Just as the job title implies the film and video production manager is literally responsible for managing all issues of production below the actual directing of the film or video. This means chief operating officer delegates and controls all aspects of the filming and organization for the filming including dealing with issues and concerns of the cast and crew. The production manager also assists in any aspect of the filming that he or she may be required to, which means they need to have a good understanding of all the various jobs involved in creating a film, video or television show.
One of the major responsibilities of the production manager is to keep the production moving along according to the timeline to ensure production dates are met. This is very important for budget reasons as increasing the time on the set increases the costs of production of the film. Excessive delays or mishandling of problems and issues can lead to the cancellation of the project. Besides just the financial aspect the production manager must also deal with often temperamental directors, actors and actresses, and even crew members. Managing both the financial and budget issues of the production can be very stressful.
Most film and video production managers have a background in some type of formal education involving film or film production. In addition they also have experience working within the film industry and have proven their ability to work with others in management positions. The production manager works closely with the director, production engineers and production coordinator to keep the project advancing as smoothly as possible.
Common work activities include:
- Budgeting and managing the financial issues of the filming. This includes paying outside vendors, contractors and invoices in a timely fashion and within budget.
- Troubleshoot and problem solving issues that arise on the set regarding equipment, services or cast and crew issues. Diplomacy is often required to deal with different artists that are passionate about their parts in the production.
- Completing and ensuring that all contracts, union paperwork, and hiring of the best possible staff is completed within timeframes that will allow production to begin as scheduled.
- Ensuring that all supplies and equipment will be on site, assembled and ready to use when required both in the studio and in remote locations.
- Completing long hours of work to ensure that the film is completed on schedule.
- Filling in or delegating others to fill in where ever necessary when people fail to appear for work or are not able to complete their assigned task.
- Working on both the set and within the business office during the actual filming and assisting with editing and revisions as required.