I came into production management via a very different route to most people, writes Media Parents’ PM Natalie Brook Reynolds.
I trained as a stage manager in theatre and was a fairly successful Company Stage Manager for 12 years, my last show being Shadowlands with Charles Dance in the West End. More about that later – my career has evolved into PMing for TV and I’ve even set up a virtual PM business where I work from home for smaller companies that need ad hoc PM support. Back to how it all began…
I found that my stage management skills were very transferable and was asked back to again a year later. I was still working as a freelancer stage managing as well, but didn’t want the life of having to go out on tour for weeks/month on end especially as I had met my partner David at around the same time – moving into TV was appealing and slowly I started to move across.
At first, I worked for various production companies as a PC and then moving onto PM, because of my quick problem solving skills I seem to appeal to short form TV companies, although I have done long form, live studio and current affairs.
In 2016 I agreed to take a rolling freelancer PM role with Global Media and Entertainment in the VideoLab team which produced branded content and of course all the video content from their yearly OB events. I ended up staying nearly 2 years as Senior Production Manager with lots of my additional duties encompassing what can be described a hybrid of HOP/Production Accountant strands to my role. I would often be looking after 20 plus cost managers of video projects that were going on, managing up to 6 producers reporting into me, freelance editors and the permanent editor.
Within my time there I also put systems in place including a new cost manager and a 37-page financial management report which allowed business decisions to be made for the department. I had the most fantastic boss who championed her team’s development and mine. By the time I decided to move on I was extremely proud of what I had done and the difference I had made to the video teams but I wanted new challenges.
I returned to freelancing, however last year I had an accident. I fell on a glass vase cutting the artery and all the tendons to the fingers on my right hand and had a 6 hour op to repair the damage. Over the last year I have had extensive hand therapy and recovered well, in this time I have worked, I was even back freelancing a week after the accident! It has made me reflect on work life balance and now I would love to work more part-time.
Currently I am still freelancing and am holiday covering the PM at Otro until the 9th July full time, but after this I am interested in short term freelance contracts in July and August ideally 4 days a week and am happy to do holiday cover and then ideally from 15th September to do more part-time freelance roles 3-4 days a week. If I can bring my skills to your company please get in touch: