A Definitive Guide to the Role of the Unit Production Manager: The UPM Process, Practical Tips & Case Studies

Hosted by Rosi Acosta

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Rosi Acosta

Webinar hosted by: Rosi Acosta

Unit Production Manager, DGA

Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more.   With over three decades of experience, Rosi has worked internationally with production companies from the US, Europe, Russia and Latin America.   She began as a Casting Director 32 years ago in Puerto Rico working for director Marcos Zurinaga at Zaga Films where she became one of the top Casting Directors in the Island. After working as such for a few years, she wanted to expand her horizons in production moving on to work with the most important TV producer in the Island, Gabriel Suau, in Telemundo-Puerto Rico, where she worked for several years in various TV shows and telenovelas.   Then her break to become a UPM came when she was recommended to do the job in a Mexican telenovela for Televisa. That was the project that made her realize that working as a UPM for non local productions was her dream come true.   Her extensive experience includes teaching, coordinating over 54 workshops and seminars and an active lobbyist on all film related legislation and affairs which have made her a leader in the industry. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It might often be the first name listed on a movie’s end credits, but a Unit Production Manager isn’t exactly the most known or celebrated role on a film’s crew. However the UPM is one of the most critical and valued jobs throughout a movie’s journey. It’s the UPM that holds everything down, that keeps all of the parts moving and makes sure the business elements are taken care of so the director and other creatives have the support and the space they need to carry out their vision. The skills needed to carry out the responsibilities of a UPM are not only crucial, but can also be lucrative for someone looking to succeed within the film industry.

Once you start listing it out, the jobs and expectations of a unit production manager are expansive and seemingly never ending: Building a production bible, creating a budget, drafting a schedule, hiring the team, working with unions, insurance, paperwork, payments, even feeding the cast and crew. To be a good UPM you kind of have to be good at everything. So where to start? What exactly does a UPM do and what separates a good UPM from a bad one?

Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more. With over three decades of experience, Rosi has worked internationally with production companies from the US, Europe, Russia and Latin America. Rosi began as a casting director 32 years ago in Puerto Rico working for director Marcos Zurinaga at Zaga Films where she became one of the top casting directors in the Island. After working as such for a few years, she wanted to expand her horizons in production moving on to work with the most important TV producer in the Island, Gabriel Suau, in Telemundo-Puerto Rico, where she worked for several years in various TV shows and telenovelas. Throughout her expansive career and extensive experience Rosi has become one of the most sought-after UPMs in the world.

Rosi will delve into the nuts and bolts of the role of the unit production manager and all of the tasks and responsibilities that go along with it. She’ll begin by going over the production management process from a bird’s eye view, from development through production. Rosi will discuss the business elements behind filmmaking and the ways the UPM is responsible for finding the balance between the creative and the financial. She will go over the four major skills needed to be a great UPM as well as the tenuous relationship between the project’s script, budget, and shooting schedule. Rosi will then teach what goes into a production bible and how to create a script breakdown to prepare for production. She will then delve into creating production budgets as well as preliminary shooting schedules. A huge responsibility of the UPM is to plan for contingencies and the unexpected, and Rosi will offer tips and advice on how to make sure you’re covered for everything that might come your way and will illustrate this with examples from her own experiences. She will then teach you about working with the four major unions—SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, and WGA, and how to obtain insurance packages to cover your team and your production. Rosi will then discuss how hiring works on set, strategies to bring on the right team, and common pitfalls to avoid while doing so. Finally, Rosi will go over the common aspects that will make a movie expensive, and what warning signs to look for to prevent your project from going over budget. Consider this a definitive breakdown of what the underappreciated but critical unit production manager actually does.

Plus! This is a bonus extended webinar with over 2 hours of information!

 

 

Praise for Rosi's Webinar

 

“Super informative; Rosi was very helpful.”

-Adam G.

 

“Rosi Acosta was awesome. She is a treasure of knowledge. I definitely got my money's worth.”

-Lawrence W.

 

“This was so helpful. I loved hearing from Rosi”

-Dana B.

 

“This felt like a Masterclass on the ins and outs of a UPM. I’m leaving this webinar knowing way more than I thought I would. Thanks!”

-Jerry C.

What You'll Learn

 

  • An Introduction to Unit Production Managers
    • Definition of a UPM
    • Titles and variations
    • Main duties and responsibilities as a UPM
  • Navigating the Balance Between Art and Business
    • The 6 Stages of Production
    • Working with calculated risks
    • The different roles of the production team and the hierarchy within it
  • The 4 Major Skills Needed to Be a Great UPM
  • The Relationship Between the Script, the Budget, and the Shooting Schedule
    • The formula t determine how long a project will take to shoot
  • How to Make a Production Bible
  • The Production Value Formula
  • How to Create a Script Breakdown to Prepare for Production
  • What Are Critical Assumptions and How They Are Used
  • Creating a Production Budget
  • Building a Preliminary Shooting Schedule
  • Planning for Contingencies
  • A UPM’s Responsibilities During Production
    • Paperwork
    • Day-to-day operations
  • The 5 Important Production Documents You’ll Need to Be Familiar With
  • Working with Unions
    • SAG-AFTRA
    • DGA
    • IATSE
    • WGA
  • What Is A Production Insurance Package?
  • What Is a Completion Guarantee Company or Bond Company
  • Hiring the Crew
    • Who does the UPM hire?
    • Tips to find the right candidates
    • Red flags and warnings signs when interviewing
    • Common mistakes made while hiring
    • Providing a positive working environment
  • What Makes a Movie Expensive?
    • The dreaded MAPWACS
  • Q&A with Rosi

 

 

About Your Instructor

Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more.
 
With over three decades of experience, Rosi has worked internationally with production companies from the US, Europe, Russia and Latin America.
 
She began as a Casting Director 32 years ago in Puerto Rico working for director Marcos Zurinaga at Zaga Films where she became one of the top Casting Directors in the Island. After working as such for a few years, she wanted to expand her horizons in production moving on to work with the most important TV producer in the Island, Gabriel Suau, in Telemundo-Puerto Rico, where she worked for several years in various TV shows and telenovelas.
 
Then her break to become a UPM came when she was recommended to do the job in a Mexican telenovela for Televisa. That was the project that made her realize that working as a UPM for non local productions was her dream come true.
 
Her extensive experience includes teaching, coordinating over 54 workshops and seminars and an active lobbyist on all film related legislation and affairs which have made her a leader in the industry.

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