The production assistant, or PA position, is the entry level position on a film or television set. The production assistant does just about anything and everything, from getting coffee, to making script copies to shuttling crew or equipment around town as needed. How much a production assistant does really depends on the budget of the production as well as how much faith his/her superiors have in their abilities.
Skills & Education:
Although no particular educational background is necessary to be an effective production assistant, it is crucial that you have the following skills:
- Be a Good Listener: No one likes to have to repeat themselves, so be on your toes at all times and listen to whatever direction is given.
- Be Responsible: Production assistants are extremely easy to replace on a set and if you're late, lazy or hard to manage, you won't be there long.
- Be Willing to Learn: Without being an obstacle, do all you can to learn as much as you can about every job on a set.
- Be Patient: If you're good at what you do, someone will notice.
If you have a bit of an ego about letting other people direct your actions, then either leave it at the door, or find another line of work. The production assistant position is one that takes a lot of emotional abuse from a number of different departments, but do as you're told and learn as much as you can from anyone willing to teach you. After a little while, you might just find yourself with a new promotion your own production assistant.