In October, the North Carolina Film Office invited co-authors, Jennifer A. Haire and Gilana Lobel, to teach a Production Office intensive; Mastering the Art of Production Office Operations at Dark Horse Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. This 2-day in-person hands-on workshop focused on the role of the Production Office and the Office Production Assistant on a film or television show.
Using Keys to the Production Office we provided both lecture and hands-on activities that included interactive group assignments where attendees had to work together to complete “real life” production office tasks. Day one included presentations on the phases of production, an overview of departments, production schedules, the office staffing and responsibilities, the role and work of the office production assistant, the production paper trail and basic accounting practices. Attendees were given copies of Keys to the Production Office and sample documents to use in class. Day Two of the workshop started off with breaking attendees into groups and assigning tasks that included setting up an empty production office space, pulling and prepping sides for set, researching equipment rentals, purchases, and travel, gathering, and ordering office staff lunches and organizing petty cash receipts into envelopes for a very disorganized producer. These activities allowed attendees to get a taste and feel for office work under time restraints and collaborating with office staff.
Later on Day Two coursework focused on facing the practical realities of working in production. This included discussing how to work freelance, navigating production schedules and job availability, applying for, and getting production work opportunities as well as how to be professional in the workplace. FilmNC helped wrap up the weekend with an incredible panel of local NC production office staff including Noelle Pflum (Production Supervisor), John Merchant (Production Coordinator), Lauren Dawson (Script Supervisor), and Nick Lallo (Production Secretary/ Office PA). In the end, the 40+ participants were prepared to start jobs immediately in the production office.
In the end, 100% of the attendees said they would recommend this K2PO workshop for anyone interested in entering the industry. Mari, a UNCW film major said, “It exceeded my expectations and the book was incredibly useful.” Amy, a Wilmington local, said she was “Highly impressed with this presentation,” and found it to be a “really amazing opportunity (hosted by FilmNC)”. Destiny, another UNCW film major, found the workshop to be “very useful and highly insightful, as well as informational.”
Both authors and instructors, Jennifer and Gilana can’t wait to present another workshop soon.