Getting Hired as Local Crew

Deborah writes in about getting hired as local crew:

I emailed the 1st AD of a tv show that will be filming in [my city] for a couple weeks. I let him know that I don’t have experience, but I am willing to work for free just to get the chance to help production out. To my surprise, he emailed me back an hour later. Here is the message:

Hello Deborah!

So great to hear from you. And congrats on your last year!

Thank you for reaching out. We will be coming back up to [city] to film the [network] series between September 17-30. There will be days that will require us to have additional help on set. I have CC’d the key 2nd AD on this email so that he has your information. Hopefully we can make something work! Will be in touch soon.


This conversation took place on August 9th. Seeing as it has been a few weeks and they start filming up here in a few days, should I send another email to remind them that I exist? Or, should I just wait to hear from the 2nd AD that he CC’d? I don’t want to come across as pushy, or annoy them while they’re so busy. But, I also don’t want them to forget that I’m free help and completely available. The first day they are filming is not until the 8th, so that is just three days away. Any advice? Thanks!

So far, Deborah did everything right. She showed initiative by contacting them, showed a willingness to work hard and learn, and was honest about her experience level. This email might not get you work in Los Angeles, because there are so many other qualified PA’s ready to work, it’s pretty much the best way to land a job as local crew in another city.

Preproduction is a busy time for everyone, but especially AD’s. It’s not surprising that they forget about one PA who emailed them a month ago. Do not feel slighted that they haven’t called you in.

The first step to take when you receive an email like this is to immediately follow up:

Sounds great! I look forward to working with you.

Make sure to reply-all, since the 1st AD CC’ed the 2nd.

That CC also implies the AD has more important things to deal with than hiring PA’s, and he’s trusting the 2nd to handle it. From this point forward, don’t bug the 1st AD.

Instead, contact the 2nd AD, about a week or ten days before production begins. write something like:

Hi, [name],

I wanted to follow up on the email [1st AD’s name] had sent about needing local crew. I’m available and excited to work with you. I’ve attached my resume, too, just in case.


[your name]

Quick and simple. In fact, I’d reply (not reply-all this time) to your earlier email, just so it stays in the same thread. That way, the 2nd can see you really did talk with the 1st AD about local crew positions.

At that point, cross your fingers and hope nothing’s changed in the intervening month.


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