What Does The Production Office Do?

I get asked all the time what do I do. I tell them I work in Film & TV in the production office, and clearly there is no real understanding what we do. Lots of time, our own crew doesn't understand what we do. I always compare us to Logistics & Support in the military.

The office is usually made up of a Production Coordinator, APOC (Assistant Production Coordinator), Production Secretary, and an Office Production Assistant. There are variations on this of course. On larger shows and episodic TV there will usually be a Travel Coordinator whose only job is to handle travel and hotels for the cast and guest stars. And yes, it is a full time job.

The Production Coordinator is the boss when it comes to the office. He or she is the one who usually hires the rest of the office staff. The Coordinator is also usually someone who works regularly with the UPM (Unit Production Manager) or Production Supervisor. The coordinator will divide up who is doing what in the office. He or she also is usually brought in early to help find office and stage space.

The APOC (my current job) is second on the list. APOC duties overlap with the coordinators a lot of time. Between the Coordinator and the APOC they order the gear and equipment for the various departments. The two also handle getting contracts ready for actors and working on the Production Report which is a record of everything that happened on a each day of shooting.

The Production Secretary usually handles putting together the Crew List, Vendor List, and Files for a production office. Sometimes they will be the first one in and handle getting copies of all the nightly paperwork to Accounting and to others in the production office.

Production Assistants do all the work you might think they do. They do the runs to and from set and to vendors. They do all the shopping for the office. They handle the massive amount of mail and packages coming into and out of the office. The PA's will also usually handle putting together the sides each night for set in the morning (sides are the scenes that are just working the next next day - it is a way for cast and crew to have what they need script wise without carrying around a whole script all day).

Most of our jobs overlap. Depending on how long the crew has worked together, jobs might be spread out more. The office staff usually comes in to work right after the accounting crew starts. A PA or Production Secretary will usually be on until Accounting is done. I know as a PA and Production Secretary there were times I was the last person to leave the production.

We handle all the paperwork the crew needs to run on and the studio demands from us. All the emails sent out come from the production office. It is a paperwork heavy job, but it is also a job that allows you to learn what it takes to run a show and what each department does and needs.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home