The Production Manager is in charge of the "below the line" budget, which is the costs associated with actors, singers, directors and writers, they will be in charge of how the budget is spent to make sure that the production runs smoothly. Once the overall budget has been agreed they will help to recruit crew and suppliers and will negotiate rates of pay and conditions of employment. They will sign off purchase orders and ensure that all bills are paid and that the team is working well.
There are various ways in which you could get into this role.
There are a range of HND, foundation degree and degree courses that you could take such as:
- Film & Television Production
- Visual effects for Film and Television
- Creative media production: Film and Television
You will usually need
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including maths and English
- and 1 or 2 A levels or equivalent for a foundation degree or HND
- 2 or 3 A levels or equivalent for a degree
You could take a college course which will give you skills and experience and may help you get a job with a media company, from there you could progress towards production management.
Relevant courses include:
- Media and Film production Extended Diploma Level 3
- Creative Media Production and Technology Diploma Level 3
- Film and Creative Production Diploma Level 2
You will usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent for a Level 3 course
The following colleges offer in media and production or similar
- City College Norwich
- West Suffolk College
- East Coast College
- College of West Anglia
- Suffolk New College
- One Sixth Form College
Your local sixth form may also offer a relevant course
The following broadcasters offer training schemes where you could gain experience
Work based route
You could start as a runner or an assistant in the production office, then move on to become a production co-ordinator or assistant production manager. You could also start as a trainee production accountant.
Another option is to go from a job as a runner to 3rd, 2nd and 1st assistant director, or from assistant TV floor manager, then to floor manager or location manager.
You will need to gain a lot of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the TV & Film industry to get into this role so any work experience or volunteering opportunities will be beneficial.
You could join The Production Guild which will help you to make industry contacts and has a range of training opportunities.
Career Path and Progression
With experience you could work freelance which will allow you to negotiate better fees based on your reputation and experience.
- Excellent management skills
- Good people skills
- The ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
- Good IT and numeracy skills
- Willing to travel
- Good at problem solving
- Able to manage a budget effectively
Salary can vary especially for freelance production managers.
If working for a company the salary range is around £24,000 to £47,000.