Is the life of a production manager a stressful one?

Well, today’s interviewee Charlotte Haslam, creative production manager at Slider Creative, tells us that shoot day often includes ‘a surprise’.

But aside from being able to roll with the punches, what else does it take to fulfill this role at a production agency? We spend a day in Haslam’s life to find out more.

If you’d like to take part in this feature, let us know.

Hi Charlotte. Please describe your job: What do you do?

Charlotte Haslam: I’m Creative Production Manager at boutique creative and production agency, Slider Creative. There’s lots of variety in what a “Production Manager” role is, and here my job is pretty diverse. I get involved in the full process on most of our projects, from budgets to creative resourcing and delivery – and cracking the whip with the wider team when I have to! However, I spend the majority of my time making our many shoots happen; working with producers, booking crew, managing art department, being present on set – and on smaller shoots I get to do the art direction and styling myself, which is great!

charlotte haslam

Where do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?

Charlotte Haslam: Being a small independent agency, there isn’t much hierarchy – we all work together to produce beautiful creative! On shoots, I report into a Producer, on pre-production I work with the Creative Director, and with our Business Director on ways we can constantly improve our service.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role

Charlotte Haslam: A level head, a sense of humour and not being afraid to get stuck in. Also, not panicking when things go wrong, because more often than not there will be a surprise on shoot day (like extras turning up with unexpected blue hair or blizzards arriving on a “Summer” shoot)… remembering the world isn’t ending because of these things is vital.

Perhaps most importantly – organisation is key – you’ve got to love a list!

Tell us about a typical working day?

Charlotte Haslam: No two days are the same! The things that are consistent are: writing lists, drinking coffee, making sure the creative team are briefed, lots of emails and meeting with our wonderful Production Assistant. When I’m not on a shoot, my job is relatively office based so I will be managing and briefing the creative team – whether that be editors finalising one job, or a designer storyboarding the next. At at 6pm, wine…

What do you love about your job? What sucks?

Charlotte Haslam: I love the end result; seeing your work on TV or in a magazine, or hearing it on radio is amazing. I also love that there’s always a new challenge, and I’m always learning. Finally – the people! I get to work with some amazing talents; Directors, Producers, DOPs to name a few.

In terms of what sucks – I don’t see this as a massive negative but it is annoying to watch something on TV and be more critical and aware of how it’s made. Sometimes you want to just watch Corrie and not care.

What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?

Charlotte Haslam: On a personal level, just continuing to get better at what I do – new projects, new clients, new challenges – and keep enjoying it. On a project, the success is in the final result, and a stress-free process getting there!

What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?

Charlotte Haslam: Lists and spreadsheets!

How did you end up at Slider, and where might you go from here?

Charlotte Haslam: I applied on a whim after working in interior design as a project manager. The jobs are relatively similar in the planning and organising sense of things. What’s that favoured interview line? I had ‘transferable skills’. Looking ahead – I think I still have a lot to learn as a production manager first, but I would love to be a creative producer in the future.

What creative has impressed you lately?

Charlotte Haslam: The McDonald’s ‘Wedding Day’ advert. I love how relatable it is.

Do you have advice for anybody who wants to do what you do?

Charlotte Haslam: Don’t be afraid to try something different – I don’t have a background in TV/film but found my way in and now I love it.