The site went down for a couple of weeks. Server-side problems. Sorry about that. All better now. How about a reader question!? I have a backlog. Lets blow through these.
These questions all seem to be focused around GETTING A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT JOB.
First, a quick one:
What do you think of sites like StaffMeUp and Mandy? – Nick
I’ve honestly never used either. But it can’t hurt to look. Just beware of all the people asking for non-paid work. Most of the time, getting a production assistant job revolves around meeting people and making connections. More often than not, if someone is posting a need for production assistants on a job website, they probably are NOT going to pay you. I think I wrote some articles on working for free before. ARTICLE ONE, ARTICLE TWO, ARTICLE THREE
Alright, onto the next one.
So I am currently going into my senior year at film school, and am trying to work as a PA in LA this summer. I have some money saved up, and am trying to buy some essential gear to have on set. I just don’t have enough money right now to buy all the essentials I have been compiling. Do you have any suggestions on which are the most important up front? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you. – Shaeden.
I have an article written about production assistant gear here. But when talking about ESSENTIALS… I would say good shoes are #1, followed by sunscreen for day work, followed by warm clothes for night work, and sunglasses. Everything else is just extra. Don’t waste your money on crap you don’t need… until you can afford it. You can slowly build up your PA arsenal over time. Buy a multi-tool on one job… get something else on another job. For now just get yourself some good comfortable shoes to run around in all day and you’ll be well on your way. Everything else can come later. Save your money for surviving in LA. And you don’t need anything of these things to actually get a production assistant job.
Note that all of this crap is for a Set PA… if you’re going to be in the office you’ll need different stuff. Like #1 would be a laptop. #2 would be a car.
“Hello, my name is Stevie and I am film school right now at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. I came across your blog and find it very helpful. I even take notes, its always good to keep those things in mind. I am in a program where I will have my bachelors in 20 months. I am in my 10th month right now so I will graduate in 10 months. I am starting to feel the stress of wondering how I’m going to break into the business. I read that you packed up and headed to LA which is what I plan to do. I was just wondering if you had any advice for a film student getting ready to try to break into the PA world. Thanks. – Stevie.”
Hi Stevie. If you go through the archives of this website you’ll find a bunch of good advice on getting a production assistant job. I would, if you can, try to lock down some work or make as many connections out here as you can NOW before moving out here. If you can afford to take a summer internship for no pay out here while still in school, do it. But if you can’t do any of that, just save up as much money as you can, come out here, find a place to stay, and start calling up ANYONE you know who works out here and asking them for a job, or if they know of anyone who can give you a job. Then take ANY job you’re offered. You just need to worry about getting your foot in the door. Even if it’s a job you don’t really want to stay in…. doesn’t matter. Take it.
While you’re on that job meet everyone and make connections and when the job is over start bothering everyone you met about getting another job. Rinse and repeat until you have enough contacts that know you’re a kick ass worker who will call you up on the reg for work.
Alright. That’s all we have time for today. I’ve been working non-stop. Writing a lot. Still trying to get a manager. See you in another 6 months with an update.