What is a Production Assistant?
Production Assistants (PAs) are an integral part of any film set, and they are responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the production. They are the general helpers of the production team and they provide valuable support in a variety of ways. PAs can be found on sets ranging from small independent productions to major studio films.
PAs are the go-to people for any and all tasks that need to be done on the set. They may be asked to help set up equipment, transport equipment, run errands, and assist with any number of other tasks. PAs may also be asked to help with administrative tasks such as scheduling, filing, and other office work.
What Skills are Needed to be a Production Assistant?
To become a Production Assistant, you need to have a variety of skills. PAs must be organized and able to multitask. They must be able to think on their feet and adapt to changing situations. They must be able to follow directions and work independently.
PAs must also have good communication skills. They need to be able to effectively communicate with crew members, actors, and other personnel on the set. They need to have the ability to handle difficult situations diplomatically and with tact.
How to Become a Production Assistant
If you want to become a Production Assistant, there are a few steps you can take to get started.
Step 1: Get an Education
Though it is not required, having a college degree or certification in a related field, such as film production or media studies, can give you an edge over other applicants. You may also want to consider taking classes in related fields such as writing, editing, and directing.
Step 2: Get Experience
The best way to gain experience and start building your resume is to volunteer or take on internships in the field. You can find volunteer and internship opportunities through production companies, film schools, and even on websites such as ProductionHUB.
Step 3: Build Your Network
Networking is essential in any field, and the film industry is no different. You should attend film festivals, industry events, or film screenings to meet people in the industry. You should also use social media to connect with other PAs and filmmakers.
Step 4: Find a Job
The best way to find a job as a Production Assistant is to contact production companies directly and ask about current or upcoming jobs. You can also search job boards such as ProductionHUB, Mandy, and Indeed for available positions.
What to Expect as a Production Assistant
As a Production Assistant, you will be expected to work long hours with minimal breaks. You may also be expected to work in any environment, from extreme heat to cold weather. You should expect to be on your feet most of the day, and you may be asked to lift and move heavy equipment.
Your job may also require you to work long days and nights, and you may have to work on weekends. You should also expect to work in close proximity to other people, and you may be asked to work in dangerous or hazardous conditions.
Tips for Success as a Production Assistant
As a Production Assistant, you will be representing your production team and it is important to be professional at all times. Be on time for all your calls, dress appropriately for each job, and be willing to go the extra mile.
It is important to be flexible when working as a Production Assistant. You may be asked to do tasks that are outside of your job description, and you should be willing to take on any task that is asked of you.
A positive attitude is key when working on a film set. It can be a stressful environment and it is important to remain positive and supportive of your team.
You should always come to the set prepared and ready to work. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies and equipment that you need for each job.
Production Assistant Salary
The salary for a Production Assistant can vary widely, depending on the size and scope of the production. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Production Assistants was $35,890 in 2019.
Becoming a Production Assistant is a great way to get involved in the film industry. It is an exciting, fast-paced job that requires a variety of skills. To become a Production Assistant, you need to get an education, gain experience, build your network, and find a job. As a Production Assistant, you should be professional, flexible, positive, and prepared. The salary for a Production Assistant can vary, but the median annual wage was $35,890 in 2019.
With the right skills and attitude, you can become a successful Production Assistant and be part of the exciting world of filmmaking.