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First Look Media job in
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VP, Production – First Look Media – New York, NY

Company: First Look Media

Location: New York, NY

  • Full Time

First Look Media

This is a 6-month temporary position with the possibility of becoming permanent.

The Position:
VP of Production (6-month engagement, temp to perm) is responsible for overseeing all physical production needs for all Topic Studios content, including film, television, documentary, and podcasts. This role will work closely with the Content team and external producers to develop and vet production plans for shows in development and pre-production (including budgets, schedules, cash flow and overall approach to physical production), as well as oversee production and postproduction on Topic projects.

The role will assist in the staffing of projects and the physical delivery of projects to distributors. S/He she will act as liaison between Topic and its outside partners in all matters related to physical production, and oversee Topic’s postproduction executive.

During the 6-month engagement, the VP of Production will initially work closely with the current VP of Production to prepare and then cover their role during parental leave. This includes departmental budget management including annual review/planning, and overall Studio budget tracking. This role will also advise on existing systems in order to maximize efficiency as we assess and build Topic’s production capability. After six months, as we build Topic’s slate and as Production needs are assessed, there is potential for this role to become a regular staff position in addition to the current regular Production staff.

Comprehensive working knowledge of the independent film space, film and television industry agreements, guild and union regulations (WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA) is required. Complete understanding of production and post-production budgets is a must.


  • Work with producers and Topic Management to create and/or vet production schedules and budgets.
  • Core responsibilities include overseeing the staffing of productions, cost reporting, vendor and crew deal negotiations, tax rebate analysis, setting up production offices and entities, payroll, and any necessary guild, legal and insurance requirements.
  • Liaise with Topic Business Affair regarding the negotiation of BTL union deals.
  • Oversee all productions for Topic, to ensure that productions are on-schedule and on-budget, and identify potential problem areas as early as possible. Make set visits as needed.
  • Communicate daily with productions and Topic execs on production status.
  • Manage Topic Post Production staff to ensure timely delivery to Topic and outside partners according to all delivery specifications, make sure deliverables are budgeted prior to post.
  • Identify production facilities and advantageous shooting locales for projects in development and pre-production.
  • Work with Topic finance and Business Affairs to determine appropriate levels of insurance coverage and ensure that all productions are complying with these requirements.
  • Establish a strong roster of vendor and staff/crew relationships for a broad range of productions.
  • Help develop best practices from pre-production through delivery.
  • Update current production guidelines/handbook.
  • Oversee Studio budget and tracking, including Annual review and planning for the next year.

Background & Qualifications

  • 10+ years of experience in production executive roles, line producing or production management across various platforms including film, television and digital content.
  • Proven experience of production team management with a major studio, television network or production company.
  • Extensive relationships within the production community and beyond is required.
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal), interpersonal, organizational and computer skills are necessary.
  • Ability to operate with significant autonomy and discretion.
  • Ability to prioritize in complex, fast-paced environment.
  • Experience dealing with film festivals (submissions, film traffic protocols, etc.)
  • Ability to effectively and efficiently create budgets and schedules for feature film, television, podcasts, and documentaries.
  • Ability to manage multiple, complex projects that are global in nature under extremely tight deadlines.
  • Start-up experience strongly preferred, in particular comfort level with performing all production tasks as sole member of department during a parental leave.
  • Working knowledge of post-production process: hands-on post experience beneficial, but not required.
  • Experience with production management and tracking software tools and databases.
  • Experience in generating production reports and schedules.
  • Strong cost reporting skills and ability to constantly estimate completion costs throughout a project.
  • Strong skills to react to changes in story and production – particularly in our more journalistic and documentary programming.
  • Ability to be hands on as needed, “owner mentality” and accountability a must.

Topic is the entertainment studio and ambitious storytelling brand dedicated to supporting creators at the forefront of culture. From Academy Award®-winning films (Spotlight) to television (Losers), digital (aka Wyatt Cenac) and podcasts (Anthem, Missing Richard Simmons), we explore a wide range of subject matter, both fiction and nonfiction. Our approach – challenging, compelling and unconventional –reflects our commitment to discovering and amplifying independent new voices and supporting established ones.

A bold, independent spirit defines everything we do at First Look Media – from journalism that holds the powerful accountable, to arts & entertainment that shapes our culture. Launched by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media is built on the belief that freedom of expression and of the press, and fiercely independent perspectives, are vital to a healthy democracy and a vibrant culture.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer​–people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.

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