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What’s a Production Secretary?

Adam writes in:

I just got an interview for a new gig Monday as a Production Secretary. For some reason none of the scripted shows I have worked on have ever had a Production Secretary. A former APOC recommended me and so I assume she feels I am capable of handling the job but I was curious if you might be able to elaborate more on the duties that a Production Secretary actually does since I’ve never seen one in action.

A production secretary is basically a PA and a half. She’s a PA that can be trusted to deal with important paperwork, and overseeing the other PAs.

I couldn’t tell you the specific responsibilities, because not even the coordinator and APOC’s jobs are set in stone. I’ve seen production secretaries make actors’ contracts, and I’ve seen APOCs do that. On a multicamera show, a production secretary may handle nothing but audience seating, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you’ve done it.

It’s a non-union position, but the pay is slightly higher. It usually evens out with the other PAs, though, since the production secretary almost never goes on runs, and therefore doesn’t get any mileage.

The show I’m on now doesn’t even have an APOC; just a coordinator and production secretary. (This might violate some union rule, like having a non-DGA line producer and no UPM, but frankly, no one’s going to report it.) In any case, that should tell you how much paperwork you may be in for.

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5 Responses

  1. Sorry this is a comment on an older post, but you often write ‘she’ when referring to production assistant type roles. Is this for any reason, as in are these roles commonly filled by women? Being a woman working in this area in the UK, I find it much more usual for men to do these roles, so it is interesting if perhaps there is more potential for a woman PA in LA.

    1. I use “she” because we don’t have non-gendered, third-person, singular pronouns, and I don’t see why I should have to use the male one.

      1. Yes, that’s a really cool perspective to come across, since most things are written as he, him, his. I think Finland has non-gendered, third-person. Anyways, I’m rambling, thanks for being a blogger who uses “she” fairly. It’s refreshing to read.

  2. If I understand correctly, it’s not a union violation, because 871 doesn’t make POC or APOC must-hire positions. You could staff an office full of production supervisors, secretaries, and PAs and they wouldn’t be able to do anything about except sending threatening but unenforceable letters

    1. Man, the coordinators’ union is useless in all kinds of ways. No overtime, no must-hire. Why do they even exist?

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