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Production Manager Case Study : Rob Hemus

A case study provided by Rob Hemus, a Production Manager listed on Mandy Theatre Professionals UK.

To learn more about Rob Hemus you can view their full CV here.


Question 1: What is the most rewarding aspect of working as a Production Manager?
Enabling highly complicated and diverse ideas to actually happen
Question 2: What are the key skills required to be an effective Production Manager?
Calm in a crisis Effective communicator Ability to multitask and timeshare thinking processes
Question 3: Do you see your role as a natural step on a career ladder, and if so what is the next rung?
I'm not a great one for a career ladder, I just took a series of diverse jobs that seemed interesting or in areas I wanted to know more about.
Question 4: How did you work your way into your current role?
Tricky really. In a sense all the stuff I did before this job enabled this job to happen, but all I did was apply for a job at the Theatre next door and worked there, and then when the guy doing my current job left I applied for it. I was lucky to be offered the job in both cases. Both roles were looking for a wide variety of experience, and current one really helps to have worked in wardrobe, FOH and done lighting and sound and bits of design work, as well as stage and production management experience
Question 5: How much do you think networking helps towards landing a job in the industry?
Entirely. I never went to drama school, but all the work I've got has followed from a previous job or project or recommendation...
Question 6: Do you think you will be working in the industry in the next five years, and if so in what capacity?
Hopefully, maybe even this same job
Question 7: Please describe what a typical day working as a Production Manager might contain?
I work in a University running the theatre and production management side of a degree course, alongside teaching and training, so have different areas of responsibility to "real world" production managers Each practical assesment is a production ranging from 30 minute pieces to full shows, and there are maybe 24 going on within a 2-3 month periods, so a typical day would be: Finance - Checking up on orders, petty cash, staffing budgets for forthcoming work, then processing staff costs and expenses for work just finished. Production meetings with forthcoming shows, licence applications, securing rights and working through risk assessments and so on, or talking through a design and how to realise it Teaching my level 2 class once a week Training and supervising some aspect of video or sound production, or carpentry work, or lighting Booking rehearsal space and resources for forthcoming work including staffing Depending on get in schedules, maybe supervising a fit up or strike, or a tech rehearsal or dress run, or pretty much anything else.
Question 8: Have you done any additional training courses to further your career?
I don't know about doing them to further my career, but I have done courses in rigging, in supervisory management, in electrics and safety. Usually employers have offered training and I've accepted, but electrics I wanted to know more about in detail. I'm currently looking at further CAD training The thing is, I once drove an electric pram around an ice rink, and never did that thinking my career would advance, but at every interview since it's what they ask about. I suppose I'm trying to say development is constant and vital, but do training you're interested in
Question 9: How important is working for free at the beginning of your career?
Still is.... By which I mean that when I started work I had no real experience except on student shows or plays I'd put on before or after Uni, so took any work going, paid or unpaid. This mentality has stayed in that I'll still sometimes take on a small scale freelance show for nothing, and you never know where anything will lead to.