• Afrika Jonee'

Working On Set: 3 Simple Ways to Stand Out

Part of the "How to Be a Production Assistant" Series.

"A good PA is someone who anticipates... You have to think ahead. You always have to be a step ahead of anything that's going on."

- MarvL West, Camera Op. - Rickey Smiley For Real, The Perfect Picture

Production Assistants are the lifelines of every production.

And because most people start in the Film & TV Production business as one, there are a whoooooooole bunch of them.

One of the questions we got from our subscribers to our survey was?

How can I stand out on set and move up quickly?

Well, as a PA, your main job is to take care of the crew and whatever they need for the production.

(...In other words, you are the crew’s bi!@#… lol )

The job is extremely important though, because the crew can do their job even better when the PAs are doing their job well.

The main complaint I hear from crew is that most PAs don’t know what to do...

...or just don’t care.

So, if you want to learn how to be a Production Assistant who cares AND knows what to do…

(...and climb the production ladder quickly as a result...)

Learn these 3 simple steps to being a Production Assistant who stands out On Set.

  1. Be On Time…

Actually, be early :)

One of the PAs we hire consistently, (let’s call her Jay) was looking for ways to stand out.

It was her first PA job with a major studio and she was only hired as a day player booked for the first week.

On shoot day 1, she went to set 30 minutes early. and waited and waited and waited.

When the Production Manager (PM) got there, he let her in and they went on with the shoot.

The next day, she got to set 20 minutes early and waited and waited and waited. When the PM got there, he let her in and they went on with the day.

I don’t have to tell you how the next 4 days went do I?

The next week was dark. And when the PM had to choose a PA to refer to another show that was shooting, he picked Jay.

Now, of course, Jay is a darn good PA (because she was trained by us here at Rule The Set), but what set her apart from ALL the other good PAs on the set was that "she was always the first one there!” It got to the point where the PM had to get up earlier just to let her in.

He never said anything about it….. He just referred her to more jobs :)

2. Always Look Busy

I can’t tell you how many times I hear complaints from producers and other crew members about a PA who they consider to be lazy.

When I was working as a PA on Sunday Best, I had my first experience with this.

My unit was far away from Basecamp setting up for the