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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:
- Time management
- An aptitude for personnel management
Learn more about film crew roles in Jodie Foster’s MasterClass on filmmaking.