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The mandatory people required on sets– the production managers…

By Stuart Owens Subscribe to RSS | February 14th 2012 | Views:

Many of us may not notice the amount of behind the screen work that goes in to a movie, program, series or even a song. Though many of us comment on the aesthetic appeal of the set, we don’t know the amount of time, energy and man-power that has to be used for the entire process. And the person who runs everything efficiently from propping up sets to looking in to all the legal procedures is the production managers. Many of us are of the misconception that production manager’s work is trivial compared to the set designers and others working on the sets. But, without the help of the production managers nothing comes together in the end as they are responsible and are placed at the key role of scheduling dates, coordinating with various artists and technicians and most important task of all – budgeting. They act as mediators between the producers and the directors. They help the directors by interpreting their vision and communicating it to the producers in a way that they understand.

Their job starts much before production starts up. They have to decide on minute details like the locations required for the sets and the respective dates, the requirement for the teams, etc. and they have to constantly update their Moving Checklist when the location changes from one place to the other. Their job does not end there; they have to also decide on the number of actors required and the specific days when they are required. Being the vital person in the department of production, he must coordinate efficiently with the other heads of the departments to ensure the smooth operation of the productions without any glitches, stay within the estimated budgets and meeting the pre-set deadlines. Once this is done, and the production work starts, they have to look in to the daily schedules of the shoot, ensure the safety and health requirements of the team. They are directly answerable to the producer. The role of production managers is a little more when it comes to drama productions. They have to assist the first assistant directors in preparing every day call sheet for the respective actors. They should also make sure that the actors are in agreement with the legal rules and regulations. When un-expected delay occurs due to the weather or due to the health conditions of actors, they need to work and coordinate closely with the directors and producers in re-scheduling.

Production managers must have proficient communication skills, and should be smooth enough to work along with everyone in the production team, actors other artists and with the public as well. They need to have some knowledge on the technical processes which includes acoustics, light, camera, editing and any other technical tools that are going to be used during production. They should also ensure that wherever the shooting happens, they have obtained the necessary licenses and permission if the place requires these legal procedures. The production stages are divided in to three phases – pre-production, production and post production. The production manager plays an equally important role in all the three stages. From the time a movie or drama starts to the time its completed or sent for distribution, the production manager must keep a constant eye on everything. Being in the profession, one word or rather two words that production manager can’t say is “no” and “I can’t”. He has to find some way or the other to resolve the situation or should have a definite answer to a problem and must never bend in when there is a lot pressure coming his way from all the directions.

Stuart Owens - About Author:
Randy Collins is a freelance writer. He is a movie buff. More than the actors, he loves to learn about the people who are working behind the scenes. He also travels a lot and his Verizon FiOS Internet will contain at least one movie cassette.

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