Some lessons learned from our Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management webinar

Some lessons learned from our Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management webinar
Watch the recording of the webinar

Did you join us for the Production Management Discovery Session on 13 January? If not, fear not! We have the recording, plus some top tips, ready for you to catch up on…

This is freelance Production Manager, Amy Panesar's story:

"I am currently a freelance TV production manager working within the factual entertainment sector. I first got into the industry as a runner and then I had an opportunity to be a researcher which I did it for a year or two, but it was not for me. I then crossed over to become a production secretary and realised I loved Excel spreadsheets a lot more than one probably should. So, I started off as a production secretary, then became a junior coordinator and then became a fully-fledged coordinator for a few years. Then junior production manager for two years. I have been the production manager for almost 3 years now. I really enjoy everything that encompasses production management.

"The best thing about being a production manager is being able to see a show right from the start of production and seeing the process from start to finish. In factual entertainment there is a lot of casting involved and then being part of the filming process. The shows I've worked on over the past three years, during shooting the production team move office and support everyone on location.

"Then being able to follow it through to postproduction. Getting to see everything that happened in edits. Seeing what is going on offline, when the show is being cut together. Next the online and making it look beautiful for delivery to the broadcaster. A lot of people think that when they see a 10-part series like Great British Bake Off they think it only takes a couple of weeks to make but it actually takes about 14 months from start to finish to make and produce that show that you see on TV.

"There is so much going on in the background and the production manager and team gets to be a massive part of it."

Getting your Production Management application right. Some tips from Netflix's Audrey Duffy.

Tip 1: Bring your passion

"The thing I always look for when I recruit is passion for documentary and it being content you love and that you want to feed into. Spreadsheets are part of it but also you're part of a team which put the content on screen. Tell us about what watch and enjoy on TV. Loving it is a key thing for me."

Tip 2: Enjoy a challenge

"We are basically problem solvers on a minute-by-minute basis. I think you have to be comfortable with the fact that you stand on ever shifting sands. If you are someone who likes to stick exactly to a plan, then this isn't a job for you! You have to be excited by the fact that you might start the day thinking one thing will happen and something else happens and you adapt to it. And you learn every day. I don't know anyone in production management who thinks they know everything. There is always something new to learn and the great thing about documentaries is it is a new area every time you take something on."

Tip 3: Polish your juggling

"Obviously being very organised is important. The best analogy I was ever given for production management is being like the air traffic controller. You make sure no-one crashes in the air and everyone lands safely and you're controlling it all. If you are able to keep the smile on your face and keep people positive and on track and do the hard work behind it, I think it's a really rewarding position to be in. So it is that sense of organisation I will be looking for from the applicants."

Tip 4: Do some lateral thinking

"Transferable skills, reliability and curiosity are at the heart of every production team. Think hard about what you bring through your own experiences and articulate that with real-life anecdotes."

Find out more and apply for Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management | Deadline Friday 12 February 5pm.

Read some Production Management myth busters.

Read the full details on all our 2021 Grierson DocLab schemes:

  1. Grierson DocLab
  2. Grierson Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management
  3. Grierson Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing

Published: 25 January 2021

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