Day in The Life: Production Manager

Hey gal, this is me… I’m Holly, my IG caption says ‘likes fun’ with a emoticon rose. It’s almost all you need to know, but to elaborate I’ve recently hit my mid-twenties and after a year in the industry I’ve received my first promotion to Production Manager. Vibes are v. adult. If my life was a Netflix series, we’d be two episodes in, a block of chocolate down, and have no clue where we’re are going next.

My job in a nutshell… My career path has evolved ‘organically’ – I holla from Bondi, so everything must be organic or vacate the suburb ASAP. I’d describe myself as a serial slasher: Journalist / Actor / Model / Producer / Commitment-Phobe. I’m currently a full-time producer in live action and post-production. In short we budget, schedule, and deliver projects. Producers get a good rap, but if you’re a junior you will do non-glam jobs like order coffee or toilet paper for the office. It’s cool, I really like coffee.

Why I applied… My creative career as an actor was fulfilling, but was it really meeting what was important to me in a job? I have always been passionate about the arts, and saw this position as an opportunity to match my creative skills with my desire for a bit more job stability. We don’t think of ‘stability’ as a sexy word, but it’s been unexpectedly rewarding. When you’re a creative talent you’re often in the passive position of waiting for jobs, this was a way I could create jobs and projects for artists. I find that really empowering.

How I applied… It was word of mouth and good timing. The right job opened up and the right time, and I was lucky enough to be interviewed. It’s a mixed sensation of intimidation and excitement when you go in for your first professional interview, so I’d recommend a game plan. You can’t control the questions you’ll be asked, but you can control choosing to breathe deeply, give yourself time to answer genuinely, and put the focus on seeing whether this is a work environment you can see yourself enjoying.

Specific skills you may use and that are valuable…
• Attention to detail
• People skills and team management
• Project management
• Working well under pressure
• Problem solving

Do this job if you like… Improvising. Problem-Solving. Challenges. Adrenaline. Common Sense. Creatives. Variety. Getting the job done, and with a smile.

Don’t do this job if you don’t like… Late nights. Responsibility. Pressure. Deadlines. Stress. Negotiating. Excel.

Any tips/advice for those thinking about this career… Production can take your career in a variety of directions, film, music, IT even banking. If you want to work as a producer, I’d recommend looking for projects that keep you personally motivated and inspired. It can be a difficult but it’s surprisingly rewarding when it’s work you believe in. Perhaps that’s a romanticised perspective…I’d also say make friends with your local barista.

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