As a lot of telly folk will tell you, there are times when trying to fit your life around your job is a near impossible task. There are the long hours, the back to back weekend work, and not to mention the fact you come to depend on Haribo as part of your 5-a-day as you don’t have time to eat anything else as a Production Manager.
But, despite all of this, I really wouldn’t change it for the world. Take for instance my role of Production Manager. I appreciate most people think I spend my days faced with a sea of Excel spreadsheets and math problems, but one of the things I really love about my job is that you never really know what’s going to be thrown at you on any given day. One minute you can be sat at your desk on a rainy Monday wrestling with a budget, and the next you can find yourself in the Australian Outback organising thousands of critters to pour over an unsuspecting celebrity, or desperately re-writing a schedule after your talent has been delayed by a volcanic ash cloud.
And while I love my job now, it was never my life-long dream to work in TV, but instead it’s a career I was lucky enough to fall into. After finishing a degree in journalism and politics a friend introduced me to a contact at MTV who was in need of an intern. Being a huge fan of music I jumped at the chance and haven’t looked back since.
I stayed at MTV for several years and since then have worked on a wide variety of genres and formats – everything from music events, big shiny floor series, reality, studio, comedy, cooking shows and everything in between.
As well as the diversity of the role, another great thing about being a freelance Production Manager (though my mum might not necessarily agree) is that you have the option to travel.
I’ve been lucky enough to not only live and work in New York, but have also spent a lot of time in Australia working as Line Producer on big entertainment shows such as The Voice.
For me, that freedom to take contracts overseas is invaluable and I can’t imagine having a career where that isn’t an option. And while it can be stressful not knowing what’s waiting for you at the office each day (especially those days when your office is a Portacabin in the middle of no-where) to me that’s half the fun.
Yes the hours can be brutal, and during very busy periods your friends and family may forget what you look like, the exciting things you get to do, the great people you meet and the countless places you can work make it all worthwhile.
By Nicky Mitchell, Production Manager/Line Producer
Find her profile on The Talent Manager