One of the most important jobs that during a movie or television show is the production manager. It may not be as glamorous as being an actor, but it’s an essential job. Below is an explanation of the job and what it entails.

A production manager is in charge of the budget below the line. This will cover costs relating to the production’s practicalities and the costs that relate to the crew. Let’s look at the breakdown of the duties.


Before the production starts, the production manager is responsible for:

  • Working with the producer, the line producer and the first assistant director to create a schedule.
  • Consulting with the heads of the different departments
  • Estimating the necessary materials
  • Drafting budgets

After the budget has been approved, the production manager:

  • Helps producers to recruit supplies and crew
  • Negotiates pay rates and employment conditions
  • Arranges purchase and rental of all of the production supplies and materials
  • Oversees location search
  • Signs releases for locations
  • Liaises with the local police and authorities regarding the permits
  • Negotiates contracts with the casting agencies on smaller productions

During Production

During production, the production manager:

  • Ensures that all of the bills are paid and the team is working well.
  • Sets up spending control
  • Paper work
  • Liaises with the first assistant director to ensure the departmental budgets and production schedule are both on budget.
  • Signs and authorizes all of the purchase orders
  • Helps production accountant prepare cost reports weekly
  • Makes changes to the budget and schedule as is needed.
  • Deals with personnel issues or problems that might arise
  • Ensures that everyone’s complying with safety and health regulations

Post Production

The production manager:

  • Wraps up the production
  • Ensures all final invoices get paid and that locations are signed off.
  • Terminates rental agreements and ensures equipment is returned

As you can see, a production manager is very important to a movie or television show. Even though it’s not particularly glamorous, it can be a well-paying and very fulfilling job. If you are looking for a way to work in television or film, you might want to become a production manager.

About 800-KAMERMAN

800-Kamerman is a 20 time National Emmy award-winning video production company with over 30 years of experience producing compelling branded content, commercials, live events, features, corporate communications and educational videos for clients. Offices in Orange County and Los Angeles.