Video is becoming the dominant medium for today’s content. But awe-inspiring/heartbreaking viral videos rarely happen by accident. For every video, there’s a group of people responsible for translating brilliant ideas and good stories into a visual medium ready for our consumption. At the core of this group, the person holding bringing it all together, is the production manager.
If you’ve ever worked for a video production company, it’s likely you’ve been yelled at by the production manager. We list down 5 reasons why, haunting as they may seem, production managers are the misunderstood unsung heroes of the video production world.
- They make the magic happen
And by “magic” we mean the gruesome, painstaking process of ironing out pre-production items including but not limited to:
- Location ocular and permitting
- Sourcing of manpower, logistics, equipment
- Script development and supervision
- Talent scouting
- Billing and compensation
- And we can go on and on
All these have to be done (at most times) solely by the production manager to make sure the rest of the production team have nothing to worry about and ready to roll come shoot proper.
- They’re natural-born trouble shooters
The production manager has to possess quick problem solving skills as anything can go wrong at literally any point in the production of a video. Production managers don’t wince at problems. They’re resourceful people wired to anticipate issues and have plans B-D ready even before a problem arises. If you can’t think on your feet while under pressure, production management sadly might not be the job for you yet.
- They’re highly adaptable
At any given time, talents can act out and not want to shoot a scene anymore. Client can have a sudden rush of epiphany and may want to change a scene on the spot. A law enforcer can shut down your guerrilla aerial shoot and ask for a non-existent permit. If any of these should happen (and it does, all the f@cking time) can a production manager lose his or her cool? The answer is a hard NO. Production managers have the uncanny ability of sucking it up, especially when the situation calls for it. Sometimes, you just have to be a two-faced sociopath who can be scary one moment then charming and cunning the next, to make sure you get the better end of the bargain before pack up.
- They’re highly diligent and resilient people
A good and professional production manager will never sit around and tell people what to do without herself doing the legwork. Production managers are the hardest working people you’ll ever meet. They’re the people you’ll see running around screaming at talking to literally anyone in the set ‘round the clock and they’ll keep at it until the last remaining scene. Just when you think their work stops there, you’ll be surprised to still see them come in the next day to sit on editing. On top of the post-production people, they’re one of the reasons some offices have showers and bean bags sleeping quarters now. Despite all this, you’ll rarely hear them complain.
- Production managers are the pillars of their projects
Production managers have that almost primal-maternal instinct to take care and nurture. Sure, they don’t always have their tempers in check, and they hoard all the coffee they can get their hands on, but without them, a video production – or any other production – is doomed. They reel in all the other important elements and players that make a good video. The very good ones bring out the best in everyone involved in the production. That’s a fact you don’t get to read up a lot on.
Believe it or not, production managers are your video project’s biggest advocates and sometimes, the tougher they are, the more meaningful your project is to them.