To become a part of the glamour world doesn’t always mean you need to practice lines, perform in front of an audience or walk the ramp. Film production managers are integral to the success of projects they are associated with, which is precisely why it’s not an easy job.
If you want to know if you have what it takes to work as a production manager, go through the points next, while we discuss some of the key skills that the industry will expect from you.
No skill listed here will be enough unless you have given them direction with proper vocational training. It isn’t much different from business product development and management training required to work in the manufacturing industry, so any of those courses will do as well, but a film-centric program would be more useful, of course.
Even then, company product managers often make excellent film production managers because the industry might be different, but the skills necessary to manage money and resources, communicate with the workforce and multitask through several projects at once are almost exactly the same.
Finding the right vocational training UK to become a production manager can be confusing without guidance though. Browse vocational training options for production managers on findcourses.co.uk and choose something that applies best to the kind of environment you plan to work in.
A music and film events management course is a particularly good one for aspiring film managers, but there’s also a number of other production management training options in the UK as well. See what your options are and sign up for a suitable course.
There is no field of work or life where organisation skills cannot benefit you, but when you are planning to work as a production manager in the entertainment industry, this isn’t just a skill that will benefit your career, but it’s also one that is part of the eligibility criterion here.
You will be required to organise a budget and work within it, throughout the duration of the filming, which would be impossible to do unless you were particularly good in organising and maintaining budgets.
However, budget and money management are just one part of it, and there is so much more. As the film production manager, it would be your duty to ensure everything is in place during the shoot and everything goes to the right place after the shoot.
Patience and Adaptability
Scheduling is a tough job, especially if you are working with moody actors and eccentric directors! Nonetheless, the good production manager either already knows what to expect, or learns quickly from the experience, only to adapt according to the situation.
There isn’t always a way to control everyone, especially when they do not work under you, so keeping your cool, figuring out a way around the disorganised behaviour, and successfully communicating with everyone to establish some sort of a rapport is very important.
Losing one’s temper is not an option in film production, although admittedly, it is very easy to do so! If you are a patient and adaptable professional, you will persevere and come out on top. If you are not, you can still be a production manager, but just not a production manager in the film industry.
Production managers need to work in the development of multiple projects at once, especially when they start out. You cannot be super picky about it if you want to make it into this field, but at the same time, you need to prove yourself equally in all projects that you decide to work in. This would, of course, mean you will have to be a multitasker, and a good one at that to build any reputation.
Multitasking will be part of your training as a film production manager, but it should be noted that unless you are a natural multitasker, you will find working in this field to be extremely challenging.
The position is called production “manager” for a reason and that reason happens to be the fact that you will be heading the entire production team.
Everything from hiring your crew to negotiating contracts with the actors and other celebrities might become a part of your job description.
On the plus side, you will get to meet a lot of famous people (but mostly their managers!) and you will have almost complete control over the production team. On the flipside of the coin, the production manager will also be the one who will be blamed or praised, depending on how well they were able to handle the project. That is a huge pressure and responsibility to undertake but it is one that comes with appropriate rewards for being successful.
Therefore, leadership skills are essential to become a successful product manager in a film set, or even in the corporate sector. If you have never assumed a leadership role before, you should check one of the many online leadership programs strengthen your resume and acquire the skills necessary to be a leader in any field. Combined with the vocation training in production management or film management, this could be a powerful move for building a career in the industry.
Remember how we mentioned that you won’t necessarily need to say any lines as a production manager? Well, that wasn’t entirely accurate! You may not have dialogue in the movie, but rest assured that you will have to communicate with everyone on the set, probably much more frequently and efficiently than almost everyone else.
Of course, communication is a key skill for leaders in general, but in film production, the manager will also act as the channel of communication between the production crew and the creative department. This is a duty which is critical for the project to run as smoothly as possible.
In addition to all that, creating and maintaining contacts with the important people in the industry is necessary to be successful here, and that can only happen when you have excellent communication skills.
A point to be noted is that when someone is working in the entertainment sector, almost everyone is articulate and extroverted, which means that you will have to raise your own level of charismatic conversational abilities by quite a few notches to match them, to at least some degree.
In case you have always been good with negotiations, solving problems, and communicating ideas in a clear and agreeable manner, you definitely have one of the most important innate skills of being a film production manager.
One might have guessed already by now that the work of the film production manager requires a lot of dedication, patience, the ability to work under constant pressure and, of course, the necessary training. Although you will be working closely with artists from all sectors of the British entertainment industry, this isn’t exactly a creative position.
There are other more practical and real-life skills necessary to succeed in the field, as already discussed. Even then, if you do have some creative talent, it will let you get close to the best people in the business, who can help you make the most of it.