10 Tips for Production Assistants
As told by TV show GIFs.
They say if you’re not early, you’re late. Arriving to set on time is important and makes you look professional. Being late and running in frantically won’t look too good.
2. Listen carefully to avoid mistakes
A big part of this job is the ability to listen. Whether someone is giving you a list of errands or someone is explaining the next shot, always be listening carefully. If you aren’t paying attention it’s likely you could miss something and make a mistake.
3. Ask questions
If you aren’t sure how to do something you’ve been told to do – ask! If you’ve been told to go get something but you don’t know what it is, ask. This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s better to ask more questions so you are totally clear on the task at hand rather than ending up doing the wrong thing. And it’s better to ask than assume, because there’s a chance you won’t be right.
4. If you aren’t busy, find something to do
Always try to be busy on set. It’s much better to keep yourself busy than to look like you’re sitting around doing nothing. It’s likely you’ll be given tasks throughout the day, but if you have down time make sure to ask if there is anything else you can help with. Always be anticipating the next thing to do and keep an eye out for opportunities to help.
5. Be respectful to everyone
Even if there’s a crew member, client, or someone who is driving you crazy, it’s very important to respect everyone on set. It’s likely you’ll work with people you don’t get along with on a personal level, but remember that you’re working and it’s more important to remain professional.
6. Remember that food and drinks are important
People don’t mess around when it comes to food on set. Running out of soda may start a war. Keeping the crew and talent happy are essential, and food can play a major part. If you’re in charge of craft services, make sure there is a variety of snacks, water, soda, etc. to keep everyone nice and chill.
Lunch is also important. As a PA you might have to order/go pick up lunch for everyone. Make sure you write down orders and get them right. Also make sure no one’s food is left out, because that is likely to happen if it’s a big order. You don’t want an angry exhausted person without lunch, because this might happen.
7. Be a team player
Everyone on set may have a different responsibility or role, but everyone is working together for the same ultimate goal. Helping each other out on set makes things move more efficiently and builds morale. Have the backs of your crew members. Don’t just look out for yourself, always be looking out for others and what you can do to help. They’ll like you for it.
8. Dress accordingly
For most sets, it’s important you look casual but professional. Wearing a nice black t-shirt or a casual button down, dark pants or jeans, and closed-toed shoes is usually a safe bet. Always wear closed-toed shoes because there’s a lot of heavy equipment and things moving around. Just be smart about it. Don’t show up in clothes you wore to the bar last night, don’t wear flip flops, etc. If you really aren’t sure what to wear, you can ask what the appropriate dress is beforehand.
9. Have a positive attitude
Yes, you may be tired. But everyone is tired. Most likely there are people who are way more tired than you are. Just remember that no matter your personal circumstances, staying positive is key. A positive attitude is motivating and will show people you are willing to do whatever work comes your way.
10. HAVE FUN
Don’t be too stressed and remember to have fun. Yeah you’re working, but you’re working in production and that’s a pretty sweet gig.