Author Topic: Production Manager, Checklist  (Read 6565 times)

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Andi

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Production Manager, Checklist
« on: Jan 23, 2007, 05:13 pm »
I'm searching for a checklist of duties or expectations of a PM/SM.  I am wearing both hats for an upcoming festival, and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the subject. I have SMed for years, but never taken on the position of PM. If anyone has any forms, checklists, or suggestions, they would be most helpful!

Thanks
Andi

ORTaurean

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Re: Production Manager, Checklist
« Reply #1 on: Jan 24, 2007, 02:22 pm »
Production Management: Making Shows Happen, A Practical Guide by Peter Dean

Check out this book - I was in the same boat and working with this (though Canadian) is not as obvious as the Kelley book for SMs, it is slowly becoming more apparent to me why it's useful.  At least it can begin to guide you on your way.

Also - check in with the AD and have a meeting to discover what s/he expects from you as a PM.  every theatre is different, jsut as you learned when you were SMing. 

What I notice is:

As a PM

GENERAL - I manage the SMs and make sure that they have all they need and are reporting what the company and team needs to know from the rehearsal room.  I check in with designers regarding rehearsal reports and what's being done.  Keep meetings short and to the point, everyone is busy and will appreciate it.

SPECIFIC [to my theatre] - (Regional/non-union)
1. Meeting #1 - meet and greet, words from director, contracts handed out.
2. Meeting #2 - Into of new people, collect contracts, sketches, design discussion
3. Meeting #3 - Models and final sketches presented
4. 1st Rehearsal/presentations to cast
5. Designer Run of show/meeting to follow
6. Designer Run of show/meeting to follow
7. Tech week/ meetings after rehearsal
8. Previews - Meetings following if needed, generally set/props/costume are the stragglers at this point.

*I don't have checklists until I know what the designers need/are missing/haven't completed.
*I do plan meetings and create agendas based on the discussions I have with designers outside of our meeting.
*I do plan the build with the tech director and the strike as well (we have a tight turn around)
*I created some spreadsheets in Excel that I based off of the book mention and some others based on another PM's work.  It's basic budgeting and knowing how to use formulas.
*I create the production calendar and make sure it is timely and complete. (Don't forget marketing, I somehow forget marketing and they always want photos or interviews...)
*Everyone is going to ask you when somehting is going to be complete, keep a weekly check in with your designers so yuo're on top of everything.  It's like being on top of a rehearsal room (Props, set pieces, bodies, TIME) but in a different scale. (Set/Costume/Prop build, sound/light design, budget, TIME)
*Ask for receipts as soon as you can get them (sometimes costume and props hold these because of so many returns).  And keep your budget spreadsheet up to date.  Set will always go over at the last minute (as will props) because the director changes his mind or suddenly realized how ugly puce is.  I suggest keeping a reserve in your designer budgets for this purpose.  If you have given the, $1200 for building the set, keep $200 out and let them know they have $1000.  Now you have a cushion when the puce needs to be painted black and you don't have any black paint...keeping you kn budget!

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, let me know if there are other questions I can answer...

Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell

stagemonkey

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Re: Production Manager, Checklist
« Reply #2 on: Jan 30, 2007, 11:09 pm »
This is exactly the kind of advice I have been looking for lately.  I am currently the SM with a new theatre company working on their first large scale production.  Through the process I noticed several things they really need and ultimately I attributed most of it to the fact that they did not have a person who had the job of Production Manager.  I mentioned this to some of the company and they agreed with what I was saying, one even said he was thinking along the same lines explaining what he thought to me and i was like "yeah what you're saying is what a Production Manager would do." and then he went on saying he was thinking they should get me to do that.  Which having never done it before kind of freaks me out as I know somethings that a PM needs to do but ultimately I know theres so much more I don't know. 

I hope I can find a copy of this book you mentioned and give it a look over as it sounds like it would be a great help.

ORTaurean

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Re: Production Manager, Checklist
« Reply #3 on: Jan 31, 2007, 02:09 pm »
StageMonkey - I'm also in Chicago - maybe we can compare notes...
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.
-Rosiland Russell

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