Take care of the logistics of budgets and schedules for film productions.
What does an Unit Production Manager do?
A unit production manager is the head administrator for a film project. You logistically make a film happen by taking care of all business and administrative matters, which places your primary focus on budget and scheduling issues.
As a unit production manager, you have self-confidence, an assistant, and so much responsibility that you delegate it to various department heads. In other words, you’re a big film executive and will spend lots of time on the phone looking (and being) important.
Because you oversee the film project at large, your tasks are incredibly diverse. You prepare the budget, draft the shooting schedule, and make sure everything runs smoothly from a business standpoint. This last point involves dabbling in all sorts of areas, from negotiating contracts for equipment costs, to meeting with investors.
On the whole, you’re the organizing force behind the zoo that is a film set. Your job involves one-off projects such as hiring the filming crew, as well as ongoing tasks like keeping all the departments in line. And as pretty much all of your tasks involve dealing with the egos and mindgames of Hollywood, you need to be on your game at all times.
On a side note, a somewhat interesting fact is that only union members can be called unit production managers. If a non-union member performs this job, they are referred to as a line producer.