An on-set production assistant wears many hats. While they must be present to support a film producer’s requests, they also must be available for other necessary behind-the-scenes duties. Every day looks a little different for a production assistant. Having an idea of the jobs an on-set production assistant has can help boost your confidence as a student when starting classes.
It takes a strong personality–and an even stronger work ethic–to step behind the scenes in the entertainment business. Whether you hope to work as an on-set production assistant in a small production or a larger one, knowing what’s in store is beneficial!
Even though production assistants do have exciting on-set tasks involving film and creativity, they also must focus on desk duties. This often means filing paperwork, sending important documents in the mail, emailing key people, and so on. Even though making copies of scripts or faxing paperwork doesn’t sound glamorous, it is essential to a successful production.
Some of the duties a production assistant must take on can be pretty hands-on and time-consuming. A lot of electronics and equipment are involved in a successful production. The on-set production assistant must be familiar with on-set equipment. If someone is sick and can’t work some of the technology or if equipment malfunctions, the production assistant must step in!
Memorize Script and Set
If you thought you’d never have to physically take part in theater as a production assistant–think again! Well, sort of. On-set production assistants must become very familiar with the film script in case someone forgets a line or part. The same goes for the set–whether it be on a stage or in a public place. Production assistant duties include set prep and tear-down as well as making sure the area surrounding the set is clear of any issues.
As the production assistant of a film or show, you make sure everything runs smoothly for the show–which includes meeting the needs of the producer. If the producer needs a coffee, the assistant grabs one, as stereotypical as it sounds. When the producer needs the assistant to take over some of their duties, the assistant does just that.
Maintain a Schedule
One of the most important on-set production assistant jobs involves scheduling events and maintaining an organized routine. This can mean scheduling and preparing for meetings as well as making sure the days filming occurs run without issue. This may mean speaking up, putting your foot down, and acting as an authority when necessary.