Holding Back

Many people seem to be under the misapprehension that we in the office like to hold on to things. Several times a day, I get calls asking if a prelim callsheet has been published, or if a package has arrived, or if the latest draft of the script is out.

You know what? No. If your package arrived, we would have called you. Hell, we probably would’ve just brought it to you. We will distribute the call sheets as soon as we get them. That’s what we do. Hell, it’s practically all we do.

Yesterday, I handed a schedule to our costume supervisor, and she had the gall to ask, “When did this come out?”

Lady, I just put it in your hand. Just now. You remember that, right? I sure do.

When do you think it came out?

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11 Responses

  1. I agree with Eden. They are times that paperwork may come out, but it’s already outdated. Nothing to do with production, they can only process information that’s given to them. But sometimes you do have to ask to get a verbal confirmation before a hard copy comes out. Especially if the info is time sensitive.
    For wardrobe, a scene may play tomorrow that has been changed to affect wardrobe or a prop (maybe wardrobe related). To wait for all the scripts or schedules to be printed can be too late, if you have to find or make a specific costume piece. Also waiting for an actor to be confirmed can be the longest process ever. We prefer to hear the rumors, and buy clothes based on that info.
    It’s way better when producers or someone in production calls, e-mails or walks by and tells a department head about new changes.
    Thanks for doing a great job in the office!

  2. As someone who is currently working a thankless job in production, this is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you!

  3. In my experience, every department seems to assume they’re the only ones doing the job right, and that everyone else is fucking up — and the one thing the many departments can agree on is that production fucks up most of all.

    That this is only occasionally true does nothing to dissipate the fog of negative assumption — and as the link between production and the crew, PA’s often take the brunt of this intitutionalized contempt.

    It’s extremely unfair, but if nothing else, provides further motivation for a PA to move up
    and on.

  4. Exactly, PA’s are always the last through the line and yet have to be the first to finish.

    In the mornings I would make two “dry” sandwiches, wrap them up and put them in my cargo pocket.

    I would just eat on the run all day long.

  5. lunch is a sacred ritual that cannot and should not be interrupted by work (or atleast that’s what my strong union ethics dictate). that being said though, what worthless pa takes lunch at 1130? i’m lucky if i get the time for lunch before 2pm

  6. i think they ask that because it has happened so many times before where another office PA (clearly not you) mishandled the distro, thus bringing out the watchful eye of those waiting on prelims, or script revisions, or revised pre-pro schedules, etc. A few days ago I handed an office PA the prelim call sheet at 11am, only to find out that by 1130 he had not yet copied OR distroed anything. I asked WTH was going on, and he said “Oh, I was eating lunch.” You were eating lunch? Hello, eat and copy, then eat and walk! You are paid for a working lunch, so work! Ahh! (sorry, venting….)

    anyway, it is the inexperienced PA that brings the bad name out to everyone. at least that’s my perspective.

    When I hand out the prelim, make the copies and distribute, with haste!

  7. People higher up always seem to be such idiots.

    They just get frustrated about things and assume that since someone is working below them that it’s their fault.

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