Script Goddess had a fun post last week about filling as an AD on a commercial. This passage in particular caught my attention:
Day 3 Exterior House. My first time directing trucks and production vehicles. As I was arriving at the location My key P.A. called in and said he’d be late. How late I asked “Oh, not more than an hour!” he says. Not more than an hour! I wonder what The Anonymous Production Assistant might say about that! But having our other PA be a no show, I was in no position to fire him.
Ah, I’m such whore for links.
Here’s what I think: that PA is darn lucky Script Goddess isn’t regularly an AD. An hour is a long time, especially at the start of the day, when you’re trying to get everything set up.
Most ADs have a stable of production assistants that they can call on at the last minute. They wouldn’t be in the position of just accepting a late PA. They’d be on the phone with replacements in minutes.
Obviously, these may be second-stringers in the AD’s mind; otherwise, why wouldn’t she have hired them in the first place? If you call your AD at call time, you may wind up on that second string list.
On the other hand, if you’re able to jump in at a moment’s notice, and help an AD when she needs it most, you’ll probably be the first person she calls on the next show.