By Jane Applegate
A successful film or television set runs like a military operation. Everyone from top to bottom knows their job and how to interact professionally with everyone on the cast and crew.
Most departments rely on production assistants (PAs) to help; yet so many PA’s are clueless when they arrive to work on set.
After working with scores of good and bad PA’s for the past 15 years, I decided to write and produce this series of humorous, but educational tips for PAs. Since PATV.com was taken, we registered PATVee.com for the upcoming website. The site will be available soon.
These first five tips cover how to behave on a set, how to manage your time and be of service without annoying department heads. We also cover how to dress appropriately for a busy, 12-hour day.
These five clips, written by Joe Applegate and edited by J.P. Pacca, are hosted by Maddie Roberts. Maddie is a 16-year-old PA I met working on a feature film (Beauty Mark by Harris Doran) shot last June in Louisville, Kentucky.
We shot during a relentless heat wave, coping with thunderstorms, flooding, power outages and hot, stifling sets.
The crew on the set of Beauty Mark (via IMDB)
Maddie was a naturally great PA. She was energetic, attentive and eager to learn how to work professionally on set. When she expressed an interest in being in front of the camera, she prepared an audition tape and landed the job of PA TVee host.
Like many PA’s, she started working with me in production, specifically helping with catering and craft services. We all know a crew runs on its stomach, so the care and feeding of the cast and crew is of utmost importance — especially on a low budget shoot.
I taught Maddie how to stretch every dollar. We re-purposed the delicious fresh fruit salad served at breakfast into frosty, fruit smoothies later in the day. We cut up pastries into smaller pieces to serve as snacks. We made sure there was plenty of ice cream treats and iced coffee and tea. If you can master craft services, you can grow up to be a full producer like me.
I welcome your feedback on the first clips. (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.) We are editing another five and plan to seek sponsors to help offset the cost of producing another batch.
You can check out a few preview videos below – enter the password patvee to see them.
Thanks for watching!