Are you ridiculously organised? Do you love TV/Film? Do you want to work in all areas of the industry? Maybe, being a Production Coordinator is the job for you.
To gain full insight into this career – we spoke to the experienced and talented Senior Production Coordinator, Becki Powers.
Could you explain your job role in your own words?
I’m a Senior Production Coordinator. I am responsible for all crewing up, talent liaison, logistics, and scheduling for a shoot/ event. We are the go-to people if anything goes wrong and needs sorting ASAP. We problem solve in our sleep and are super organised!
How did your career start out?
I went to Leeds Met uni when I was just 18. I lasted 5 whole weeks (!) and then dropped out. Not wanting to do the course and being way too far from home. I then came across the BBC Apprenticeship scheme. They had funding from the 2012 Olympics and ran the scheme for 3 years. I was one of 10 who got selected out of over 1000 people to take part in a production environment for a year. We all got placed in various departments, I got given Entertainment. This is due to my background in music and events. I started organising gigs and events from the age of 15. I used to put on under 18 nights as we didn’t really have much to do. Whilst doing this I helped launch the careers of Rizzle Kicks and Hobbie Stuart. I put on tons of local acts and more well known such as Professor Green. During the year-long apprenticeship, I worked across shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Reading and Glastonbury festivals and when I came to the end of the scheme, the Music Entertainment department kept me on to work on Later… With Jools Holland where I stayed for 2 years!
How would you advise others to get into your role?
It’s so tricky sometimes to get into TV but once you are in and you are good, you have people fighting for you! I would suggest getting as much work experience as you can with various companies and do as many courses as you can too. University doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a job after either. I would say it would be much better to get the hands-on experience rather than going to Uni.
Was there a particular client/job/film that was the catalyst for your career?
I’d say the BBC helped me the most when it comes to starting my career. I was really fortunate to get a place on the apprenticeship. But also I worked really hard and used my initiative before starting the apprenticeship to find work, or put on events etc. Learning on the job is the best way!
Could you tell us a bit about your latest projects?
I’ve recently been working on a whole variety of shows from Live entertainment, live events and documentaries too. I finished my stint at the BBC on Strictly: It Takes Two in December and since then I’ve worked on the Glyndebourne Opera Cup, YouTubes first commissioned show ‘Training Days with Jack Whitehall’ as well as a Netflix special with Russell Brand. I also went back for a second year to Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen where I was in charge of TV production for their 2nd biggest stage. I am now just starting up on a music documentary for the next few months.
What is it that you love about your job? (if you love it, of course!)
I just LOVE organising. I love being the first and main point of call for the crew. I really thrive when working under pressure and get a real buzz from it. I particularly love live tv and events. I mainly do big music events which always involve very little sleep but they are always super fun.
Do you have any tips you can give specifically to your role?
Never panic! Things can get really stressful at times but you must never show you are stressed or panicking about something. This won’t help the team or yourself. Always just think about what the issue is and work out how to solve it as quickly and best you can. Its also always ok to ask questions, especially if you don’t know something. Just pick the right moment. Also, never assume ANYTHING. Always check things.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your career?
Sleep! Because I do lots of crazy events, they always involve long days and very little (if any) sleep. But you get through it and can sleep after! Being freelance is also a bit stressful at times. I’m fortunate enough to be able to mostly pick which jobs I want to do instead of worrying about when the next job will come along. But earlier in my career, it used to worry me. Its all about who you know in this industry!
If you could tell yourself one thing about your career to your younger self what would it be?
Keep going! There were points when I was more junior where I used to think about giving up. I’d pay a fortune to commute to London (from Brighton) and I’d have no money left for anything after working so hard. It got disheartening. But I kept going and now I’ve made a great career for myself! Just never give up!