Nothing derails a career in production faster than breaking the rules. Rules are in place for a reason and you are in no position to pick and choose which ones to follow. Most of the rules are common sense, but others might not be so clear.
Take the Dos and Don’ts quiz to see if you’re on your way to a long and successful career in production!
Make a checklist for items you'll need on set (i.e. call sheet, notebook, pens, phone charger, etc)
Lists are your best friend on any set. They keep you organized and help you prioritize your tasks.
Take detailed notes on directives from the Producer.
Taking notes are a great way to make sure you don't miss any instructions given to you by your Production Manager. Just make sure to take these notes with paper and pen. Nothing looks worse to a boss than staff staring at their phones - even if it is work related.
Slack or goof off on set.
Slacking off on set shows you're not serious about the job. Production is a high stress, fast-paced environment and you need to always be on your toes! Goofing off is also a big no-no. This is how costly and painful accidents happen. Both of these are a sure-fire way of destroying your chances at a career in production.
If you are assigned to a piece of equipment you are unfamiliar with, ask questions on how to operate it.
This is an absolute must! Safety is key on every set and knowing how to operate unfamiliar equipment is essential to that. This is where those notes we talked about earlier can really help out. Operating some equipment on set is a multi-step process. Even if you have a great memory, why risk it? Write it down.
Discuss your day rate on set.
This is a no-go at EVERY job.
Imagine finding out another PA is making more money than you even though you're doing the same work?
This is exactly the type of conflict Production Managers try to avoid. Life is not fair and some people have more bargaining power than others, so wage disparities will exist on set.
Do yourself a favor and don't ask. Not only can it ruin your day, but it can also get you fired.
Feel free to post photos from set on social media to your fans.
Okay. I shouldn't even have to say this, but I've had to let several PAs and other staff go because they were caught taking photos on set.
What you have to understand is most clients are shooting campaigns that are on calculated release schedules. Any leaks to the public from thoughtless crew members could derail marketing and promotional plans for the campaign.
Be 15 minutes late to set.
In places like Los Angeles where traffic gets worse by the day, many believe that there should be an expectation that crew could be up to 15 minutes late.
Get that out of your head this instant!
It's never okay to be late to set. Schedules are incredibly tight, so any delays have the potential to have a rippling effect across the entirety of the shoot.
No matter how big or small your role might be, you are an essential piece of the puzzle and your punctuality is required.
If the Producer sends you on an errand, keep all of your original paper receipts.
So, this might not be 100% obvious to everyone, especially newbs.
Receipts are essential for reimbursement. If a Production Manager does not have a receipt, he / she cannot get reimbursed for it by production.
Similarly, you, as a PA, will only be reimbursed if you can provide a receipt for the PM to, in turn, get reimbursed.
I suggest you get into the habit of keeping receipts. You can even purchase a divided binder to keep yourself organized.
For the most part, a PM will only require receipts for reimbursements. Sometimes, however, they may require an expense report. More on that later.
Dress comfortably on set, like sandals and ripped up jeans.
While you do want to dress comfortably on set, you also need to be professional and safe.
With so much heavy machinery and equipment on set, wearing sandals is an instant safety violation and will get you sent home.
Ripped jeans might be okay on some sets, but it's always best to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively.
Label personal property you bring to set.
Ever lost a white iPhone charger? We all have. And it's really easy to lose them on set.
Everyone's stuff is strewn everywhere and things are borrowed and moved constantly.
Labeling your personal items is a nearly surefire way to prevent any losses (unless someone is willfully taking things on set, in which case, you've got a bigger problem on your hands).
Share your Results :
Share your Results :
Share your Results :