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How To Become a PA

(Production Assistant) or TV Studio Page

In general, all PA’s are the same in that they are at the bottom of the Production hierarchy. Some work in production offices, while others work on sets. Stop and think about what you want to do in the film and TV industry. This will be important as you establish yourself as a valuable PA. In the beginning you must be ready and willing to accept any work opportunity on any project.

Would you eventually like to become an executive producer or a production manager? You may not know at first, but once you do, you should focus on that type of PA work. Office PA’s can go on to become executives, whereas set PA’s often go on to become AD’s or Production Managers.

You could of course choose an entirely different area than this. You may decide that you want to be a camera operator or special effects artist. This is the beauty of being a PA; you get the chance to see everything first hand, hands-on, and then decide where you want to go from there.

Office PA Becomes*

Accountant
Office Manager
Producer
Executive Producer
Location Scouts/Mgr.
Writer
Casting
Development Executive
Publicist

Set PA Becomes*

Assistant Director
Production Manager
Camera assistant
Grip
Gaffer
Hair/Make-up artist
Caterer
Prop Master
Boom Operators

*See our “Studio Jobs” booklet for descriptions of these and other industry jobs.

After you have become a seasoned PA and paid your dues, you can decide which of these areas you want pursue. Then it is important to learn as much about this new job as possible. Check out our other articles and booklets on these positions, then read, as many books as you can.

Networking again becomes important to your career. Start hanging out with the people who are already doing the job you want to do. People love talking about themselves, so ask questions of working people in your field. Get your name out there, or try to become someone’s assistant or apprentice. Learning from some one else, hopefully some one successful in the field, can provide multiple opportunities for work.

The next thing you want to decide is if you want to work in movies or television. Some of the different fields of work within film and TV are as follows:

Movies

Studio
Indie
Documentary
Short Film
Industrial
Animation
Corporate

Television

Drama
Game Show
Soap Opera
Music TV
Public Broadcast
Infomercial
Children’s

Read More:

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