TV or film production manager

Production managers take care of the business, financial and recruitment side of film and television productions.

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed away from home

How to become a TV or film production manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • a broadcaster's training scheme

University

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'll also need a strong knowledge of business and finance management.

Entry requirements

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could start by doing a college course which may help you to get a job with a media company. With experience, you could then move on to work in production management. Courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production
  • Level 3 Diploma in Film and Television Production

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Work

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.

Volunteering and experience

You'll need a lot of experience in TV or film, and an in-depth understanding of the production process to get into this job. Your experience and track record will often be more important than formal qualifications.

Having a network of contacts in the industry will help you to find work.

Other routes

You may be able to get training through one of the new entrant training schemes that broadcasters like the BBC and Channel 4 offer. Other opportunities may be available through regional film agencies. You can find out more from:

More information

Career tips

You may find it helpful to have accounting skills and qualifications because of the budget management work involved with this job.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join an organisation like the The Production Guild, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about working in production management from ScreenSkills and ProductionBase.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • excellent written communication skills
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • You will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a first aid certificate

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

During the planning stages of a production, your day-to-day duties may include:

  • working with the producer and senior production staff 
  • drawing up a production schedule and budget
  • negotiating costs with suppliers
  • hiring crew and contractors
  • approving bookings of resources, locations, equipment and supplies
  • arranging permissions and risk assessments
  • managing a production office team

During filming, you day-to-day duties could include:

  • making sure the production runs to schedule
  • controlling and monitoring production spending
  • reporting on progress to the producers
  • dealing with any problems during filming
  • making any necessary changes to the schedule or budget, like rescheduling filming in bad weather
  • making sure that health and safety rules, insurance terms, copyright laws and union agreements are followed

Working environment

You could work at a film studio, on a film set, in an office or at a tv studio.

Your working environment may be you'll travel often and spend nights away from home and outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

You could work on freelance contracts for television broadcasters or independent production companies and negotiate better fees based on your experience and reputation.

You could open your own studio or move into working as an executive producer, where you'll be responsible for several productions at once. 

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Production Apprentice

  • Wage : £18,500.00 Weekly
  • Location: Uxbridge UB11 1FE

Courses In England

BTEC Creative Media Production (Film and TV) Sub Dip

  • Provider: Knutsford Multi Academy Trust
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location:

Level 2 BTEC First Diploma in Creative Digital Media Production (Film, Animation and Games) Yr 1

  • Provider: SWINDON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Swindon

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