Filmmaking alumnae Jennifer Haire (B.F.A. ’02) and Gilana M. Lobel (B.F.A. ’05) unlock the inner workings of the film and television production office with their new book, “Keys to the Production Office(opens in new tab)” (Routledge/Focal Press), available now.
Haire and Lobel offer a behind-the-scenes guide to individuals beginning their careers in entertainment, and a valuable point of reference for best practices throughout the industry. The contemporary production office is a professional ecosystem, with a unique set of hierarchies, workflows and expectations.
In their book, Haire and Lobel level the playing field, allowing someone with little experience to prove themselves a valuable addition to the crew. From the big-picture essentials to such granular details as script collating, office signage and paperwork distribution, Haire and Lobel review every aspect of the job. The Fighting Pickle even appears as the subject of a vegetable-inspired sample movie “script” and more!
An essential chapter, “Reel Life, Unhinged,” covers professional realities such as the challenge of freelancing, how to grapple with unemployment, and advancing your career through the production office.
Lobel said, “The film industry is like this secret society, right? You have to be in it to get in it, to have success in it. We wanted to break those barriers by saying, ‘No, we’re going to tell you all the secrets of how to do this job.’ We’re hoping it will open doors for a whole community of newcomers. The film industry shouldn’t be a secret.”
Haire is a line producer and Directors Guild of America (DGA) production manager with global feature film and television experience. Her commitment to the entertainment industry includes serving on the boards of directors for both the Producers Guild of America and IATSE Local 871, as well as launching international production crew training and safety education workshops.
Lobel, a New York-based producer and DGA production manager, has worked on major feature films and television programs in various capacities. She is dedicated to telling diverse stories and creating a more inclusive work environment by collaborating with industry organizations to encourage upward mobility in film and television.
This article appeared in the 2022 issue of Scene.