Who Hires a PA?

Samantha writes:

I’m a soon-to-be college grad, and I’m planning on moving out to LA this summer. I was wondering who it is I should be contacting to get a PA position? People have told me numerous positions like the AD and the UPM, but I don’t know who I really should be getting in contact with.  The place I’m interning at right now has a film in pre-production that should start filming this summer, and I’d like to ask my supervisor for a recommendation for a PA position, but I think I’d best know who exactly it is I should have him send it to!

Getting a job on a movie or TV show is not the same as getting a job at a bank or law firm.  People don’t write (or read) letters of recommendation, like you seem to be imagining.  Usually, it’s a matter of someone (your boss, in this case) saying to someone else, “Hey, are you hiring?  I’ve got a guy who needs a job.”

If the production company you’re already interning at is making a movie, parlaying that internship into a PA job should be relatively easy.  Just ask your boss to recommend you to the AD or production coordinator.  They’ll most likely listen to the company that’s paying the bills, after all.

Which one he recommends you to really depends on what kind of position you want.  The production coordinator hires the office PAs,  while the AD (or 2nd AD) hires the set PAs.  (The UPM rarely hires production assistants, unless it’s a really, really small show.)

Congratulations on graduating!

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6 Responses

  1. APA,
    I have taken the leap to be a PA in hopes of moving up. I currently intern at a production/ post house. My problem is that I am not getting PA experience I thought. There are producers that come in and out, but I don’t want to cross any lines by approaching them for work.The place I work is mainly post, I might add. We have a big Music fest coming up this summer, and I want to get on board. Nashville,TN has PA jobs but it’s all about getting in the circle. What advice would you give me?


  2. If I wan to be a PA for writers or the creator/showrunner/executive producer of a TV series, would this an office or set PA (should I be contacting the AD or the production company)?

  3. So if I’m an English Major with very little hands on film or video production experience but I have a relative who’s an AD for major motion pictures. Would he be able to get me a PA job without catching any flack or raising eyebrows for hiring someone with so little experience in the field?

    1. You will catch flack, but so what? You need a job any way you can get it. If you work hard and stay focused, everyone will forget who you’re related to.

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