What you do in the job?
The Production Secretary working in the film and television industry provides administration assistance to the Production Co-ordinator and Production Manager.
This is more than a traditional secretarial role. It could be less, depending on the production and the company you are working for. You may be in a junior role as they have a hands on Production Assistant - or you could be the right hand person to the producer and/or director. You may work to one person you may be part of a large team. You will mainly be the full administrative support to the production.
The work of the Production Secretary involves maintaining phone communications by ensuring phones are in good working order, processing phone calls and recording and relaying messages.
The Production Secretary assists in the organisation and running of the production office by maintaining filing systems, monitoring supplies of stationery and office supplies and ordering supplies as required.
The Production Secretary assists the Production Co-ordinator by researching travel, transport and accommodation requirements of the cast and crew and helping to organise whatever is required.
The Production Secretary is responsible for production paperwork such as typing and filing contracts, letters, documents and script changes and photocopying/faxing documents as required. He/she maintains a contacts list of relevant personnel by typing initial lists of names/address/contact telephone numbers of all cast and crew and ensuring that contact information lists are updated, filed and distributed to all relevant personnel.
The role of the production secretary can vary; he/she may be office based, work on location or be mobile. On bigger-budget productions the position entails a greater level of responsibility, since there is a bigger cast and crew to service.
What qualities are required?
A Production Secretary must be hard working and efficient. The job calls for excellent office skills and a calm, organised nature
A decent level of IT skills, a good telephone manner, and attention to detail.
Ability to prioristise tasks, a cool approach to the work, and an understanding of the production process (if you are a quick learner, a very good way into TV and film where you can learn the business).
How you start and where you can go with it?
Come in as production secretary and you may develop into a researcher, production assistant - you may change departments and move into corporate and become an executive's PA!
Upgrading from Trainee to Production Secretary involves learning and progressing through experience, so on-the-job development is limited by the amount of work that is available. Film work is on a freelance basis but employment opportunities exist within independent production companies.
While opportunities are expanding in the film, video and television industry generally, the amount of work available fluctuates. The progression route for a Production Secretary can also be to Production Co-ordinator and Production Manager.