- Work on the business side of making television programmes and films
- You'll need excellent business and organisational skills, calmness under pressure and excellent problem-solving ability
- Work as a freelancer or work for a production company, broadcaster or network
As a production manager in the film or TV industries you'll look after the day to day operational and business side of running a TV or Film production.
Planning stages of a production:
- Work with the producer & senior production staff
- Draw up a production schedule and budget
- Negotiate costs with suppliers
- Hire crew and contractors
- Approve bookings of resources, locations, equipment and supplies
- Arrange permissions and risk assessments
- Manage a production office team
Filming stage of production:
- Ensure the production runs to schedule
- Control and monitor production spending
- Report progress to the producers
- Deal with any problems during filming
- Make any necessary changes to the schedule or budget, like rescheduling filming in bad weather
- Ensure that health and safety rules, insurance terms, copyright laws and union agreements are followed
You might work for a specific company, but freelance contract work is very common. Freelance production managers are paid a fee for each individual contract or project. Freelance rates can vary widely, and may be negotiated based on the type of production and your track record. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines. Your working hours could be long and irregular, depending on the demands of a production.
You'll usually be based in an office, but you'll also visit studios or filming locations. You may need to travel and be away from home for long periods.
There are no set entry requirements, but as well as a strong interest in film and TV, you'll need excellent financial and business skills, IT skills, excellent planning, negotiation and problem-solving skills, written and spoken communication skills, and the ability to work well under pressure and to tight deadlines.
You could start as a runner or an assistant in the production office, progressing to production coordinator or assistant production manager, start as a trainee production accountant, or complete a media production course that may lead onto a trainee or assistant role.
You could do a degree in media production before joining a production company. You'll find it helpful to take a course that includes the technical side of production, work placements and the chance to make industry contacts.
You could also take a college course which may help you get a job with a media company. Courses include a Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production, and Level 3 Diploma in Film and Television Production.
You may be able to do a creative industries production management degree apprenticeship, for which you'll usually need experience in production management or production accounting. You could also start out by doing a broadcast production assistant advanced apprenticeship and work your way up to management level.
You'll also have an advantage if you've accounting skills and qualifications, as you'll have to manage budgets.
You may need a first aid or health and safety certificate, and to have an understanding of the legal requirements relevant to film and TV productions.
Several broadcasters offer new entrant training schemes where you could gain experience, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and the British Film Institute (BFI).
You could progress into opening your own studio or move into working as an executive producer, where you'll be responsible for several productions at once.