How to Become A Production Assistant

From: M******* U******** (***********@*******.***)
To: Gerald (neuroticnomad@gmail.com)
Date: January 24, 2011 12:03:54 PM PST
Subject: Getting Started

I’m reaching out to see if you have ANY suggestions, thoughts, words of wisom….ANYTHING. I would love to get in the field as a production asst or any kind of asst in the Arts. I would love to work for a theatre, museum, television, film co. Hell I’ll work for a man on the street with a camera! Soooooooooo….anything….Bueller….Bueller…. 😀

P.S. I’m in DFW.


From: Gerald (neuroticnomad@gmail.com)
To: M******* U******** (***********@*******.***)
Date: January 24, 2011 1:05:14 PM PST
Subject: Re: Getting Started

There are three very fast routes to becoming a Production Assistant and getting some hands-on experience.

1. Your local film commission..

Feature Films: http://governor.state.tx.us/film/hotline-crew/
Short Films: http://www.shortfilmtexas.com/castcrew-calls/
Local to Dallas: http://www.filmdfw.com/

I especially like the Dallas one because it explains the different types of PAs and even gives advice on what to expect as a Production Assistant.

2. Vendor Directories

These are special phone books for industry professionals. You can use it to look for work, to look for crew, or to advertise your services once you have some to offer.

In your area, that directory is the Texas Association of Film & Tape Professionals (TAFTP). You can buy a print copy for $75 or download the PDF for free.

Here’s the PDF: http://taftp.com/pdf/2010_TAFTP_Directory.pdf

3. Craigslist and Facebook

No, I’m not kidding. It’s 2011 and social networking is how jobs are found.

If you don’t have time to dedicate to a studio film, do a student film. They are usually shot on nights and weekends and they keep hiring the same people over and over. It’s a good way to build a circle of like-minded friends and a way to make good connections.

Hope this helps,
– Gerald

UPDATED: Workshopping, Networking, and “Getting Out There” in DFW

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