A production assistant or PA is the equivalent of a gopher on a low-budget independent film set. Production assistants handle whatever tasks are required of them, from assisting the production designer to dress the set and cleaning up the set once the film is wrapped to bringing craft services to set or other tasks as needed.
- Production Assistants, or PAs,…are people that help the production…with whatever is needed.…Often this includes thankless and menial tasks,…like getting coffee or cleaning up.…For The Assurance, we initially had a few PAs,…but we ended up needing most of them to play extras.…So all PA duties fell on the shoulders of Joel Barham.…But he did such a great job,…and the others did so well as extras…that I think it was the right decision.…So what did our sole PA do?…Well, pretty much everything.…He helped dress the set.…He brought warm clothes to set for the actors…and took them back for shooting.…
He helped our sound mixer Josh Svare hold the boom pole…while filming a few times.…He was a stand-in for actors so we could get our camera…and lighting set up while the actors rested or rehearsed.…He waved a flag around to distribute fog…during our night shoot.…He helped Chris Taylor audition lights…to see what difference they were making.…He worked tirelessly while he was on set.…It was so helpful.…For the pick-up shoot days, my son Mikey,…
Find the rest of the courses in the series—on everything from script writing to directing—on Chad's author page.
- Understanding the role of different crew members
- Sending out call sheets
- Using a slate
- Keeping continuity with a script supervisor and production photographer
- Keeping the crew fed, happy, and safe
- Rescheduling shoots
- Dealing with wardrobe for a large cast
- Using special effects makeup
Skill Level Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 05 Directingwith Chad Perkins2h 27m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 03 Pre-Productionwith Chad Perkins2h 13m Intermediate
Video Foundations: Cameras and Shootingwith Anthony Q. Artis2h 58m Intermediate
"The Assurance"7m 43s
1. Common Crew Members
2. Film Production Basics
4. Keeping the Crew Happy
5. Our Big Resets
6. Working with Props
7. Preparing to Shoot
8. Special Effects Makeup
Final thoughts1m 33s
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