Production Manager / Director
WaitWhat is a media invention company committed to the creation of highly-differentiated, premium content that is gender-balanced and diverse in its subject profiles, and boundary-breaking in its formats. Founded in 2017 by former TED execs June Cohen and Deron Triff, whose combined leadership built TED Talks from a concept to 1 billion views/listens each year, WaitWhat’s inaugural media properties include the critically acclaimed Sincerely, X, the 2018 Webby Award-winning podcast Masters of Scale, and Should This Exist, an exciting new podcast hosted by Silicon Valley investor and Internet pioneer Caterina Fake.
In everything we create, we aim to elicit contagious emotions: awe, wonder, curiosity, and mastery. From the get-to, we design our media to live across many different forms and formats (audio, video, virtual, live, print, etc.) in order to scale as thriving independent businesses.
We are a joyful startup that has closed our Series A funding in January 2019. We’re now building out a team that’s as diverse as it is creative, brought together by the desire to create amazing media experiences. We’re channeling our energy to fulfill what we believe is the greatest, often unspoken, need of our time: to feel lit up and alive. Everything we produce will have those “Wait, what?’ moments that spark your curiosity and change your understanding of the world.
We are looking for a superstar production manager with deep experience managing audio, video and live event production. Reporting to the Head of Production and development, you will collaborate with show producers to manage the production process across our properties, and be the driving force that keeps the teams at the top of their game. (Note: We’re open to candidates who lack one of those disciplines, if you also have a great capacity and desire to learn — and if you’re interested in working with WaitWhat, we suspect you do).
If you’re looking for an opportunity to explore the widest range of possibilities; to both deepen your skills and stretch your existing talents in new ways; to take real ownership and responsibility for projects; to help invent new genre-defining media/technology properties; to be a respected member of a creative cross-disciplinary team; to be inspired and delighted by the media you work on; and to be part of a low-ego, high-collaboration, “all hands on deck” startup environment, this job could be perfect for you.
- Work closely with show producers to manage production timelines across cross format media initiatives including: (audio, video live events, digital and print projects)
- Create the production schedules for our properties and map out steps and deliverables for the production plan
- Create and closely track production budgets and suggests ways to optimize costs.
- Build a deep bench of freelance and contract talent across disciplines, starting with audio and building out to video and live events. This includes composers, sound mixers, Remote Sync right now, and ultimately shooters, cinematography, VFX etc.
- Establish processes, infrastructure and workflow improvements as the company scales to a rich portfolio of media properties
- Be our resident expert on gear, software, media storage and other tech advances that will build our production excellence
- Support building a culture around clear and effective communication practices across the organization
- Establish accountability and coordinate across team members to ensure deadlines are met, and troubleshoot problems as they arise
- Manage outreach and communications with vendors
- Provide detailed production and status reporting to executive management team
- Support resource allocation across a portfolio of media initiatives
- Joyfully contribute your expertise and ideas in our frequent collaborative creative workshops to build ideas across our properties.
- 7+ years of demonstrated experience managing audio or video production processes
- Experience in a startup / fast-paced environment is strongly desired (If you’re not quite sure what’s different about working in a startup (versus an established organization with large teams) — listen to a few episodes of our show Masters of Scale! (“There are fires burning when you go home…”)
- Master communicator with experience leading initiatives and creating a supportive and collaborative team environment.
- Consummate project manager: ready to juggle, pivot, balance, negotiate — and make it look easy
- Experiencing producing / line producing / production managing media initiatives
- Ability to plan work, delegate tasks, and effectively communicate outcomes to management around production status
- Proven critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Superior communication skills, both written and verbal
This is a FT position, based in downtown Manhattan. We offer competitive salaries and a benefits package that’s generous and competitive with much larger companies (We believe in taking care of our team.). We work long hours, but we also rest. (Our whole company closes for 2 weeks in the summer and the week between Christmas and the New Year, so we can recharge). We’re committed to 50/50 gender balance, and diversity of all kinds — in our media properties, among our investors and on our team: women, minorities and anyone with an unconventional background are strongly encouraged to apply. Also, we only hire extremely nice people.