important as budgets get tighter and broadcasters become more demanding. You also have responsibility for general administration and the management of staff, both creative and operational. Anne Bamber BBC TV

Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?

Good financial skills and managerial qualities. A clear overview of the production process and understanding of the funding of Television. Key criteria you would normally need to meet for a Production Manager role;

You are likely to be a graduate.

You must have previous experience either as a PA or Production Manager within film and video.

You must have very strong organisation and communication skills

You must be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure.

You must be confident in negotiating and agreeing prices/rates with crew and equipment suppliers.

You must have reasonable technical knowledge of camera equipment, shooting formats and the process of editing.

You must be resourceful and show plenty of initiative in researching and helping put productions together.

You must be client focussed and commercially aware.

You must be a team player but have the capability and confidence to work independently.

Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?

PA or PC is the most normal route in, but sometimes accountants are appointed. A PM may go onto direct or produce but more usually would progress up the managerial path in a larger organisation, such as the BBC, or onto Company Director in a small production company.

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