Production Coordinator | Careers in Film and Video Production

production coordinator film video
Maisie Williams during the shooting of Game of Thrones | © HBO

Two capital K’s are decisive for the production of a film. On the one hand, this letter stands for creativity. On the other side it stands for coordination. Organizing and coordinating processes and tasks is the core task of the Production Coordinator in film productions.

For people who have order in their heads, like to organize and enjoy teamwork, Production Coordinator is a dream job. Because this profession is the first port of call for (almost) all production questions and gives an insight into all areas of a film or video production.

What you need to know about this profession:

  • The job description of the production coordinator belongs to the group of organisational tasks in film production.
  • The superior position is the production manager.
  • The Production Coordinator manages the production office. Even if he or she can be found on location from time to time to coordinate urgent questions, he or she usually works behind the scenes.

Professional Image Production Coordinator for Film and Video

The Production Coordinator, the job title carries it in itself, coordinated. This coordination task refers both to the flow of information between the various technical experts and departments, but also to the securing of personnel and equipment. It also ensures coordination between the so-called departments such as decor, camera/light/stage or direction department.

On behalf of the Production Manager (PM) he also executes specific orders. For example, he organises the film equipment – which has been ordered by the cameraman and approved by the production manager – or checks the availability of the freelance staff required for filming.

Hotel reservations, the duplication of production documents such as call sheets (dispositions), daily reports and other reports are also the responsibility of this profession.

First point of contact for production questions: the Production Coordinator

Because the Production Coordinator is involved in almost all organisational issues, he or she also knows about almost every logistical aspect of a film production or video production. This also makes him the obvious contact person for production questions.

Cooperation with the Directors Department

If unforeseen or sudden problems occur, the production coordinator communicates directly with the director’s staff, usually with the 1. assistant director, in order to find the fastest possible solutions. Therefore, a high level of stress resistance is expected from him.

Because this function is one of the central axes in film production, long working days are also common in this profession. At least while the shooting is in progress. During pre-production (preparation work) and after shooting (completion of production), attendance times are closer to other office activities.

Transports

For larger productions, a so-called Transportation Captain takes over the transport tasks. His responsibility includes everything that “has wheels”. This is how it holds the majority of feature film productions. If there is only one person in charge of transportation, the Production Coordinator will provide this person with all necessary information. This includes arrival times on the set or pickup times for actors and director.

This is different for productions that do not take weeks to shoot. Here, the responsibility for transport lies with the production office, and thus within this profession.

Interns and extras

Trainees belong to a film or video production like the camera belongs to the film location. It doesn’t work without them. Interns are basically subordinate to the Production Coordinator.

The exception, which confirms the rule, are large-scale productions. Here it is possible for each individual department to employ its own interns. In this case, however, the Production Coordinator ensures that the search is successful and concludes the necessary agreements with the interns.

It is different with the recruitment of extras. Here, the responsibility lies with the first, or if available, the second assistant director. The production coordinator defines the key data about agreements on rights and compensation of extras. These are implemented by the Production Coordinator.

Additional tasks

The Production Coordinator is the first point of contact with film unions and professional associations. He is informed about the legal framework and, in consultation with the production manager, answers and documents the relevant stakeholders.

Depending on his workload or the urgency of the task, the job description can also include special tasks for the director, actors or producer.

Professional requirements for the Production Coordinator

A good production coordinator combines a high level of motivation with high stress resistance. Reliability and precise work, combined with pleasure in planning and organisational tasks, are indispensable.

Strong communication skills and a self-image as a team player also contribute to this job description.

The entry ticket to this job is often the previous, successful work as a production assistant or as a production assistant. With enough experience and positive recommendations, the next career step to the job as production coordinator is the path to production manager for initially smaller productions, or to assistant director.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

About Carlo P. Olsson 84 Articles
Carlo P. Olsson accompanies the production of films, videos and TV series on behalf of companies, agencies and production companies. In his spare time he plays ice hockey and is engaged in baroque sound drama.

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