BECTU member Lynsey Cosford recently took part on a Feature Film Production Management course arranged through her union.
I am currently working in Location Management, and I had been considering my future in the film industry and thought about the possibility of potentially crossing over to the Production Department. I felt this course could give me a good insight into what is involved with Production Management and I was also interested to know how much I already know about being a UPM.
From the course, I was hoping to meet new people in similar situations to myself and looked forward to hearing their thoughts, opinions and knowledge. I wanted to be able to gain a mentor in either the course leaders or pupils and to learn about Production Management within a more structured classroom environment, as this is something that always helps me to progress due to its focused nature (unlike learning on the job).
I felt the modules worked well and were in a good order. It always felt like the days went too quickly though but I think there was more than enough packed into the modules to gain new knowledge from each section.
My favourite parts and most useful elements were definitely talking to the accountant and finding out about some of the financial strands of film making. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Movie Magic scheduling and budgeting modules. It was so useful to learn the basics of what goes into that and how they affect one another.
The course has opened my eyes a little more to how the film is working around me and why we often have to go through certain processes. I do feel the week has made me a more rounded Location Manager which can help me to hopefully progress further with my learning in the future. I feel a lot more confident with my career progression now and believe I can enjoy future promotions as and when I want to go for those roles/positions.
As the course was advertised as a feature film Production Management course, sometimes I felt it drifted off towards more shorts/TV etc. I do think it is a good thing to include these types of productions and of course, keep all the course pupils involved depending on their experience but definitely should be kept more feature film based if possible.
I also thought perhaps a bit more time with the accountant and budgeting would have been really useful, as I felt we could have learned so much more in this field. It is also incredibly interesting. On the whole however, I thought it was a well thought out course that sadly ended too quickly!