What Does a Production Assistant Do?

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A production assistant does everything that needs to be done for a movie that nobody else wants to do. Find out what kind of errands a production assistant has to run with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi. My name's Jared Drake and I'm going to talk to you about what a production assistant does. A production assistant is also known as a PA does anything that needs to be done and nobody else wants to do. So, if you're a post-production assistant, you could be at an editing house. You could be at a post transfer facility. You can be at a sound house. You can be at a DI out. You can be in any number of the post production facilities as a PA. They all have PAs. And basically, you run errands. You go out. You get coffees. You restock the fridge. You make the transfers. You drive from the lab to the facility you're at. You make sure everything is there and everyone has what they need. What's good about it is you get the experience and the knowledge of just being around the setting and being around the environment. You get to meet people. On set, a PA kind of does the same thing. They run errands. They run the film from the set to the lab. A lot of times, the assistant directing unit will use a PA as a second second assistant director. Basically, what that means is you're in charge of listening to the second assistant director and you'll be on set with the walkie-talkie. Second assistant directors or first AD, they may say, "Hey, you know, we need somebody to stop the flow of traffic here, because we're shooting on that sidewalk." And so, your job will be to stand at the end of the sidewalk for the day and tell people, "Hey, hey! Sorry, you mind if you walk around this way? We're shooting something." Any number of things, from walking the actors to and from set, going and getting the actors, getting the director, producer something if they need something. Maybe helping out the camera crew, if they're running behind, load stuff into their truck. That's if it's a non-union shoot. Really, you're on set as an extra hand and to serve the assistant directing unit.


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