Below is the results of an interview between Cory Bluntd, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University and Tony Carter, Production Manager for Downhome Productions in Nixa, MO. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2001.
Number of years at current position: 8 Years working in the productions industry: 11
How did you become a Production Manager? I inherited the job after someone above me got fired.
What is your typical day/week? I usually come and talk to everyone to see if there is anything new going on. Then I check my email to see if I have any new mail. Then I check my voice messages at the office but usually I have already checked my messages because I’m on call 24 hours a day. Then I start doing the duties I have everyday and that’s quoting shows, checking on labor for shows, checking on hotel rooms, and advancing shows. For an average week I will probably work about 110 hours in one week.
Is there any formal education needed for your job, or requirements, or skills needed to do your job? No formal education for my job. But anything that will help you performs your job. For instances Mark West, the owner and founder of Downhome Productions, has a degree in Electronic and a minor in music. So getting experience in anything that surrounds the industry will help you understand your job and help you to do you job good.
What is the best training for a production manager? Hands ons is the best training that anyone could get being involved in this industry.
What kind of personality is recommended for the job? Easygoing personality is the best personality in this industry. This personality is the best because of the hours you put in this industry. If you are in my position of having to supervise people, then make the work have a fun atmosphere.
What experience or qualification are needed? I started from the bottom and worked my way to the top. I started this industry working as a stagehand.
I had thirty days to learn everything I had to know about the production of show, so I could accept the position of crew leader.
What are Production Manager duties? The job of a Production Manager varies from company to company. At Downhome I have the duties of handling all parts of a show. These duties consist of doing the budget for shows, advancing shows, prepping shows, diagramming sets for shows and a lot more duties that I perform as Production Manager.
How would someone obtain a job as a Production Manager in Springfield, MO? I think that Springfield is not a good place to look for a career in the production industry. Generally, a production manager starts off prepping shows, loading shows, and just working you way up the ladder. You first have to pay your dues in this industry.
What is the next step forward after Production Manager? The only position after Production Manager is to own your own production company. Or you can even become a Tour Manager for a national band. Or you can take on more responsibility at your job you already have. But if I had to look for another job, it would probably not be in this industry.
Are you a part of any professional organization? Yes. We as a company are a part of the ESTA (Entertainment Services & Technology Association).
List some of the pros and cons of a production manager?
Pros Atmosphere at work is great. It is laid back atmosphere and I can wear what I want to wear to work. It is challenge everyday for me to accomplish, and I love challenges. People you meet in this industry.
Cons The cons I have about this job are this is my life 24 hours a day and seven days a week. For 9 years I only turned off my phone once, because I’m on call 24 hours a day. This job is stressful, and you must have mental and physical strengths.
What is the salary for production manager? I get paid well by the company I work for. The average production manager gets paid between $40,000 to $60,000 per year, plus bonus.
What should a person do to become a Production Manager? Be willing to understand the industry. Be willing to start at the bottom and have the heart to make it to the top. Be very versatile to become successful in this industry.
What I mean about versatile is being able to run every part of this industry from the paper work to the equipment that is used in this industry.
Suggestions for some pursuing a job in this industry. Work hard, have the right attitude, have respect for people you work with, do your best at every job you get, and lead by example.