Film & TV

Film 101: What Is a Production Coordinator? Duties and Responsibilities of a Production Coordinator

Written by MasterClass

May 16, 2019 • 2 min read

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Jodie Foster Teaches Filmmaking

Making movies and TV shows may seem glamorous, but the reality of the work is often the opposite. The production coordinator is a demanding but vital behind-the-scenes position that makes sure the show goes on.

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What Is a Production Coordinator?

Officially called a “production office coordinator” according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees labor union, or IATSE, the production coordinator works in the production office performing administrative and clerical tasks for a production company or film crew.

The production coordinator is a member of the below-the-line production staff, which refers to all crew members on a TV show or film who are not the creative principals of a production, and reports to the production manager. The production coordinator manages production assistants, or PAs—the people who perform the more menial jobs like running errands on a set.

Production coordinators are hired only for the duration of a film production and as such, the job is gig-based.

What Does a Production Coordinator Do?

The production coordinator’s job is to help the production manager with all aspects of the physical act of making films or video production. The bulk of a production coordinator’s job happens during the film’s production. A production coordinator’s job includes facilitating the production schedule, budgets, equipment rentals, transportation, locations, catering, billing, and communicating with crew members.

Tasks specific to a production coordinator include:

  • Act as a production’s point of contact with the crew. The production coordinator lets the crew know where they need to be and when (call times).
  • Scheduling and transportation. The production coordinator tracks schedule changes and arranges for transportation.
  • Supervise PAs and assistant production coordinators. The production coordinator delegates tasks to PAs, like running any errands necessary for the film’s production.
  • Run the production office. The production coordinator orders supplies and equipment for the production office; manages the phones and administrative emails; works with the production accountant to ensure bills are paid; assists in on-boarding new hires; and publishes call sheets and production reports.

How to Become a Production Coordinator

The production coordinator is considered an entry-level position in the film industry, and as such, there is no specific set of experiences or education needed to become a production coordinator. Many production coordinators begin as PAs, to get baseline experience working on a film set. A production coordinator needs to have the following skills:

  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • An aptitude for personnel management

Learn more about film crew roles in Jodie Foster’s MasterClass on filmmaking.