A production assistant, (also known as a PA in the business 😉), works across the production process supporting senior production staff, and delivering key administrative and organisational duties.
For many people, a production assistant role is the first step in a career within video production. We caught up with one of our newest PAs, Rebekeh Fellows, to better understand what the role entails.
What does a PA do on a day-to-day basis?
Each day brings a new, different, and exciting experience. On a recent shoot I befriended a tradesman who earned thousands of pounds for Motor Neurone research by taking his clothes off and soon I will be travelling to Scotland to talk to a veteran who lost his legs serving his country. I’m also often found by my computer with my nose in a spreadsheet planning shoots and sending emails. The great thing is that no day is the same.
What skills do you need to become a PA?
Sometimes, on a shoot, things don’t always go as expected. But, it’s the problems that make it memorable and the refinements that make it enjoyable. You need to be able to remain calm under pressure, communicate well at all levels and make the logistics of the shoot seamless.
What does a PA do on a video shoot?
There is a correct way to wrangle a cable, snap a clapperboard, and to hold a boom mic. When shooting outside, the team must consider the time of day and the weather, just in case the sunlight bounces off the actor’s bald head and overexposes the shot (yes, really). When shooting inside a gorgeous old remodelled school building, we must consider the homeowner’s dog trying to gain some Facebook fame by barking as soon as the camera is rolling (this has also happened).
It’s really important that a PA stays focused on all the details, supporting the wider production team, so that the final piece looks effortless.
What is your favourite part of the role so far?
When a video is published, and the first ‘like’ pops up, I can see that I have been a valuable cog in the Electric House machine. I’m also really enjoying the team ethos and spirit of togetherness, it’s a friendly place to work.
The great thing about a career as a production assistant is that it can take you in many directions, guided by your strengths.
If you are interested in a career in production, please send your CV and covering letter to: email@example.com