Also known as: Animation production coordinator, Production office coordinator (POC)
What does a production coordinator do?
Production coordinators keep everything in the animation pipeline running smoothly by supporting all departments with their production requirements.
They are responsible for creating and maintaining asset databases and for tracking the delivery of assets to third parties. They schedule and attend reviews and can be responsible for taking detailed notes. They can be responsible for checking stocks of and reordering studio supplies, as well as organising couriers and shipments.
Production coordinators help with the accounts by processing invoices and keeping the petty cash records. They can provide holiday cover for other members of the production team.
Their role will vary slightly depending on the size of the company that they’re employed by. If they’re working for a larger production company, they may be responsible for uploading and delivering completed animated series episodes to broadcasters and animated films to distribution partners. If they are working for a small independent production company, they may be required to work on reception.
- Clare Hernon, production coordinator at Lupus Films
- Sarah Hullah, production coordinator at Tiger Aspect
What's a production coordinator good at?
- Communication: liaise between different departments on a production in order to inform them of their schedules and deadlines, be able to explain clearly
- Organisation: plan, multitask and take initiative
- Anticipation: listen and be one step ahead of what’s going on
- Knowledge of animation: understand the process and the complexities of each department
- Watching animations: watch the medium and have an active interest in the industry at large
Who does a production coordinator work with?
Production coordinators work under the production manager and report to them. They are often the first positions to be hired onto an animation project and therefore can be expected to help set up the studio and then close it down at the end of production. Production coordinators work with runners or production assistants, to whom they delegate jobs.
How do I become a production coordinator?
A good route to become a production coordinator is to start off as a runner in an animation company, then move on to production coordinator roles. See the runner job profile for details of how to do this. Or you could apply for ScreenSkills’ Trainee Finder scheme and work in the production department of a live-action project. You can then transfer your skills to the production department of an animated film at a later point.
At school or college:
If you want to go to university, A-levels and Highers in English, business studies, film studies and media studies are relevant.
Or you might want to take one of the following Level 3 vocational qualifications:
- OCR Technical Diploma/Extended Diploma in Business
- BTEC National Diploma/Extended Diploma in Business
- BTEC National Diploma/Extended Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
- BTEC National Extended Diploma in Creative Digital Media Production
If you want to go straight into a job or apprenticeship, the following Level 3 vocational qualifications will equip you:
- BTEC National Diploma in Film and Television Production
- UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology
Get an apprenticeship:
Apprenticeships are jobs with training. They’re a great opportunity to earn while you learn.
These are the relevant apprenticeships that might be available throughout the UK:
- Creative industries production manager (Level 7, England)
- Associate project manager (Level 4, England)
- Broadcast production assistant (Level 3, England)
- Business Administration (Level 3, Northern Ireland)
- Business Administration (Level 2, 3, 4, Wales)
- Business administrator (Level 3, England)
- Creative and Digital Media (Level 3, Northern Ireland)
- Creative and Digital Media (Level 3, 4 Wales)
- Project Management (Level 4, Wales)
You might even find degree-level apprenticeships:
In Scotland, you might be able to find degree-level apprenticeships through the following frameworks:
- Business and Administration (SCQF Level 5-9, Scotland)
Before taking any apprenticeship, check what you’ll be learning with your prospective employer and college, so you can be sure it will be giving you the skills you want. Go to how to become an apprentice to learn how to find apprenticeships in your region or approach companies directly.
Get a degree:
There are no degree courses specific to working in the production department of animation that we recommend. However, there are courses that specialise in animation that could grow your knowledge of the process of an animation production, as well as your technical skills with animation software. This is optional for the role of production coordinator. Have a look at ScreenSkills’ list of recommended courses and select one in animation. We recognise courses with our ScreenSkills Select award where they offer training in the relevant software, dedicated time to building a portfolio and have strong links with the animation industry.
Look outside the industry:
While you are trying to break into animation production, get management or project management experience. Any job that involves planning, organising and budgeting will give you good experience.
Get to know people in the animation industry by attending events. Meet producers and animators and ask them questions about their work, while demonstrating interest and knowledge in the industry. Offer to provide them with your professional contact details and try to stay in touch with them. Go to how to network well to learn how to do this.
Search for jobs:
Research animation companies you’d like to work for. Go to their websites and check if they are advertising for junior or runner roles in production. Even if they aren’t, send in your CV and ask them to bear you in mind for future roles. Ask for work experience. Keep looking on job websites too. ScreenSkills offers some advice from professionals on how to approach animation and VFX employers.
You might also be interested in...
Being a production coordinator in the film and TV drama or VFX industries.
- CG Spectrum – Free Resources
- Bloop Animation – Video Tutorials
- Understand Disney's 12 principles of animation
- The 12 principles of animation as illustrated through Disney and Disney Pixar films
- UK Screen Alliance – Animation UK
- BECTU (the media and entertainment union)
- Animated Women UK
- The Children’s Media Conference
- Cartoon Brew
- Skwigly Online Animation Magazine
- CGI Dreamworks Animation Studio Pipeline | CGMeetup
- Any-Mation (video essays) – YouTube
Film and TV drama
Covers genres ranging from period dramas to epic fantasies screened at the cinema, on TV or on streaming sites
Visual effects (VFX)
Involves making sequences on a computer that can't be created on set, like enormous crowds and fire-breathing dragons
Combines art with programming as well as production, design and testing - the UK’s fastest growing entertainment industry