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3 Essential Skills You’ll Need as a Production Assistant

Working behind the scenes in film is exciting! You get to be involved in bringing a story to life. However, it takes important skills to succeed in the production assistant role.

What is a Production Assistant?

If you’re interested in getting into the film industry, the on-set production assistant certification course at Villa may be perfect for you! An on-set production assistant works behind the scenes to help move the process along in the smoothest way possible. As a production assistant, you will have to directly work with some film equipment as well as be the first-hand-man to the producer. Growing your skills as an on-set production assistant is a great way to become familiar with the industry and get your foot in the door to bigger productions.

Production Assistant Skills Tool Kit

Knowing some of the general skills that an on-set production assistant needs on the job in your tool kit can better prepare you for success.

Creativity and Imagination

Thinking outside of the box is not only a beneficial skill to have in the film industry, but a great skill to have no matter what career path you follow! However, when focusing on solid production assistant skills to have, creativity tops the list. Having a vivid imagination can help solve unexpected problems during production and bring new, fresh ideas to the set.

Another way to access your creativity is becoming familiar with some of the big names in film. Read about talented producers and production assistants to discover how they pushed their careers forward. You can always borrow knowledge and skills from others in the field to add to your own production assistant toolkit!


You always hear about “connections” that help graduates get a foot in the door in many fields. Well, that sentiment isn’t false. The more connections you make, the more possibilities you may have after becoming certified. The film industry is tough–plain and simple. It’s hard getting that dream position working behind the scenes or that job assisting the perfect producer. However, when you work hard in your certification courses and make those connections, dream positions may become easier to snag.

Create a professional relationship with the professors involved in the certification course! Talk to them, ask them questions, and do all you can to grow your knowledge. Practice improving your communication skills; good communication is essential when becoming more comfortable networking in the field.

Knowledge of the Industry

Most new students don’t just walk into a class without any knowledge of what will be taught. The same goes for on-set production assistant students. Before attending your first class, you want some understanding of the field and skills that will help you succeed as a production assistant.

Watch films by your favorite producer and read books that familiarize you with the field. Follow professionals on social media, learn about their film teams, and try to get an understanding of their work ethic and dynamics. The same goes for local productions in your area. Buffalo has an impressive theater district and community! Attend productions, dissect shows, and even ask about becoming involved. Really get to know Buffalo FilmWorks, the space where Villa’s certification courses are held. Any way to get a foot in the door while learning how to be a good production assistant is worth it!