What does the studio coordinator do?
The studio coordinator supports the studio manager in the day-to-day running of the studio facilities. They liaise with the regular clients, check studio availability and, often, skilfully juggle dates with a number of different productions to make sure everyone gets the time they need. They might also provide an estimate based on the rate-card for the studio. This sets out how much it costs to hire the studio by the day or by the hour. Coordinators are often the first to receive a call from a potential new client, so they need to be able to sell their studio, as well as judge when to pass the client on to the studio manager, who will finalise the deal.
The coordinator may take the client round the studio, showing them the production offices, dressing rooms, catering facilities and hospitality suites that are available, as these can be just as important to a successful production as the studio space itself. Once the booking is confirmed, they are on hand to greet the production team and make sure everything runs smoothly. They need to be ready to sort out the many unexpected issues that occur when a programme is in the studio. The coordinator may also help the studio manager with marketing the studio facility.
Being a good studio coordinator requires hard work, great organisational skills, confidence with IT and a welcoming personality. They also need to be a very good team player and be prepared to work at weekends and in the evening when required. Being a studio coordinator is an excellent place to develop your knowledge of studio productions and business management, and it will prepare you to become a studio manager in your own right.
What’s a studio coordinator good at?
- Business: have a keen business sense for marketing the studio and meeting with clients
- Problem solving: be flexible and ready to sort out a myriad problems; make sure the studio space is presentable and ready for client showings
- Communication: be good at communicating with clients about how a production can best use the studio, as well as liaising with colleagues and external crew on various projects
- Technology: know about all the equipment, IT systems and facilities in the studio and be up to date on the available technology
- Being part of a team: ensure that everything runs smoothly and be ready to help colleagues with different kinds of studio tasks when needed
Who does a studio coordinator work with?
Studio coordinators assist the studio manager in administration, client consultation and daily tasks. The studio coordinator’s right-hand person is the studio assistant, who helps attend to the smaller and more urgent tasks in the studio.
How do I become a studio coordinator?
To be a good studio coordinator you must have strong knowledge of and experience in organisation, business and the technical requirements of productions in a studio. Many people work their way up to the role from being studio assistants or runners. Others may have a background in production management.
At school or college:
If you want to go to university, A-levels or Highers in film studies, media or art and design are relevant. As it is a role that combines understanding film production with project management and accounting, subjects that develop your skills in that way are useful too. Combine film studies with business or business studies and maths for a well-rounded skill set. Or you might want to take 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
If you want to go straight into a job or apprenticeship, the following Level 3 vocational qualifications will equip you:
- AQA Foundation Technical Level Business: Marketing Communications
- AQA Technical Level Business: Marketing
- NCFE Diploma in Skills for Business: Sales and Marketing
Get and apprenticeship:
Apprenticeships are jobs with training, so they are a good opportunity to earn as you learn. Check out the websites of film and TV studios. The British Film Commission has a list of UK studios. See what apprenticeships they offer. This will get you into the studio and you can find your way into studio management from there.
Alternatively, you might be interested in finding out more about the industry by getting an apprenticeship with a broadcaster. These won’t be in studio management as such, but an apprenticeship in production management or as a live event technician could set you up well to transfer into a studio at a later point. Alternatively, you could take an apprenticeship in business or marketing outside the industry, become an expert in that area and then move into a film or TV studio.
To find out more, go to what’s an apprenticeship?. Go to where can I find an apprenticeship? to learn how to find apprenticeships in your region, or approach companies directly. Take a look at our list of apprenticeships to find the schemes of the main broadcasters.
Get a degree:
You don’t need a degree to get into this role, but if you’re interested in having one, take one you enjoy. You might want to take look at ScreenSkills’ list of recommended courses and select one in film and television production. 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 unscripted TV industry. Courses in accounting, business or finance may also be helpful.
Get work experience:
Try to get work experience by writing to film and TV studios. Alternatively, try to get work experience with broadcasters such the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky. It’s also worth contacting production companies to see if they offer any.
Look outside the industry:
Get experience in event management and coordination of venues. A strong transferable skill set is having experience in managing different projects at a fixed location and gaining the skills to communicate and sell that service. Volunteer at festivals to help coordinate the setup of stages and sound equipment. Other work experience that gives you a proven track record in sales in a related industry, such as hotels, conferences and IT, is useful.
Get to know people in the unscripted TV industry by attending events, such as ScreenSkills’ Open Doors. Go to training and opportunities and use the events filter to find out what’s on. Meet professionals and ask them questions about their work, while demonstrating interest in and knowledge of the industry. Offer to provide them with your professional contact details and try to stay in touch with them. Go to network well to learn how to do this.
Create a LinkedIn profile. See if there are Facebook pages or other social media groups for people making unscripted TV in your area. There might even be groups for runners and trainees. Join them. Create a ScreenSkills profile. There are a lot of crewing agencies that will charge you to be on their books. Sign up to the free ones initially. Wales Screen, Northern Ireland Screen and other areas offer free crew databases. Find a film office near you and get connected. If you do sign up to paid websites, make sure they specialise in the areas in which you’re interested.
Search for jobs:
Research film and TV studios that you’d like to work for. Regularly check their websites and job listings websites to see if they are advertising for roles. Make use of ScreenSkills’ list of industry job boards. You can also send a short speculative letter with your CV to the studio. StartinTV offers tips on creating your CV and attending interviews, as well as some advice for your first day working in TV.
You might also be interested in...
Being a technical manager, production manager, series producer or a production buyer in the unscripted TV industry. You might also be interested in being a production coordinator or line producer in the film and TV drama industries.
- Guide to a TV studio
- British Film Commission list of UK studios
- Engineering Council
- BBC Academy
- ITV Entry Careers
- Sky early careers
- 4Talent (Channel 4)
- BAFTA Guru
- Royal Television Society
- Bectu (the media and entertainment union)
- Bectu Ratecards
- Women in Film & Television UK
- Screen Daily
- ScreenSkills resources directory
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