Production Management

On technical direction"When you've thought through all the elements of a production and involved all the key department heads in the decision making process, then committed the collaborative effort to time schedules, equipment schedules and accurate scale drawings–you're laying the groundwork for a successful production"

- John Brimelow


Typical scale drawings showing all production elements from three vantage points: plan view, a bird's-eye view; section view, the view from the side; front elevation, looking at the set from the front. The drawings also show every important element of the production. When you've thought everything through on paper, you're assured of staying on schedule and on budget.


A thoughtful and explicit production schedule keeps a production moving. Look to the red markups on the schedule below to see the major functions of this spreadsheet.

Technical Direction ChecklistI want the technical director to excel at managing our collaborative effort. Here's what I look for from my TD:

Shown in the Technical Illustrations (in scale)

  • rigging points
  • lighting instrument locations (light plot)
  • audio reinforcement speaker locations
  • detail for FOH control and Backstage control positions (how’s the equipment configured and who’s sitting where)
  • make up area
  • prompter op location
  • show all on-stage elements (dias, lectern, prompters, monitors)
  • any other on-stage practicals
  • indicate carpet on stage
  • staging area backstage for A2 to mic wireless presenters
  • dimmer beach
  • plan for any on-stage elements that may be set, struck or reset
  • video village (please note positions for TD, CCU/color Engineer, playback op)
  • schedule showing all control/crew position tables/chairs needed & show detail on scale plans
  • headset locations wired and wireless
  • heavy power locations
  • PD locations
  • cable management and flow color coded by function
  • indicate any prompter monitors and show presidential prompter (if used) with lectern
  • Include scale drawing of all other areas if they're part of the production, like pre function area setup and breakouts
  • note scale in feet and inches

On Site Schedule (see illustration above)

  • Crew function and names with call times
  • Number of Stagehands broken out by department/call times if staggered
  • Security call times
  • Catering
  • All departments color-coded

Schedules (separate lists for individual distribution)

  • Power schedule (i.e. P1 200a 208v–Lighting)
  • Rigging schedule showing location and weight per point
  • Headset schedule showing location and channel/wired or wireless
  • Table and Chair schedule, sizes, locations, delivery times
  • Wireless Mic Schedule (recipients) with frequency used (A1 should consider any airport/security channel interference) and backups
  • All crew contact list
  • All venue contact list
  • All vendor contact list