Max, Production Coordinator at BBC Africa
- Media and communications
Job Title: Production coordinator, BBC Africa.
My position in a nutshell… As a production cocoordinator, I act as an advisor to my team, helping the editor to make decisions. I assist with the business, logistics and administrative side of running a television programme.
How I got the job… I started out as a runner, so this means I did all of the jobs that no one wants to do (and made lots of cups of tea). I did this until I got the opportunity to move up. Being a runner allowed me to gain experience in lots of different areas of production, such as lighting, set design, etc. but I decided to go in to the administrative side of things as that is what I am best at.
My typical day… It will always start with a meeting with the editorial teams, which is great because you get to learn from people who are really knowledgeable in their fields. I am really lucky, as a massive sports fan, to be working in a sports department in that I am always slightly ahead of the curve in knowing what is going on in global sports. I have to keep on top of the teams’ plans so that I can organise the things they need to get their jobs done, from booking flights and arranging visas, to negotiating rates for camera operators. I also have to oversee budgets to ensure that the team is not overspending. There are many transferable skills developed in this role, so you could take your career in many directions off the back of this.
My most memorable moment… Working as a runner on a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – it was fascinating to see how a live professional production was put together and then seeing how it turn into what we watch on our TV screens.
The worst part of my job… chasing people for information, or for money!
The best part of my job… The amount of training I’ve received – after two years I know how to shoot on a variety of cameras and edit on a variety of software. I know a lot more about the financial, legal and HR sides of TV too.
Advice / key skills needed for anyone wanting to become a production coordinator… You have got to be prepared to work hard. There are lots of long days, especially when you start out. Things can often go wrong, which can be stressful, but I like to think that it adds to the excitement! Be proactive and ask lots of questions – in my experience, everyone has been really kind and supportive in helping me to develop.