Most people typically think of the more creative side of the production process such as cinematography, directing, or writing. Although these are immensely important, there is a side behind the scenes of a production that must be kept in order for a production to run smoothly. That would be the much less glamorous, but still important administrative side of production. So, what is a production coordinator and what do they do?

A production coordinator is an integral part of making sure the administrative side of a production is well kept so that the production faces minimal hiccups. Let’s take a look at the roles and responsibilities of the job. And how, if they’re executed correctly, they are an important part of the production process.

What is a production coordinator?

Production coordinator job description

There are a few roles when it comes to the more administrative side of production. In this article, we’ll be exploring the role of the coordinator. What is a production coordinator? 

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR DEFINITION

What is a production coordinator?

A production coordinator is responsible for working in the production office working on administrative tasks for a production company. This role, also called a “production office coordinator,” is an entry-level position.

They report to the production manager or unit production manager and take on clerical duties rather than creative tasks. These duties can often pertain to managing staff, addressing emails and phone calls, or ordering any supplies for a production.

Coordinators also manage a team of production assistants (PAs) and assign them more menial tasks during a production. Basically, they work behind the scenes making sure the administrative side of a production runs smoothly.

What is a film coordinator responsible for?

  • Putting in production orders
  • Responding to emails and phone calls
  • Organizing production paperwork

What is a Production Coordinator?

What does a production coordinator do?

A coordinator typically works in the production office working on administrative tasks and taking on clerical responsibilities. What is a production coordinator specifically responsible for? 

They can vary depending on the various phases of production, but they typically fall under the umbrella of the following duties.

1. Manage the production office

Coordinators work under a unit production manager, but are typically responsible for actually running the office. Generally, this means ordering supplies or equipment for the production office, ensuring bills are being paid, onboarding new hires, and even publishing call sheets, script updates, and production reports.

Here is our video breaking down how to create a call sheet, a task every coordinator must know.

What does a Production coordinator do?  •  Making call sheets  •  Subscribe on YouTube

2. Be the point of contact for a production

Large productions can have a ton of crew or talent. The coordinator serves as their point of contact with questions about production scheduling, set locations, etc. Coordinators let the crew and talent know their call times and set locations. Utilizing software like StudioBinder’s film crew list management software helps keep all crew and talent contact info organized.

3. File and organize production paperwork

One of the more clerical responsibilities is filing and organizing production paperwork. Production paperwork typically takes the form of bills, call sheets, production reports, shoot schedules, shooting permits, location release forms, insurance paperwork, or even visas.

Take a look at our video that breaks down production insurance, call sheets, and scheduling below to learn more about each.

What does a production coordinator do?  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Coordinators typically utilize production management software like StudioBinder’s production calendar software to stay organized.

4. Transportation and Scheduling

Coordinators are responsible for tracking any scheduling changes and ensuring the updates are published for crew and talent. StudioBinder’s film scheduling software makes this more intuitive and organized. They must also arrange any transportation needs for crew and talent.

5. Manage production assistants

Unit production managers often assign a team of production assistants (PAs) to the coordinator creating a chain of command.

Film Production coordinator jobs and hierarchy

Film Production coordinator jobs and hierarchy

Coordinators give PAs assignments or tasks like running errands for the production, picking up supplies, or even transporting talent on a lot.

Production coordinator job description

How to become a production coordinator

Production coordinator jobs are an entry-level position. A great place to start is as a production assistant and demonstrating that you have the necessary skills to be a great coordinator. What is required is having a certain skill set that will allow you to thrive in the role.

1. Organization

Possibly the most important skill of a coordinator is organization. Managing clerical paperwork, crew, and other administrative tasks can be overwhelming. An organized coordinator is crucial for a smoothly run production office.

2. Time management

Because a coordinator manages schedules, call sheets, and transportation, they must have a solid grasp of time management.

3. Communication

Being the point of contact for a production means that a coordinator must have solid communication skills. They must be able to deal with and communicate effectively to all types of people that may be involved in the production. They must also be poignant and responsive.

4. Creative problem solving

A smoothly running production office doesn’t happen just because everything falls nicely into place. Problems and challenges will occur. A coordinator must be able to solve these problems creatively and quickly to keep the production running smoothly.

What is a production coordinator making?

Production coordinator salary

According to Glassdoor, the average production coordinator salary is $47,316 per year. Coordinators are typically hired for specific productions. How long these productions are will vary the salary or hourly rate.

The job is a freelance job, meaning coordinators work gig to gig. This also means the production coordinator salary will vary greatly.

Where to look for production coordinator jobs

Find production coordinator jobs

The best way to find gigs as a production coordinator is by networking. Networking, specifically in Los Angeles, will likely land you your next job. That being said, using websites like Backstage’s crew hub page, Indeed, and MediaMatch will help you find work opportunities.

UP NEXT

Discover more filmmaking roles

Production coordinators are an integral role to the administrative side of a film production. To continue through our series of the various filmmaking roles and positions, you can explore similar jobs like producer, cinematographer, or director. Or you can jump over to our Film Crew Index to browse the entire range of filmmaking roles. Understanding what everyone’s role on a film set is will help make you a better overall filmmaker and a more efficient crew member.

Up Next: Explore more crew positions →
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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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