Four days into the William F. White Production Manager Mentorship and I am blown away by how much I have learned and experienced in such a short period. The network of people, the hands-on experience and the deeper understanding of the equipment required by a production will help me immensely in my career going forward.
During my mentorship, I have come to a greater understanding of how the people around you and the people you rely on can influence your success.
The team here at Whites are open, honest and rooting for you as a filmmaker. Each and every person I met here greeted me with a smile, asked how they could help, answered my questions and offered to help me whenever I needed in the future. I know coming out of this mentorship that I have a whole army of people behind me who understand that if I am successful then they are successful and vice versa. I know that I can call a Customer Service Representative or manager in any department and they will help me problem solve in the future. I learned something new in each department that I didn’t necessarily think of as a Production Manager. I now know how to communicate effectively with the crew, how to maintain good relationships with vendors and where hidden costs can come up and how to avoid them. I now know that having the right equipment for the job can make or break a production.
Another valuable experience in this mentorship is the opportunity to work with equipment. As a producer’s assistant or a production manager I don’t get the opportunity to put my hands on a piece of equipment and understand how it works. During this mentorship, I was able to change the oil filter on a generator and understand the importance of maintaining a vital piece of equipment on a production. I was able to touch a control board and understand how software and various lights can lower costs and save time. I was able to plug lights into a generator and understand the importance of safety, keeping the load balanced and what equipment certain production sizes can handle. I was able to assemble a camera and understand how the right kind of camera and gear can save a lot in post. I was able to operate a technocrane and understand the level of coordination and the importance of having a quality crew. I was able to understand the importance of communicating between camera and grip departments and the importance of knowing what you need in advance. I was able to ride an Exo and remember just how fun working in this industry could possibly be.
We are all in this industry to create art and share important stories with the world.
This industry can be stressful. The hours are long, the conditions are never ideal and it’s never as glamorous as people think. As a production manager I am in a position to make a positive impact on a production. This mentorship has given me insight into the value of the equipment you use and the effect it has on your production. If I can ensure my crew has the right equipment to do their job we can all rest a little easier and remember to have a little fun and remember why we are all here. Spending time at Whites and completing this mentorship has given me the tools and contacts I need to understand what can be done to ensure the highest quality of production for any budget.
I feel confident leaving the mentorship knowing I have the Whites team behind me and a larger understanding and set of skills in my arsenal. I hope to maintain the connections I have made and look forward to working with Whites in the future.