£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 14 November 2022 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more
Meet Head of Production Samantha
Skip main navigation

Meet Head of Production Samantha

In this video, Samantha (Head of Production) discusses how technology is evolving in the screen industry.
My name is Samantha Stewart, and I am a head of production. And I live in Woodford, Essex. My first job was an office runner for a very small independent company at the time, called Amaze TV. So from runner I progressed to production secretary and from there on I took the route of coordinator, junior production manager, production manager, et cetera, until I got to head of production. The screen industry is constantly evolving with technology and growing as technology changes. Personally, on my shows, we are using more and more visual effects, 3D animation, AI technology with colorization. So it’s such an exciting time to enter the industry and just ride that wave.
We have gone from just sort of your standard definition television to now 4K, and we’re even now discussing 6K and 8K. There’s something very exciting that’s always going on. I entered this industry as a runner not knowing anything about the roles. I wanted to be a writer, so I thought that I would probably follow development path or get into journalism. But then once I had discovered that there’s this whole new other path called production management, that caught my attention. At the moment, production management has a severe shortage of people. To be fair, we always have, but we’ve seen a significant drought this year. Production management isn’t a route that many people are aware of.
A lot of people just think that being in the industry means that you get to be a producer, or director, or an editor, or just something glamorous and fun. But production management is actually the parallel pathway to take. Production management is just as much as a creative role as editorial, and a lot of people aren’t aware of that. With our input the shows get made. We guide the teams in where it’s best to film, the best schedules to work with, the best budgets to use. And we also have an input in staffing, the best people we feel could make the programme. So we’re sort of the hidden horses that keep the trains running.
You have to have a calm head if you want to be in production everyone will be coming to you with their problems. You are the go-to person to resolve everything. You can’t easily be frazzled or shaken up because, essentially, you’re taking on the parental role of the production. If you are a production run or a production secretary, you’d be involved in a lot of the groundwork. My advice for newcomers that want to work in the screen industries is to work really hard. Be that person who just wants to help. Keep your options open. Allow yourself to explore. If you come from a diverse background that can only be an asset in this industry.
Your life experiences will translate to on-screen content. And the more diverse this industry becomes, the better content that we will have. A diverse workforce will create better teams, stronger teams with a greater understanding of what it that is being made to go on screen. It’s a really competitive industry. But those that are willing to go the extra mile are normally the ones who progress. Get yourself in there and try everything first.

In this video, Samantha (Head of Production) discusses how technology is evolving in the screen industry. She explains how her career aspirations changed after entering the industry and that there’s a skills shortage in her department.

As you watch, think about your career plan. Do you think technology advancing will create more opportunities for you?

Over to you

  • Are you excited by the evolution of technology?
  • How do you think this will impact your future career?
  • What role do you see yourself in five years time?
  • What did you find interesting about Samantha’s experience?
  • Has this video raised a particular emotion or question?

Please share your comments below.

This article is from the free online

Lights, Camera, Computer - Action! How Digital Technology is Transforming Film, TV, and Gaming

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education