Getting it Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide

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Smaller projects mean you get to discover wonderful talent.

The Ultimate Guide to Pre Production for Filmmakers and Videographers

Head on over to the bus station and start handing out your card to every pretty face that just arrived in town. Okay, that may be a little creepy. There are a lot of talented actors out there and you can find the ones you need to help bring your characters to life. There are a few methods for casting your roles once you post to a service like Casting Networks, Backstage, or Actors Access. The typical approach is find an inexpensive rehearsal space or meeting room and schedule actors to come one at a time and read lines from a scene of the script with you.

Record these auditions so you can review them later. You may be doing interviews instead. Rather than the above casting process, now is the time to start putting in calls and getting commitments from people to appear in the film. You may schedule those interviews, you may not, but take time to pitch the project to these interview subjects and give them time to consider being a part of it.

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Depending on your available time and budget try and schedule a few rehearsals of the script with at least your lead actors, but preferably as much of the cast as you can bring together. This is the time to work out the kinks in the script.

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Is a line a little clunky? Rewrite it! Rehearsals are a great opportunity to test the material before you commit it to film or memory card as the case may be. Find a rehearsal space and work with the cast on their performance and refine the script. This is a pretty expansive topic.

Top Cities for Production Assistant Jobs

Legal comes down to things like setting up the LLC mentioned previously. Then there are contracts and agreements you need to have between the LLC and everyone involved in the film. You need a papertrail for everyone establishing what is expected of them and how they are being compensated. How much it will cost and how much it covers is going to depend on the individual project. Make sure you are covered.

Legal also covers other intellectual property you may need for your project. Want characters watching a particular movie in once scene? You need to get clearances. It defines how much cast or crew is to be paid and also defines how long a shoot day is allowed to be, when breaks are, and other nuances of the work environment. You have to figure out where you are going to shoot this thing. Yes, it can be a garage in the film.


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You have a tone. When you did the breakdowns you identified the locations you need for the project. When you did the budgeting you figured out how much you could afford to spend on those locations.


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  6. When you worked with legal you got insurance in case you break those locations. Now, you have to find those locations and convince them to let you shoot there at the rate you want to pay them.

    Getting it Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide - Joshua A. Friedman - Google Books

    If you have a good size project and budget you probably will have hired a Locations Manager to work with you on this. If not, you may be running out to different location yourself to scout them and negotiate with the owners of the property. Yes, the cathedral is perfect but does it have the right kind of pews for what is described in the script?

    It may need to be dressed to look older or newer. Perhaps you prefer red to purple and some new cushions are needed. Production design is going to help bring the look and style of your film together and make it feel consistent. Start big. How many days does your team think is needed for shooting the whole project? Will there be holidays to work around? Get the sense of these big questions first. As you work on locations, casting, and legal it will help you understand in greater detail what your schedule needs to look like.

    Your shooting script and final breakdowns will help you and your team decide when scenes and sequences can be shot. Cast and crew availability will come in to play. Trying to balance it all is one of the hard parts of the process. The Shooting Schedule will define what you are shooting when.

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    The Call Sheet then is distributed to everyone ahead of each day to let them know what to expect from each day on set. The shot list may have been started early in the process. It may have helped figure out the budget. The shot list is going to determine what is shot on each day of the project for each scene. A post-production assistant is an entry-level position in the post-production office of a film, television show or commercial.

    The post P. In general, post-production assistants are responsible for keeping footage and the post-production facility organized. However, there are certain tactics that you can use to help you find the P. Trust those you have worked with before to be a good judge of character. Additionally, your friend or colleagues knows the qualities you like or need in a PA. Word of mouth is a sure-fire way to find someone with the production assistant duties that you need.

    If you are based in New York City, but need a P. ProductionBeast is a one-stop shop to post jobs and discover vetted video professionals, encapsulated in a user-friendly and polished interface. Employers can post jobs for free, message and hire the best industry pros, shortlist people and manage their database of contacts. Moreover ProductionBeast gives employers the opportunity to feature their job listing if they so choose, making their post stand out from the crowd.

    Nice option if you need to hire ASAP. Like ProductionBeast, EntertainmentCareers also makes it easy for producers to find the production assistant duties they are looking for, saving time and money. EntertainmentCareers boasts thousands of employers, fresh postings, exclusive listings, a year track record and job seeker tools. As well as look at production assistant salaries and the going rate. If you are looking for a skilled production assistant that can handle production assistant duties in the Los Angeles area, this job board is probably one of the best places to start.

    The most important duty of a P. Producers must understand that the PA is the support system of the department to which they are assigned.