Jac Choryniak was the student production coordinator for the 2022 Master of Animation and Visualisation cohort for the 3D animated productions ‘Robo Ramen’ and ‘Corrupted’. Shortly before graduating, she was offered a role at a major studio. Here she shares her tips and advice.

What does a production coordinator do?

A production coordinator ensures that the project is produced on budget and on time. Their core responsibilities include tracking the status of each department’s assets (3D models, animation of a shot, lighting in a scene etc), working closely with the supervisor to assign tasks to the artists, scheduling delivery time for each task, and taking notes for the artists during reviews. Your most used programs will be Excel and the production management software Shotgrid.

This sounds like a manager role, but you’re not the boss. You’re actually managing the project more than managing the artists. You’re their cheerleader, working alongside them to ensure the best possible result. You’re also a great friend, a mediator and a shoulder to lean on when things get stressful.

It’s a great role for those who want to get into the animation, VFX and games industries but envision themselves in a project management or producer role. These positions are in high demand!

What was the best part of being the student production coordinator?

The best part about being a production coordinator at the academy is that you’re heavily involved in every department, whereas in industry you’d typically be assigned to one within a project. You get to learn about the industry standard software for each department and become familiar with the terminology. This means in industry you could be assigned to any department and be confident that you’re providing them with excellent support. 

The facilities are also incredible – beautiful purpose-built studio, amazing computers and gorgeous private kitchen. You can decorate your desk however you want and you get your own locker.

What can a production coordinator expect from roles in industry?

When you graduate you can likely expect to go into work straight away, and you’ll have multiple options. You could become a producer at a small studio, a production coordinator somewhere mid-sized or a production assistant at one of the big ones. You will be more than prepared for each of these roles and they’re all amazing opportunities with different benefits.

Any other tips or advice?

To make the absolute most of this course, reach out to all of the guest speakers and maintain connections with them. Go to networking events (DLF, Houdini Meet etc) because these are the people you can expect to work with one day. Feel comfortable telling the leads that you have too much work, or not enough, and make sure to pick their brains because they’re incredible resources.

In this course you’ll be instantly treated like a professional in the role, but you’re still a student and it’s expected that you won’t know everything. Figure out what you don’t know, and work with the leads to fill those gaps. The goal is to get you ready by the end of the year and it’s a great way to learn the ins and outs in a studio environment.

You can follow Jac’s progress on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jac-choryniak/

We are currently looking for 2 student production coordinators for the next intake of the Master of Animation and Visualisation. For more information check out our website or email us on: animallogicacademy@uts.edu.au