Assistant Department Manager

  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Contract

Company Description

MPC is a leading player in VFX and responsible for creating some of the phenomenal affects for legendary titles such as Blade Runner 2049, The Jungle Book, and the X Men series.  We have studios all over the globe with teams of creative experts and cutting edge digital knowhow.

Job Description

The Assistant Department Manager (ADM) is a Department Manager (DM) ‘in training’, who assists with responsibilities, can act as a substitute or periodically take over for the various local DM’s. The ADM is actively involved with the overall people management of the departments; touching a variety of activities ranging from overall department labor spend, day to day resourcing, employee engagement, and managing and guiding artists and employees within their department. Reporting to the Head of Studio and working closely with their DM’s, Department Heads (HoD) and Production Managers (PM), they contribute to the timely and efficient completion of shows and foster an effective working department.  


The DAM is also learning to become responsible for the long term success of a department, they will partner with the Talent Team in effectively managing people which will include performance management, career development, training, attendance and department financials.


Primary Responsibilities will consist of some or many of the following activities:



  • Be an mentor, ambassador and representative of MPC’s culture
  • Actively drive and influence people’s behavior and actions to ensure they are aligned with the company values, vision and mission
  • Facilitate the process to grow internal cohesion and a shared culture in the various departments and across locations
  • Facilitate local leaders and ensure as a local manager you walk the talk
  • Motivate and encourage maximum performance and dedication within the department
  • Promote communication between colleagues for the benefit of information flow and to curb any problems that arise
  • Be a communicator in the department and encourage all team members to use the tools available; ranging from insider, show meeting, space etc.
  • Maintain local quality by establishing and enforcing MPC standards

People management

  • Manage the employee relationship with the artist, including being the communicator regarding key matter relating to their employment. Collaborating with Talent where relevant.
  • Assume responsibility for ensuring that the department and employees (where relevant) understands and adhere to the boundaries, policies and processes in which we operate
  • Actively own and run department meetings by presenting, departmental, local studio and global (where relevant) information
  • Responsible for local employee welfare management, conversations and reporting of artist’s presence at the studio (logging of hours, time off, vacations and sickness)
  • Performance management, appraisal and career progression guidance of artists in consultation with the HoD and PMs, ensuring artist performance has been assessed correctly and feedback communicated
  • In conjunction with the HoD, identify gaps and high potential employees within the department; helping to ensure we have right employees in the right place at the right time
  • Manage and report on department overtime and TOIL requests with HoD and HR; ensuring that work is distributed across artist to avoid excessive hours and additional hours are managed appropriately
  • Work with Production, Resourcing and Talent to manage high volume cycle of artists’ contracts ending/renewals; reviewing contract end dates in the context of changing work demands and crewing options in order to communicate changes to artists.
  • Manage and assign duties to the Department Assistant


Scheduling and Team Set Up

  • Publish department quota performance reports based upon information from PMs, review anticipated quotas to determine resource requirements
  • Work with production and HoDs to ensure Shot teams are appropriately assigned work
  • In conjunction with the HOD, assign individuals to shot teams and ensure team dynamics are effective
  • Manage and report on department overtime and TOIL requests with HoD and HR; ensuring that work is distributed across artist to avoid excessive hours and additional hours are managed appropriately


Hiring Management

  • Manage hiring requests in line with show demand.
  • Oversee recruiting activities for the department ensuring there is a commercial balance between skills and cost, and a fast decision making process.
  • Conduct interview where appropriate.


Financial Management

  • Work with HR and HoS to manage salary levels and Department Salary Spreadsheet (DSS) reporting ensuring the department is in a cost positive position, and any proposals or decisions account for how commercially viable they are
  • Plan and balance promotion spend in line with external hiring
  • Oversee other spend such as overtime and understand financial impact



  • Day to day resource management for the department, working with the department assistant to  make sure the team has everything it needs to work effectively.
  • Departmental planning and strategy meetings


Engagement and Proposition

  • Champion a positive and creative culture of high performance, supporting the brand as a global industry leader in visual effects
  • Manage and reward and recognition activities, ensuring that the appropriate people are selected and it is in line with MPC’s values
  • Work with the HoS to adopt, embed and roll out company initiatives within the department
  • Oversee the management of new starters ensuring a positive experience into the studio and department, including making sure they have the appropriate department onboarding to make sure that have the information/training need to perform their role
  • Support MPC’s external positioning by actively sharing social post


Key Skills

  • Strong project management skills and a sensitivity towards deadline related deliveries
  • Organisational skills – personal efficiency, time management skills and the ability to prioritise competing demands are key
  • Communication skills – ability to lead a team, managing diverse personalities and viewpoints; the ability to build relationships and collaborate with others is vital
  • Commercial acumen – strategic decision-making within the business as an influencer. Being able to understand company finances, resourcing and the ultimate aims of the business is important
  • Role modelling – demonstrate and lead on the values, initiatives and culture of an organisation
  • Professional expertise – A strong working knowledge of employment law issues, best practice processes, as well as experience of employee relations and ideally in UK immigration
  • Coaching and mentoring – Whether senior leaders, junior colleagues or middle management, you will be proficient in developing skills in your talent
  • Trust –  a trusted confidante on talent issues, unafraid of giving your opinions and expertise
  • Detail orientated, highly motivated and able to work in a fast-paced environment with challenging deadlines

Additional Information

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