10 Lies I get Told as a Production Assistant

I’ll admit, other than a few shows that went on location in Vegas, I’ve never shot outside of Los Angeles. I have never worked in places like New Orleans or Detroit, where tax incentives draw film production. I work in Hollywood, literally and metaphorically.

But today, a guest blogger wrote in to talk about PAing in New Orleans. This list is… rather eye opening. A lot of this happens on non-union shows here in Los Angeles, but none of this is what I would consider “normal.”

Here are Josh’s Ten Favorite Lies:

10. “You won’t have to drive your personal vehicle”

There will be a lot written here about my car. It is a very fragile beast and has cost me thousands of dollars over the years. Having bought it very cheaply off of my grandmother in 2010, I’ve accepted the cost of this maintenance whether it’s engine issues or new tires. I, however, will not accept fronting the bill for the wear and tear on my car because of employment situations that offer NO compensation whatsoever. I’ve put over 600 miles on my car in a single Monday through Friday work week. Oh, they’ll pay your gas receipts or reimburse your for ‘mileage’ but they won’t replace a flat tire or cover your oil change. I’m not sure what realm of reality production managers occupy but it must be one where PA’s vehicles are powered by the double rainbow of raw ambition, where nothing could possibly go wrong. Because you know, the typical PA can afford a brand new, perfectly functioning vehicle.

9. “We need to cut down on our crafty spending.”

Invariably through the course of production, some well meaning manager or coordinator will freak out about much money has been spent on crafty so far. ‘Crafty’ is some strange industry code word for junk food: chips, nuts, crackers, candy, soda, etc. Imagine a film crew as a horde or overweight British children, fingers stained purple from digging their hands into blueberry pies all day. They are the most overfed class of people you’ll find in Western culture and most of them are armed with the red tape of union regulations to keep themselves that way. With this knowledge in tow, it is IMPOSSIBLE to ‘cut back’ on crafty spending during a movie shoot. You’re boss is just trying to cover his ass by giving you this impractical instruction. He isn’t really seeing what you see each day in the office and/or on set. It’s feeding time at the zoo. Every minute. Every day.

8. “After you do this, you won’t be a P.A. anymore.”

I guess for those dreaming of a future in the production industry, this would be the ultimate carrot on a stick. You’ve done X many shows and now you’re looking for any opportunity at all to move forward. Excellent, making that known will be your first fatal mistake. The coordinator or unit production manager or assistant director that hires you is merely trying to crew up. It’s an inconvenient part of preparing (or prepping) to shoot a movie. They will tell you whatever you need to hear in order to take the show and fill out that spot on the call sheet. Alternatively, you’re wedged into a corner because now you want to make a great final impression that you are beyond PA duties – meaning you’ll probably have to do double PA duties just to save face in front of the employer. The only way someone moves forward in any career, at least from what I’ve witnessed, is fucking over the person who hired you by taking a better job offer. Seriously, I’ve seen no one ‘pay it forward’ and help a PA move up because they did well on a couple shows. Anyone good enough at gophering shit is a threat to the bigger gophers with fancier titles, like Assistant Directors. You know how they’ll really help you? By offering you another shit PA job when you’re broke and desperate. Indentured servitude, my friend.

7. “We’re gonna get you out of here early tonight.”

Another fucking evil carrot on a stick. Let’s say your day is rapidly approaching the 12 hour mark. This can be the light at the end of the tunnel or just the sad car accident you pass on the way to the graveyard. Your boss starts flipping out that it may be a long night. He knows you have to be back to work early the next day and you need a proper turnover. So he lies to you, giving you the false hope that you may indeed go home early or at least, at your 12 hour mark. Guess what? It’s more or less a trick to keep your morale high as you are silently march into your 13th or 14th hour. I know what you’re thinking, ‘but what about the overtime?’ Hahahahaha, I’ll get to that later. For now, never believe anybody when they say it’s going to be a short day. Firstly because it’s NOT and secondly, a short day in the production industry could be fucking 14 hours to some people. Very sad, lonely people.

6. “We’re all crewed up but I’ll get you on the next one.”

This one’s pretty obvious to anybody who has been unemployed for at least a month between jobs. You exercise every connection you think you have with your ‘friends’ and come up empty handed. Remember when I said I’ve only seen people move up when they stab their bosses in the back? You won’t see more underhanded maneuvering like on the last days of shooting or wrap on a production. Everybody is lining up their next gig in shadowy fashion because they don’t want the person next to them to hear about it. Those who already have their next job locked in won’t tell a fucking soul, except for their little clique that probably helped it along. You’ve busted your ass on every show but like any other job, if you haven’t infiltrated somebody’s clique (any department) then you’re going to be high and dry come the end of your show’s run. Those people you hung out with during all of production suddenly aren’t so chipper to talk about movies and sports with you when you ask if they know anything coming to town soon. However, corner one of your ‘buddies’ long enough and they’ll promise you the next job. If that was actually going to happen, you wouldn’t be unemployed at wrap.

5. “You’ll never have to do that.”

Oh yeah, the friendly pat on the back and reassurance that – despite you’re PA status – you’ll never have to do that. What is ‘that’ exactly? It could be anything! That’s the beauty of PA work, it’s a catch-all for every department on a production. Anybody, from the laziest teamster to Tom Cruise can pull you aside and ask for a favor. You’re walking around a shooting range with a target on your back. The only difference is the shooting range is a bunch of children who need to be handheld through every miniscule task and you’ve got a big neon sign hanging over your head that reads “Hey I’ve got hands!” Technically, no little job is beneath you, whatever your pride may assume, but there are moments where your boss will confide in you that THIS time you won’t have to worry about _______. Why? Because someone else is doing it. It’s their job, after all. You may feel a brief reprieve, like your day just got easier. Well guess what? There’s no rules and even some other PA can delegate their pointless task down the ladder to the next PA. No assistant is safe from the trivialities. At that point, pray you have interns.

4. “Don’t worry. You’ll have interns.”

Hahaha, oh yes, interns! We are no longer talking indentured servitude in the production game. Oh no, it’s straight up slave labor! Have you heard about those recent class action lawsuits where the interns on ‘Black Swan” sued 20th Century Fox? Currently there is one pending with interns from the Wendy Williams Show. These little angels are the unpaid sweatshop workers of Hollywood and beyond. They are usually college students (sadly, not all of them) trying to crack into this dream-factory industry. The problem is, labor laws prevent them from being any real use. You, the PA, get told you will have interns helping out. But interns go home early. Interns have school schedules. Interns can’t drive their personal vehicles. This is the production fucking the person they ARE paying, you. Instead of hiring another PA who could share the load of a 60hr work week, they bring along a couple interns for free. Instead of making you’re job easier, you have to now waste time instructing interns what to do and how to do it properly. Now you’re fucking training people too for a shitty PA wage. And you thought things were going to be better? True, they didn’t really ‘lie’ to you in this case. There are interns available to do stuff. But I guarantee you they won’t be there when you really need them. Like ANYTIME you’re shooting overnight.

3. “You’re last day will be on _______”.

This is going to sound a lot more negative than it really is. Every job starts with this really positive estimation of how long your job will last. You can kind of hastily plan out how much money you are going to make and start budgeting for how long you can survive unemployed afterward. Yes, that’s correct. Unless you scammed your way into a lucrative friendship mentioned in #6, your great reward after a show ends is sitting at home, slowly going broke. But that’s after your last day, which exists hazily in the future, never really explained to you by any of your superiors. Most of the time it is after the movie wraps but you’d be surprised. The bean counters like to look like hot shots towards the end of productions and start sending people home at will. PAs will be the first get the axe, usually fucking over the poor PAs who remain. It has it’s pros and cons. Getting to go home early is always nice. But you can’t plan for it and usually it’s always one week shy of that last paycheck you really needed. Another sad fact is that by the end of a show, you’re so numb from all bullshit that you’ve settled into your little routine. And then the boss says to pack up your desk. He may have said your last day was next Thursday but here you are walking out the door. Things change, I guess. Never in your benefit.

2. “We are short on Transpo drivers”

This goes straight back to the first lie about driving your personal vehicle. You’re never outright ordered to drive your own car for production purposes. No, you see, the local managers and coordinators know better than to just say “Hey punk ass production assistant, you’re hired, and now you’re fucked.” No, they have to lull you into a false sense of security and comfort. They’ll do you favors first so they can eventually drop the hammer down on your soft little ass and the car it rides in. It’s the same on every show. “Hey, we’re short on Transpo drivers, you’ll have to make the morning run today”. They say it like they are shocked and disappointed in the local teamsters. It’s not production’s fault your personal vehicle is now going to get raped by useless mileage – it’s that shifty transportation department, lazy assholes! No. It’s not. The movie purposely doesn’t hire a lot of drivers because teamsters cost money and they can just as easily force a PA to do all the driving. They save money on paying union shit and the PA has no other choice. It’s planned out and executed in the same fashion, always around the beginning of principal photography. This is the most bold faced lie of them all and probably the most disgusting practice used in the industry.

1. “Write down 12 hours on your timecard but I want you to keep track of your actual hours.”

As many of you should know, a regular work week on a production (TV or movies) is not 40 hours. It is 60 hours. Overtime only kicks in after 12 hours in a single work day. As a PA, none of that is guaranteed but local production managers still like to keep the PAs buttered up with the hope for more money. After all, when you calculate the right-to-work state weekly wage for a PA ($650) against a full week, you get something pretty close to minimum wage per hour. I have actually spent my slow moments calculating the exact point I hit minimum wage after 12 hours. It’s very sad math. So let’s say you’re really slaving away with a 65-70 hour work week, putting in at least 1 to 2 hours past 12 each day. Overtime for PAs is a giant no-no to managers, so you have to report 60 flat hours. But then they try to act like your supporter and ask you to keep track of your ‘real’ hours as if down the line, they can convince one of their superiors to approve your overtime hours. The cold fact is…there’s no approval necessary. YOU WORKED OVERTIME. You did the time and what a shock, they’ve fucked you. They don’t owe you anything. You can kick and scream but the only solstice you’ll get is that shit line from a boss. And what is overtime, anyway? An extra 50 bucks on your paycheck? You lost 65 hours of your life. Time is infinitely more valuable than money and even when they do sack up your overtime pittance, it’s not worth it. Going home as early as possible is the only time you, the PA, can ever win.

* * *

So, dear readers, what do you think? Is this typical for filming outside Los Angeles?

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23 Responses

  1. So, you don’t need a college degree; just know how to
    Blow people!. This is Bulls hit someone “stole” some assholes
    Backpack, he made a report; but the convention centers securitys did not ask me (shitbag) security officer anything, how the fuck that’s that
    Work? 0399 is the are the saddest sacks of shit I have ever worked with,
    They make money but they don’t save trust me……Hollywood is sad..
    Officer anything

  2. I spent a lifetime working in the industry as a parking pa, in nyc. It was hell, the pay was shit n u were treated like shit. I’m black, most of the prejudice was dished out by the mostly Italian teamsters, I guess they thought we were taking jobs that other Italians could had gotten, but in reality they didn’t want. You just were not welcome.
    The movie industry runs the biggest cast system in the world. They even ran an article in one of the movie magazines in the 80’s about its cast system. The hours were always long and the pay low.
    The production managers were always gods to the pa’s, and they never make u forget it. Don’t get me wrong now I had ran in a few decent production managers who treated pa’s as human beings n really cared about them. Everything I say to you is from personal experience. Most of the blacks in the industry now got hired initially by myself n Delroy Hunter, who has passed away.
    I have since left the industry, when they started hiring alot of Mexicans n Spanish to replace blacks who were making $125 per 12-14 hour shift n was paying them $25 pet 12-15 hour shift. Now if you look at the industry’s pa pools it’s mostly spanish. I guess that was a strategy to eliminate the blacks in this deartment. Now the wages have clime back up to the $125 pay per shift. Basically all I have to say that the industry is very racist against blacks n most openly with this behavior for years.
    Now I hear of this class action lawsuit against the slave wages they pay n what I use to get,but I can’t find our where to sign up to be apart of the monetary payback. If anyone has any information on how to go about getting some of this stolen wages back I would be great full to know where to do so n the exertion date for signing up. This information would be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted at
    Want to give much thanks to Nelson Torres, Tom Tomminelli, Mann Johnson, Lyndale Obst, Dennis Bennetar, these people went above n beyond the call of Duty to treat black as human beings and getting them employment.
    Everything I say is from experience, working as a parking pa, I have not even scratched the surface of horrors n near death experiences i survived working on the streets of New York as a black man representing the film industry.
    Films worked on Cadillac Man, Boomerang.n quite a few more. If you are interested in hearing more contact me at the above given email address.

  3. I would never hire a PA with this much negativity. And I have NEVER asked a PA to use his or her own vehicle for any purpose whatsoever — in fact, doing so would not be covered by the GL policy. And every PA I have ever employed has always received over-time pay for every hour after 12.

    If you don’t like being a PA, find another occupation. If you’ve had bad experiences on a film or television production, join the club. But for anyone starting out, none of what this “anonymous production assistant” has written in this rant is the way any proper production is run, and I would fire any PM who ever tried to steal wages from a production assistant or even allowed a PA to use his or her personal vehicle.

    “adam,” you are wrong about over-time pay. NO ONE is entitled to OT after 12 hours — the law is time-and-a-half after 40 hours in one week. It is customary to pay OT after 12 in THIS INDUSTRY, but it is absolutely NOT REQUIRED to pay double or triple time after 14 or 16 hours — unless it’s a UNION shoot or that’s the deal a crew member made with Production. I will not hire anyone who demands double time after 14 or triple time after 16 in NYC on any non-fiction television production.

    Again, if you don’t like early call times, long hours, and being under appreciated, find another industry. The people who succeed as PAs and who grow into ADs or beyond are the people who LOVE production and have good attitudes. I wish this PA wasn’t anonymous because he would be on my Do Not Hire list.

    1. Thanks for this great response, NYCLP.

      One minor note, which may just be a difference between New York and California. Here, the law is:

      A nonexempt employee 18 years of age or older, or any minor employee 16 or 17 years of age who is not required by law to attend school and is not otherwise prohibited by law from engaging in the subject work, shall not be employed more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in any workday and over 40 hours in the workweek.

      So, yes, anything over 40 hours in a week is overtime, but also, anything over 8 hours in a day. Also:

      Double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

  4. As a PA in NOLA, I feel the need to respond to this. I’m terribly sorry you feel you are getting the short end of the stick, but your attitude about it possibly has everything to do with why you are given such shit tasks or get screwed over. I’ve experienced very little in the way of negative issues in my short time working as a PA. ADs and PCs and everyone else up and down the line have always been kind, generous, willing to advise, and extend the hand for the next job. Fellow PAs constantly take my personal info so they have a name to pass along on the next show or if someone throws them something they cannot take because they are working already. I’ve gotten pretty much every job I’ve had on the recommendation of a fellow PA. I offered every PA i encountered to work for free for a month before I got an in, and it was from a PA who I offered to help prep BG vouchers while i was waiting around to be called up as BG. Later that day he asked if i wanted to come in and help out the next day. I anticipated working for free but he and the AD found a way to pay me and then apologized for it not being full rate for the job (if i was on staff)! They eventually put me on staff to day play, and even threw me longer term jobs. Hell, I’ve only ever been talked to in a stern tone twice by any AD working in the city (once was totally my fault that i owned, the other was because BG didn’t listen and i didn’t hear the instruction)! In my experience, people working in production are nice, mannered, considerate, thoughtful, and will go out of their way to make sure people don’t get screwed over, and if the opportunity to help someone out arises, they jump on it. There is a bit of rational self interest in making sure they keep working, but once that’s lined up they try to have someone on tap who needs a job to get the other person some work if something comes up they are unavailable for.

    Now, that my experience is out of the way, c’mon man, its in the title. Production assistant, the job is to assist the production in whatever capacity is needed to keep it moving. I had a troublesome scripty on a show who took over for the person who had been there from the beginning. Everyday that person would seek me out and ask me to do something for them that was something i would assume is part of their job. I ended up asking the AD about these extra tasks i was being asked for by the scripty, and he said yes its your job, should you have to do it? NO. But you are a production assistant and if doing this extra crap that they should have already done for themselves keeps things on track then yes it is part of your job.

    Sometimes you do have to use your car for something, sometimes it will be all the time. The more you bitch and complain about the money, or that you have to use your personal car at all, is just going to make people remember all the complaining you did, not all the times you made a small personal sacrifice to get shit done.

    I love this industry as a fan of the products and the process. I love watching directors and ADs work and seeing producers on set making sure everything is going well. It’s a miracle that these things get made at all with the need for the creative and logistics to converge in a way that works perfectly. PAs get to be part of it, and I love that. So what if I am asked to drive 40 miles round trip and to try to do it in less than an hour to get special fried chicken for an actor who has dietary restrictions, it will move the fucking process along and keep the miracle in the making. Of course i have lines i won’t cross, and dog shit is probably one of them, but i haven’t found it yet and could always see the reason i was being asked to do it.

    Maybe you do need to take a break and rethink things, find the reason why you would get into this in the first place. .

    1. “In my short time working as a PA” is absolutely the operative phrase here.

      I worked on a fairly large episodic comedy show recently with a career PA (the head PA actually) who was making the same minimum wage as me after doing 9 years of Production Assistant work on large scale projects.

      Don’t get me wrong, they love that slavishly loyal attitude, but it won’t really get you anywhere.

      I can’t emphasize how much, with a wealth of PA experience, I can recommend against doing PA work.

      Don’t believe me? Candidly ask anyone in any department. They’ll tell you: it doesn’t really get you anywhere.

      Get back to me in 9 years and tell me how much you love your masters and being a “company man”.

      1. Andddddd this. “I can’t emphasize how much, with a wealth of PA experience, I can recommend against doing PA work”. Right on the money. Although when I first started out and was wildly naive (and incredibly delusional from sleep deprivation – up in Vancouver, 15-18 hour days are normal for PAs) I drank the Kool-Aid too.

  5. I started 20 years ago as an office PA and I don’t think I was a very good one. I was very personable and that went a long way. I also never stopped looking for work (like ever). Today I am a department head. Having been around for 20 years I can tell you the difference between people who move forward and those who don’t:

    Showing up isn’t enough.

    The people who remain stagnant in their careers are the people who think if they just finish the job they will eventually be promoted. Every step up that has occurred in my career has been because I aggressively pursued a new position that I TOOK THE TIME TO LEARN while doing the lesser position.

    As an office PA are you trying to learn what every single piece of paper you come in contact with is? Do you know what an exhibit G, call sheet and production report are? I don’t mean do you know how to copy them- I mean do you understand their function? What is the position you want to move up to? Do you know how to do that job? Have you been looking for lower budgeted films that might offer you the opportunity to do it?

    If there is another department that you are interested in working in- Are you using your time in the office to establish relationships and find opportunities to learn those disciplines? Paying it forward doesn’t mean giving someone who isn’t qualified a job. It means offering another person who is ready the opportunity to step up.

    As for back stabbing- That happens in free market capitalism. People stab each other in the back to get better shifts at Walmart. Having said that, I have see very few true malicious attacks on another person to get a job. If 2 people with equal skills are up for the same job and one person is willing to work for lower pay- is that back stabbing or competition?

    There are few careers left in this world were people are blindly promoted for just showing up everyday. If that’s what you want I suggest getting a Government job. Try the post office.

  6. I’ve worked in Detroit, Virginia, and NYC…. can’t say I’ve experienced any of these things to THAT degree. Even as an intern on a show in Detroit, production did their best to “pay” me through a good mileage rate for driving my personal car and getting a computer rental. When I worked locations though, I’m not sure it added up…however, knowing this, my boss let me use his car whenever it was possible.

    As far as the “pay it forward” thing goes…I’ve been very lucky to experience such kindness from coworkers/friends in throwing jobs my way, but I know others haven’t been as fortunate. I recognize some of it is luck, but there is also a trend: people want to work with people they like. So maybe all that bitterness and negativity the poster seems to have is coming across to his/her coworkers….no one wants to voluntarily work with that…. Instead of blaming everyone else in the industry, maybe look at yourself.

    On my first job the production supervisor asked me to think of something, ANYTHING else I could possibly do with my life (besides the film industry). After a moment he asked me what I came up with, and I told him I couldn’t really think of anything. His response was, “Good. Because if you had I would tell you to do go that instead.”

    So to that poster I would say: Think of something, ANYTHING else to do besides the industry, because clearly it isn’t for you.

  7. I hope you at least learned how to use a shovel so you can dig yourself out of your career’s grave.

  8. Sounds very LA. High cost of living keeps you taking these low-wage ditch jobs, with not enough time and money for personal projects. Good luck crawling out of that desert.

  9. This person really does need to either find a new attitude or a new industry. I can’t speak to the conditions of sets outside of Los Angeles but I will say with an attitude like this guy has does he really have to wonder why no one helps him get on jobs?

  10. From a Coordinator in New Orleans…

    10. I mostly rent PAs cars. When I ask for a personal vehicle to be used, you either get mileage or gas paid for. If a flat happens on the job, I work with accounting to get it coded to transpo. I don’t know what tyrants you’re working for, but I’ve worked in NOLA for a while, now, and I don’t know anyone that diabolical. Also, with that much wear and tear on a car you need to cut your losses in the long run and look for a new more economical car.

    9. Production and their relationships with food, be it crafty or catering are pretty ridiculous. I agree. You can never keep it stocked well enough for very long. You have to realize that you’re dealing with a herd. If shooting crew and production are occupying the same crafty, say, for instance, when you’re on stage, crafty is an all day thing to keep up, but thems the breaks, baby. You took the gig and, from what I can tell, you knew this when you signed up. There are crapass aspects to everyone’s job. No one has it all lollipops and daisy chains. It is, after all, work. From the tone this manifesto is taking, it seems that you’d relish in watching people squirm and freak out from you being able to say, “we aren’t allowed to spend any more than this and there is nothing I can do about it.”

    8. I’ve never said this, heard this, or had this said to me. The umbrage I take from this is that you’ve never seen someone “pay it forward.” Again, I think you’ve worked some dipshit shows with some dipshit people. I pay it forward every time I can and I see people do it often. Even on the show I am on.

    7. I personally keep my PAs as close to twelve hours as possible The reality is that it doesn’t always work out that way. Runs and flare up are unpredictable. You make up for it other ways. Delayed start time. Cut early throughout the week. Little things. If the OT is truly well over twelve hours, I get it approved. For this point, I have to fall back on the whole, “you knew it was a snake before you picked it up, Josh.” You have such contempt for the snake. WHY DO YOU KEEP PICKING UP THE SNAKE?!

    6. This reads like a hint of envy, but far be it from me to say it is so. I will say that perhaps the attitude you’re demonstrating in this kind of posting was prevalent during your tenure as a PA? ….and that the coordinator noticed it….? Perhaps? Production is all about the right attitude and you get out of it what you put into it. It might be time to move on if you haven’t moved up.

    5. The worst thing I can think of is having to pick up someone’s dog’s shit. Probably in accounting…probably. This happened once to me in my PA days and I refused. I have a line. That crosses it. No one, but NO ONE, will come at you for being put in that unfair of a position. Regardless of this extreme instance, you are a god damned production assistant. You’re a jack of all trades ESPECIALLY when you work in production. The ones that move up and get noticed are the ones that sincerely WANT to. I know I did. My production friends and I talk about this a lot. The difference b/w us, and, trust me, we’re not that far apart, I think, is that when we were coming up we wanted it more. We wanted to be the best. We never sacrificed our principles by picking up dog shit, metaphorically or literally, and we were applauded for it. Sometimes promoted.

    4. Here’s a point where I sort of agree with you, outside of the shitass attitude re: PAs. Interns, like communism, work on paper, In practice, they’re a bit tricky. There’s a mindset that gets a little wet at the thought of exacting revenge from the Production Groundlings and filing a class action. Talk about shooting your career in the foot before the first big race. It is very easy to abuse interns, but I think this is a double edged sword. I think that interns need to set a few standards and ground rules for their unpaid time. I know I did. What is the worst that can happen? You get fired from your unpaid job?

    3. You’re yearning for the day a job will end as soon as you get it. Then you’re upset when it pushes or pulls. Oh, fuck off. Find something else, man.

    2. I don’t know what kind of nonunion gigs have asked this of you, but you should avoid them. Then you won’t get treated like this.

    1. Then walk at twelve. They won’t stop you. They might ask you to not come back, but I think, deep down inside, that’s what’s best. You have such bile and vitriol for the industry and the system and the people who make it something a lot of people enjoy, but you’re a masochist. You’re talking like a battered spouse. I’ve been doing this for a while and I can guarantee you that it is not for everyone. The worst people in this industry are the ones who get stuck. I hope you’re young enough to get out. This is simply not for you. It shows. I guarantee you your current boss, assuming you’re working, knows this. Anyone reading this knows this. You’re not gonna get ahead spitting on the system, even from behind a computer. It is a small town. 😉

      1. I love when these exploitative pig producers blame their victims and say they’re not cut out for the work.

        I’ve spent the good part of a decade in Hollywood and can attest that I’ve heard every one of those lies a dozen times.

        I doubt those claiming otherwise have done a day of PA work in their lives and I guarantee they have never put up with any of the abuse they put their underlings through, and that they’ll never have to.

        And notice how their “It’s a small town” go-to reaction to criticism is a veiled threat to hurt your career aimed towards intimidating and silencing you. It’s always the lowliest hack producers who play this card and act like they could have any effect on your career.

        This is probably someone who knows the author of the article who is trying to threaten and bully them. What an industry.

  11. I’ve worked in LA, NM, New Orleans and Chicago and I gotta say this wasn’t the case in Chicago. I was an assistant in NM and NO so I don’t really know how they treated the PAs, but I’m assuming it’s probably true. The more productions can get away with, they’ll keep trying. And yes they’re always out to save money by firing the PAs rather than those three extra lazy asses they hired who don’t do anything all day but eat catering.

  12. wow. this person legitimately sounds like they need to exit the industry immediately. i’m sure that many of these concerns are valid but damn, if everything sucks so much, just get a job selling coffee or something.

  13. I’m based in Memphis, I can definitely sympathize with the whole using your own car thing. Mileage is pretty useless when you actually factor in the wear and tear on your vehicle. Last show I worked I put over 200 miles on my car and was told at the end that I didn’t receive mileage only reimbursement for gas (which the producer told me I WOULD get mileage) the difference was about $80 that I lost from that deal. Also worked one were I had to use my own money for lunch,parking,supplies and whatever else. Then I get reimbursed if I follow the verrry strict guidelines for receipts and fill out 10 different forms for the fucking accounting department. Still waiting on both those checks.

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