Production assistants are the heartbeat of behind the scenes shots. Being an assistant provides for a great platform to start your career in the field of production. In addition to this, it lets you gain on-set experience, which provides you with an insight into the different facets of production. But you need to be careful as a production assistant.or you might end spoiling your career, which you don’t want to, right? So, here are some dos and don’ts for production assistants. Read them in detail to get the best tips ever to boost your success.
1. Be well dressed
A person is known by their dressing sense. Always wear tennis shoes or hiking shoes. These provide pace at work so that you can perform all tasks like running, lifting, hoping, etc. if it is required at any point in time. Cargo pants are a handy costume for PA’s, as it has several pockets and storing extra items like power bank, lens cleaners, important papers, etc. becomes easy. Carry a waist belt also which can be used to hang the walkie talkie. Don’t forget, sunglasses, sun visors, sunscreens, towels, etc.
2. Always be ready for outdoor shoots
A film scene can be shot in any location, where the weather might be hot, cold, rainy, windy, etc. Or sometimes the weather changes abruptly. So don’t forget to carry an extra set of clothes and shoots, in case there is a rain forecast.
3. Always keep yourself prepared with all the essentials
Carry a backpack with all the essentials required for being an active production assistant. Always keep your power bank fully charged, lens, lens cleaners, call sheet, pens, markers, essential documents. You can also carry some rarely used items such as a first aid kit, extra batteries for the walkie talkie, medicines for headache or stomach ache, multi-tool, or zip ties. Even though it sounds unusual, this makes people remember your name in a good sense of a problem solver.
4. Always be on time on sets
Being punctual is a virtue of being successful. This reflects your dedication towards work and professionalism too. Production assistants are the first ones to arrive on sets to make the necessary preparations. Arrive on sets before time, so that you know the surroundings right from the start. You can understand the scenario existing at that point of time and plan your activity framework accordingly.
5. Be confident
Keep all the essentials with you, so that you don’t lag in any case. This makes you feel confident. Your confidence is a determinant of a well-managed set. This works as a key factor in your success too.
6. Being proactive is the key to success
Keep the things ready in advance. This makes the set run the work with the utmost smoothness. Be ready for at least the next two activities on the schedule. Keep the walkies charged, tables ready with the necessary items, appoint substitutes if required, keep copies of the call sheet, and schedules ready with you all the time.
7. Keep your payroll sheet updated
Fill your payroll sheet beforehand, to avoid discrepancies. You can also make use of time cards. Keep them safe and fill the sheet at the end of the day.
8. Take up responsibilities
Don’t be afraid to take on responsibility. This reflects your ability to work. Gradually, you will become a reliable production assistant for all.
9. Keep your working area clean
Clean and well-organized sets promote a positive environment and create a happy aura around. So, keep the trash cans clean, crafty tables properly organized, and make sure the things are kept at their respective places.
10. Promote environment-friendliness
Try to keep separate bins for dry and wet waste. Avoid plastic water bottles because plastic is a big environmental hazard. Moreover, people sip a little water from it and waste the rest. A remedy to avoid this waste can be installing a water cooler and serving water in reusable glasses.
Don’ts for a production assistant
1. Do not sit idle on sets
If you sit idle on sets, you will be questioned irrespective of the toll you took throughout the day.
2. Do not give unnecessary advice
This might hurt the sentiments of the worker. Everybody has expertise in their field. If you enter into a process of giving unnecessary advice, you may face insults. So mind your work.
3. Do not cross your boundaries
Stay at your place on the set. Do not interfere with anybody else’s work. Everybody has earned a title in the call sheet with their efforts. Nobody likes their work to be governed by anyone other than who they are supposed to report.
4. Do not hesitate to ask questions
If you are unaware of how to perform any task, then ask questions to your seniors or other fellow production assistants. Remember not to put up many questions; it may be annoying.
5. Do not misbehave
There might be unfavorable incidents making you lose your temper. Keep your temperament in control and stay positive. Carry a smile on your face.
6. Do not post behind the scenes photos on social media
Be sure not to post behind the scenes pics on social media. It might leak out the secrets of the production. This is illegal and against policies of production houses and NDA’s.
7. Other tips
Find some ways to get the sets packed up early. This will make you win the hearts of all people on the set. People will be thankful to you.
So make a note of these do’s and don’ts as these will help you perform better on the set. Bring your grey cells in motion for what relates to your production house. On the whole, for a good film production assistant, it is required to remember the above-given advice forever.