When the film hits the can the real work begins. But post production is a vast, messy system where the same footage can be passed from person to person before it’s all done. Someone needs to make sense of all this madness. And that person is the post production coordinator. Learn more about this hero of post production.
WHAT IS A POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR?
Post production coordinators should have strong organizational and scheduling skills
You, my intrepid post production coordinator to be, are a human octopus. Overseeing all aspects of a film or TV show that take place after the director calls “cut” for the final time.
So what is post production?
When a movie production (or television show) wraps principal photography, it’s up to the post production team to make sure everything is in place to turn the raw footage into a polished, entertaining product for mass consumption.
So what does the post production coordinator do?
Well, with an eye on:
- sound ADR
- day hires for reshoots
- making travel and lodging accommodations
- detailed organization and scheduling
...the post production coordinator is a managerial role that oversees an army of post production assistants.
Now you know what a post production coordinator is, but in order to know how to be a coordinator, you need to know what a post production assistant is.
Chances are you just moved up from assistant. These assistants are your long-reaching arms.
Use them as you see fit to deliver crew lists or send out dailies. But be nice to them, you need them if you ever want to get to sleep again.
Now, above you is the post production supervisor.
This person supervises all post production… makes sense, right? It’s right there in the job title.
Everything after principal photography falls under the supervisor’s umbrella. Including you.
You answer to the post production supervisor who in turn answers to the producer.
As a post production coordinator, this is your career arc, so pay attention, you want to move up into these roles sooner rather than later.
That’s what a post production coordinator really is. A stepping stone.
What does it take to get post production coordinator jobs?
Everyone in the film industry has to start at the bottom of the ladder. Movie production is certainly no different. As we mentioned you likely got your start as a post production assistant, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you even get there.
Post Production Coordinator Education Requirements
Broadly speaking, post production coordinator jobs don’t require any specific degree. It may not even require a degree at all.
That being said, having a background in film definitely helps. You need to be able to answer what does, as well as the movie production process. While you can learn on the job, a little book learning never hurt anyone.
A post production coordinator should have strong knowledge of the video editing process
Work for free
So you’ve graduated with a B.A. and student loan debt!
Now build your post production coordinator resume by going to work for free.
Yes, that comes off a little bleak, but internships are your best way to break in. Internships don’t usually last very long and if you’re good, you can secure the connections you need to get into a paying gig.
Most companies will only offer you an internship if you’re connected to a college.
A few even pay.
Obviously, you’ll want to focus on post production companies, but anything in the movie production (or television production) process. You’ll never know when you’ll make useful contacts.
ProductionBeast has social network tools to keep track of your contacts and the people you’ve worked with on different shoots.
Work your network
Next, you’ll want to use those connections you made to snag any post production assistant job you can find. Or even any production assistant job.
Work as a post production assistant to gain the on-hand experience you’ll need to make the jump up to post production coordinator.
As a post production assistant, your first job is to do what the coordinator tells you to do. Your second job is to sponge up all the information you can about the post process and movie production in general.
What is a post production coordinator salary?
Pretty decent, actually. The average post production coordinator salary, as of 2017, is about $60,000 in the Los Angeles area. An average post coordinator salary in New York is in the $55,000 range.
Los Angeles and New York have the highest average salary while the rest of the country hovers between $45,000 and $50,000. Not a bad by any stretch.
Remember the part about paying dues? Well, with a post production coordinator job you’re still paying, but now you can afford a real car and water with bubbles.
What is the post production coordinator job description?
Post production has come a long way since the simple days of editing film. It includes, but is not limited to, color correction, editing, sound editing, ADR, and CGI.
Your job is to make sure all these different departments work nicely with each other. Get them what they need, when they need it, and keep the timeline moving. Post production coordinator jobs aren’t for people who don’t have good time management skills.
Know what you’ll be overseeing
Coordinators have to work with several different departments, and you need to be able to talk to all of them.
Understand how to tell people what to do without making them hate you. Be prepared to meet new people every day. Introverts need not apply.
Movie production is not done in equal proportions. The glamorized parts of the industry focus on production: cinematographers changing camera lenses and special effects makeup artists transforming actors into werewolves.
The reality is, post production can take 2 or 3 times longer than principal photography. Post production coordinator jobs are long-haul.
Job security is never a guarantee in the entertainment field, but working post production helps to elongate those working hours, keeping you salaried, and upping your exposure to future contacts and padding out that resume!
If you like excitement and despise repetition (and sleep) then post production coordinator might be right. But keep in mind, days range from 10 to 16 hours and almost never begin at the same time.
A typical job description for post production coordinator will include desired character traits such as self-starter, highly organized, leader, and great communicator. So make sure you have these qualities in spades.
Is Post Production Coordinator worth it?
Obtaining a post production coordinator position will be thrilling and exhausting. You’ll have all your fingers and toes dipped into every slice of the movie production pie.
But most importantly, you’ll be setting yourself up for the next major step, post production supervisor.
Be the best post production coordinator possible but don’t get comfortable. Coordinator is a means to an end.
-What is a post production coordinator? A ringmaster. A human switchboard and so much more.
-Being a post production coordinator is hard but rewarding.
-Your education never stops. A B.A. may get you in but it won’t get you up, experience will.
-Your salary will grow with your position, be patient.
-Los Angeles and New York offer you the best odds of getting in.
-What is post production? It’s more work and a longer time on the job. Post production happens after the filming has finished and can last 3 times longer than principal photography.
-What else is a Post Production Coordinator? A self-promoter. Make contacts. Talk to everyone. Your network is your best shot at rising through the ranks.
If you’re ready to get started on the post production ladder, you can take your first step by signing up for ProductionBeast.Post production coordinators, did we miss anything? Any advice to pass on? Let us know in the comments below!
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