New round of feature film production management course completed

Following the success of the pilot of the first feature film specific training programme for production managers and line produces that ran in 2017, ScreenSkills commissioned BECTU, with Film Skills Fund funding from UK film productions, to run new courses in Manchester (August) and London (November).

Photo © BECTU

The five-day courses consisted of five modules aimed at preparing attendees with the skills required to step up to production manager or line producer. Participants looked at all aspects of the role of production manager in the first introductory module. Budgeting, contracting, health and safety, and risk assessment were covered in succeeding course days. The final days of the programme looked at how production managers work with all members from their teams, whilst balancing budgets and deadlines, and introduced participants to the software Movie Magic.

There was wide interest in attending the courses with over 100 applications from location managers, production co-ordinators, producers, first assistant directors and production managers, all wanting to step up their skills. The programme also provided access to training and development for the most under-represented in the sector, giving those individuals greater opportunity to progress their careers.

This course absolutely met and surpassed my expectations, a must for anyone working in the industry.

The feedback from participants was very positive, with the first-hand experiences of the trainers and guest speakers, which included production managers, production accountants and location managers, being greatly appreciated. Participants were reminded of the need to be flexible, creative, firm but diplomatic and to deal with errors or mistakes in a timely and effective manner.

Trainer Addie Orfila said: “It has been a real pleasure to train these groups of people, and I am pleased the feedback has been so positive. It is not always easy to find the right level, as so many are from different areas of production and have knowledge levels that vary greatly, but response has been fantastic, and I look forward to seeing how they progress in future.”

Acknowledging the challenges faced by many people who move up to becoming a production manager or line producer, Alison Surtees of BECTU said: “Giving confidence in abilities of those wanting to move to the role is crucial, as we know there are real talent gaps in this field, and we want to be sure that training is suitable to enable the move for those who want to.”


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