We caught up with Production Management for Film and Television Diploma students, Kieran Nolan Jones and Jenny Martin. Both Kieran and Jenny are supported by Sargent-Disc scholarships to help them with their studies.

Founded in 1986, Sargent-Disc is a family run business specialising in payroll, accounting and software services for the entertainment industries. These services are fundamental to the Production Manager’s role.

Kieran and Jenny gave us a snapshot of some of the activities he has been involved with since starting the course in September:

Kieran: “Since starting I have worked on a vast array of projects spanning many different disciplines. Before I began working on these projects, I participated in a series of seminars and workshops around budgeting, scheduling and location management. This gave me a great insight into the ever-evolving role of a Production Manager and allowed me to understand the job I was about to undertake. My first assignment was working as a Production Coordinator on a Russian Language short fiction film, Nina. Taking over a whole council estate in London, we shot a war based drama over four days with a budget of £4000. A baptism of fire, this experience allowed me to participate in all aspects of production from organising tech recces and transport plans, to catering and casting. This experience built my confidence for my next project, which was a live late night television entertainment show created by the NFTS Directing and Producing Television Entertainment MA students.”

Jenny: “The project I've been working on is part of the 'First Year Film' module and is called The Last Ones to Leave; a 13 minute short about the last two men in a survival camp, after medicine has failed to match the evolution of humankind. It's post-apocalyptic/dystopian and all exterior locations are shot locally in Beaconsfield and Slough. The set is incredible and is inspired by the Lost Boys camp in 'Hook', where every piece of fabric, item and remnants of the camp echoes personalities of the people that lived and died there. It's shot on film and it was a crew of just less than 30. There was a night shoot and we were dealing with water, fire, smoke machines- the lot!” 

“It was a really valuable experience for me and I'm so glad to have been the first to shoot a tech recce, greenlight and shoot within 3.5 weeks of being at the NFTS! I'm now co-Production Managing a quiz show at Sky and sharing some Production Co-ordinator responsibilities on an animation graduation film. I've also been asked to Production Manage a multi-platform interactive game project, so I'm constantly learning and working with lots of new people.”

One of the benefits of studying at the NFTS is the chance to meet and work with students across a whole host of different courses.  As a result of this collaborative environment, Kieran was offered the chance to Production Co-ordinate a NFTS graduation animation project Tete A Tete.

Kieran: “Most recently I have worked as Production Manager on our Expanded Cinema film, Beast In The Bag. Through this project NFTS directors are tasked with stretching their imagination and attempting to push narrative boundaries. My project can be described as a surreal, noir inspired short thriller with darkly comedic undertones. There were no producers working on this particular project so many of the producers' responsibilities fell to the Production Managers. By taking on more experience this project allowed me to be creatively involved in all aspects of production and gain experience in being the sole leader of a film, steer the ship and trouble shoot all issues which arise.”

“As a result of all the experience I have built so far, I have been able to take on freelance work as a Production Manager outside my studies. This has included production managing an independent short film with a budget of £20,000, as well as production managing a short film for Channel 4 starring Dave Johns (I,Daniel Blake). I am currently in pre-production on a high octane virtual reality disaster/horror short film which I will production manage. Without the help I have received from Sargent-Disc I would never have been able to experience all that I have thus far in my NFTS Career, and for all their help and support I will be eternally grateful.”

Production Management Diploma students on a visit to Panalux

For more information on the Production Management for Film and Television Diploma, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/productionmanagement