A day in the life of a Scheduler @ ETC

By Oscar Wendt | 25th October 2018

Working in a fast paced and ever changing industry means that no two days are ever the same. There isn’t a specific structure to my day as the tasks at hand can change depending on the nature of the jobs in the building. My typical day starts by making sure that any new starters (typically freelancers) are set up and ready for the day. It’s our job to make sure that all accounts, software and hardware is ready and waiting for them upon arrival. It’s crucial that this is done so that artists are able to start their jobs on time.

Schedulers at Electric are the day to day problem solvers. If there are any issues to do with seating, licenses, tech, jobs, schedules or artist’s time we are the first point of call. We aim to make sure that all the jobs in the building are running smoothly. In order to keep on top of all of these issues we mainly rely on two types of software, the ever trustworthy Gmail and the godsend to schedulers CETA. To summarise CETA for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s an online management system that allows you to track the progress of past, active and future projects in the building. It also allows us to manage artists time in order to make sure that the correct people are on the correct project in the correct work are.

The boards (the CETA homescreen) are what we refer to throughout the day and is what the producers rely on in order to make sure their team of artist is on track with the days tasks. It’s my job to keep this up to date as best I can. This can be a tricky task as things can change constantly throughout the day! Artists can be pulled from job to job so it is of the utmost importance that we keep on top of this. Nothing's worse than for a producer to think they have a certain artist on a job to find out 6 hours into the day that they have been working on something else!

We spend the majority of our day working through email requests. These come from all departments in the building. It could be anything from creating a schedule for a new project, looking into a freelancers availability, booking out meeting rooms and suites or even chasing up payment of invoices for freelancers or projects.

From time to time I will also look after active and future jobs for the colour producers if he is away or busy with a larger project. This is normally dealing with client emails and making sure attended sessions run smoothly alongside delivery.

The most structured part of my day is always the last 2 hours. This is where my partner and I work through a checklist of tasks that need to be completed for the following day.

The first thing is confirming up jobs. We try to confirm up jobs as early as we can but SOME producers tend to leave confirming jobs until the very last moment. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but we like to have all jobs for the following day confirmed up so that everyone knows what they will be working on.

I then will send out a seating and licenses email that does exactly what is says on the tin! Yes even in a professional working environment people still need a seating plan, and believe it or not people still find it hard to stick to!

Being a scheduler doesn’t always sounds like the most glamorous role from an outside perspective. But some of the things that you learn while on the job are some of the most key and fundamental skills that anyone aspiring to be a producer will need.

Most schedulers have the aim to one day become a producer and everything we do is preparing us for that day. So while it might seem like a chore at first, it will help more than you realise!

At least I hope it will!