Reader Kelly writes:
I love your blog, just wanted to say that. Thanks for writing it.
Awwww. Well, that’s it for today!
…Oh, wait, no. She also had a question:
I have been working more and more in production, specifically most recently in reality. How do I get into being a P.A. in features or in network television. What sites are good too look at besides craigslist, entertainmentcareers, and the UTA list.
This is a problem I suffered through for (too many) years.
Both the UTA Joblist and EntertainmentCareers.net are geared more towards being an assistant than actual production work. (By the way, many people bag on the UTA list, but my first two jobs in the industry came from it, so I won’t complain.)
Mandy.com and the various film, television, and porn-related pages of Craig’s List are great places to find low (or deferred) paying gigs on non-union projects. The thing to remember is, other than maybe the director and producers, nobody is working on those shows for the love of filmmaking.
“But Anonymous, if they’re not making money, and they don’t like doing it, then why are they there?”
Take the show I was on at the beginning of this year (during the strike). Our 1st AD was actually a 2nd AD on a network TV series. All of our camera operators regularly paid the bills as camera assistants on movies. Same with our DP– he’s usually a gaffer.
The point is, on most of these low-budget productions, the crew around you works on bigger budgets the rest of the year. Make friends with them. Get their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. When this show ends, and it’s time to find some more work, call them up. Ask the production designer if she needs an art PA, or ask the AC if he needs a camera utility.
And lastly, there’s the Coordinators’ 411 Google group. Obviously, it’s a place for coordinators to help each other out. People post messages asking about the best place rent office furniture, or what copy service to use, or if anybody knows a good PA.
You have to be a production coordinator to join, but you don’t have to be a coordinator to enjoy the benefits. I have a few friends who are on the mailing list, and they forward me any “Need a GREAT PA for network show!” messages. (How come no one ever needs a mediocre PA?)
I strongly suggest you make friends with a coordinator, and ask her to send you job postings. I’ve only heard about it in the last year or so, but I’ve gotten a dozen interviews, including my last two network TV jobs, from this site.
Hope that helps.