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Film Production Etiquette

April 25, 2009
Notice the Sharpie in his pocket;)

Notice the Sharpie in his pocket;)

Being a Production Assistant is no easy task, neither is it for the producers, directors or actors. The trick is to love what you do and do it swiftly, correctly, without complaints, and as quick as you can.

As a production assistant you must be humble, ready to say yes at any time, ready for the next task and you should use your common sense as much as possible. If you hear the director say “That’s a Wrap”, this means “All Hands on Deck” start packing, throw out garbage, clean up crafty and then standby for direction. Why wouldn’t you want to get things going so you and the crew can get out as soon as possible?

If possible always have a call sheet on your person, always be prepared and watch what you say in front of anyone, you might think you have a friend, but that friend might be someone who knows the person you are bad mouthing.

Always carry a note pad on your person, some extra pens, sharpies, lighters, stain pen, small scissors, pencils, highlighters and try to get a super fanny pack or nice book bag so you can use both hands. Being prepared and detail oriented just might be the reason you get called back or asked to stay longer than expected.

Act as if it is your tv show, your film, your production. Being a Production Assistant is one of the most important jobs, who else is available to drive around talent or make sure lunch is ready for the crew? Love your job or you probably won’t be called back.

A BRIEF STORY OF A PA DO NOT

I was assigned to be a courtesy driver for a short film this week. Happily I took the job for little money as I am kind and I enjoy what I do, I picked up the van the day before without pay so it could be convenient for myself to not have to take the train extra early to pick up the production vehicle to then pick up some of the crew.

On the way there, the team was great, calm and ready to work, on the way back, I hear people complaining about the hours, the people, traffic, etc. As a driver and a Production Assistant who works hard to have things run smoothly, I don’t appreciate complaints about the obvious, just be happy you are getting paid, you have a ride, you were offered a job, and you got to do what you love. Don’t lose sight of what you desire and be humble. For these reasons why would I even offer you a job to work with me in the future? Like I said, watch what you say about people and who you complain to. It can make or break you!

Stay Positive!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carlos Ramirez permalink
    April 27, 2009 4:15 pm

    I Agree be happy with what you got, I wish I would be the one in the Van getting paid to do what I love, some people are just never happy, And I would love to know more of what you do, And how I can get a job in this field, I have a True Passion for films and A Vision, I hope one day Id be able to Direct a film I wrote/writing. Great Post

    • lyricspoetic permalink*
      April 28, 2009 8:39 am

      Right? lol Thanks Carlos;)

  2. September 10, 2009 11:28 pm

    I’ve tried being a P.A for a friend’s shoot and all I can say is: I love being an actor.

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