What Is the Job Description of a Film Production Manager?

A film production manager works behind the scenes to keep everyone working efficiently and effectively during the production of a film. Keep reading to learn more about this career. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A film production manager generally works directly with or for a film producer and communicates between the producer and other staff members regarding the film's overall production. As a film production manager, you will be responsible for keeping the film on budget and making sure production remains on schedule. Day-to-day duties include working with the film crew and actors and arranging travel needs for everyone. Since your main responsibilities will be handling the film budget and schedule, you need to communicate any potential setbacks to the other producers and/or director of the film.

Important Facts About Film Production Managers

On-the-Job Training Internships available
Key Skills Creativity, leadership, clear communication, critical thinking, problem solving, time management, multitasking,
Work Environment Motion picture and video industries; fast-paced environment working with teams or individually
Similar Occupations Creative directors; project managers; art directors; marketing directors; top executives


Individuals interested in becoming a film production manager may want to consider completing either a bachelor's degree program in a related field or even a master's degree program.

If you want to pursue a career as a film production manager, consider earning a bachelor's degree film production. While your focus will be on production, you can expect to take such courses as film history, management, theory, editing, and screenwriting. You may also take courses in sound and lighting, directing, and producing.

By earning a Master of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in filmmaking, you can solidify your knowledge and experience to the filmmaking industry. You may be required to provide a letter of intent describing what your film thesis will be. Coursework in this type of program involves in-depth study of film history and theory, techniques and research methods. In some programs, you learn film law, storytelling, budgeting, and how to obtain permits and licenses for film locations.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide exact information on a film production manager. It considers this job title as part of the motion picture and video industry. As with any job in this field, the BLS indicates that while education is helpful to obtaining a job, experience and professionalism are important factors in getting hired (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that while the job outlook within the industry can vary depending on your job (director, actor, cameraman, producer), employment in this field was expected to grow seven percent for camera operators in television, video, and motion pictures, and 12% for producers and directors from 2016 to 2026. PayScale.com reports that as of June 2019, production managers working in film and/or TV typically earn between $41,000 and $98,000.

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