Reel Opportunities

Production Manager

Also known as: PM, Unit Production Manager (UPM)

What is a Production Manager?
What does a Production Manager do?

Production Managers (PM) act on the decisions that have been made by the Producer and Line Producer. They create the detailed schedule for the project, hire the crew, hire 3rd party contractors (such as equipment rentals or catering), prepare permits and contracts, oversee location management and look after the allocation of the budget. On most productions the Production Manager is the “foreman” of the crew and most heads of departments report directly to the PM.

Once shooting begins the PM is responsible for the daily reports which go to the Executive Producers and lead Producer. They account for any deviation in the budget or schedule.

A PM splits their time between the office and the set. On a smaller production, the role of the PM is often paired with the role of the Line Producer.

What's a Production Manager good at?
  • Communication

    Keep in contact with the various departments on a production in order to inform them of their schedules, relate to your colleagues and explain yourself well

  • Organization

    Plan, prioritize, multitask and use your own initiative to manage schedules

  • Anticipation

    Listen and be one step ahead of what’s going on, enable everyone to be able to get on with their job

  • Leadership

    Be confident in giving direction and leading a team, communicate well with everyone, create a positive atmosphere within the team

  • Relationships

    Maintain relationships with outside vendors such as equipment rental companies and keep an extensive contact list for crew hiring and replacing in emergencies

  • Knowledge of Laws and Regulations

    An in-depth knowledge of labour laws, insurances, health and safety, contract law and basic human resources is a must

Who does a Production Manager work with?

Production Managers work under the Line Producers, and sometimes directly under the Producers. They manage the Production Coordinators and must liaise with the heads of departments.

How do I become a Production Manager?

A good route to become a production manager is to start off as a Production Assistant, then gain enough experience to become a Production Coordinator, then Assistant Production Manager and then a Production Manager.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

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