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What are the Duties of a Production Assistant?

Production assistants represent a key part of the film shoot and are responsible for a variety of tasks behind the scenes. While the production assistant may be considered entry-level, those who hold this position know all too well how many different hats they have to wear, but to someone that’s never worked as a production assistant before, the question frequently arises, “what are the duties of a production assistant?”

Lana McClung on the set

In reality, the job duties of a production assistant vary with the individual needs of the production and the crew, as well as based on the type of production assistant role that the individual has. Several types of production assistants exist including:

 

Set production assistants

– Office production assistants

– Post-production assistants

 

When you ask, “What are the duties of a production assistant?” It makes more sense to narrow down the individual duties of these professionals based on the different types of production assistants listed above.

Set Production Assistant Duties

A set production assistant, or Set PA, is the direct support for the physical production and works daily providing support on the set for the crew. They mostly help the production team. The duties of a set production assistant include:

 

– Transporting cast and crew.

– Transporting equipment.

– Packing equipment.

– Production paperwork.

– Set lock down to protect from the outside public.

– Set cleaning including things like emptying the trash and picking up at the end of the day.

 

Office Production Assistant Duties

Team Beverly Boy in office

The office production assistant, or Office PA, is the support for the office of the film and works as a clerical assistant. These individuals are responsible for paperwork, phone calls, and various other requirements. The office production assistant duties include:

 

– Answering phones.

Craft services and kitchen maintenance.

– Shopping for supplies.

– Communicating with location owners, vendors, and others.

 

Post-Production Assistant Duties

Post-production assistants work as entry-level support to the post-production staff including editors and those responsible for post-production. They encourage efficient editing operations and help to ensure an organized post-production process. The post-production assistant duties include:

 

– Keeping raw footage organized and grouped.

– Organizing editing bays.

– Keeping hard drives safe and free from coming into contact with magnets.

– Running through raw footage.

– Providing staff support.

– Shopping for supplies.

 

As you can see, when you ask, “What are the duties of a production assistant,” the answer really could vary based on the individual job and needs of the staff and crew involved in the production. Overall, production assistants provide support for a wide range of tasks and situations on the film set and behind the scenes. It takes organization, attention to detail, and a desire to please others.