A jack of all trades
Within the framework of a pre-established budget, the production manager prepares, organizes and coordinates the technical, financial and human resources of one or more audiovisual or multimedia productions under the authority of a producer.
The Production Manager’s role
The production manager is a real jack of all trades in financial, administrative and organizational matters. His role is therefore multidisciplinary.
First of all, he or she manages the budget allocated to the realization of an artistic project. It is up to him or her to evaluate the costs, establish a balanced budget forecast, and ensure financial viability in order to be able to finance future productions.
At the administrative level, the production manager is responsible for human, artistic and legal management. He recruits the technical team (cameramen, sound engineers, editors, etc.) and draws up contracts. In collaboration with the producer, he also makes sure that the schedule and the artistic stakes are respected.
Finally, he is in charge of the shooting organization and logistics (car rental, ordering meals for the whole team, renting studios, cameras, lighting).
Later, he will eventually promote the production to his audience in order to broadcast it as widely as possible.
His skills and qualities
Given the extent of his or her duties, the production manager has a fairly broad personal profile. In a project, everything goes through him! He must therefore be available, reactive, and keep clear ideas in periods of intense stress due to unexpected situations (an angry technician or artist, etc.). His sense of rigor and organization will do the rest.
Extensive knowledge of management, law (copyright and neighboring rights, image rights, labour laws), finance, and a good knowledge of computer tools (Word, Excel, graphic creation software such as Publisher/Photoshop) are essential.
Endowed with a great general culture, the production manager demonstrates a strong sensitivity for the world of arts, developed during his or her training course such as the one offered by CinéCréatis, the school of cinema and audiovisual professions.
His career and opportunities for development
In this job, you often start as a production assistant before moving on to a position of production manager.
He / she works for private organizations (production or post-production companies, communication agencies, television, program broadcasters …) but also in government audiovisual departments. The job often involves working as an occasional worker and the precarious nature of the field needs to be taken into account.
It should be noted that markets for digital audiovisual contents have gradually developed on the Internet, with new professional perspectives, including in production.
Over time, the production manager may eventually become head of production, or even operations manager.