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What’s in a Title?

Lyric writes:

I am a new PA with big goals and I was called by a production company to be an Assistant Coordinator for a video game commercial. I am not too sure what the job entails but they know and I know that I can handle the workload. I wanted to know if you had any insight on what you think I would be doing.

I start tomorrow for a week and two days.

I have no idea.

As an aspiring writer, I’ve tried to focus on films and scripted TV shows, whose operating structures are very analogous. The few unscripted and off-network shows I’ve worked on used similar titles to mean very different things.

For instance, I was on an MTV show where the “production manager” was doing things I was used to seeing a production coordinator do.  The “production coordinator” was doing an APOC’s job, and on down the line.  It was very strange.

From what I hear, commercials and music video are completely different yet again.  I wouldn’t want to guess what your responsibilities might entail.  The only person I can think of who works on commercials is Script Goddess.  Of course, she works on set, so she might not know, either.

Maybe one of my readers can help?

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2 Responses

  1. Worst of it is that I know someone who did this job a few years back, but can’t find his number right now.

    I Believe you’re only there to assist, literally. Help the Coordinator in whatever way he/she request. Could be coffee, or making calls.

    They know you were a PA, so I would think that they took that in consideration before giving you the job, so you should be in way over your head. Hopefully.

    I would do like Nathan said and just ask the coordinator to clarify this for you. Nothing better than honesty in this kind of situation.

  2. I work on commercials every once in a while and most of the titles don’t mean squat. The only way to find out what’s expected of you is to get it from the Coordinator (who you’re presumably assisting).

    If the title’s sensible, you should end up being an office person in prep/wrap and possibly on set for the shoot. And the Coordinator is likely to be the “lite” version of a Production Manager.

    One hint will be to get a look at the crew list (which should have a lot of slots not filled in yet). The less positions they’re filling in Production will mean more hats for you to wear.

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