Jessica writes in:
Do 2nd 2nd ADs have authority to hire PAs? I saw that a mutual friend of mine was a 2nd 2nd on a pretty big TV show and I’ve been thinking about reaching out to her for a PA job when the time comes.
Some of my readers may be wondering what a “2nd 2nd AD” is. She’s the second, 2nd Assistant Director on a set. Why isn’t she just the “3rd AD”? I have no idea. Unions are weird.
Not every show has a 2nd 2nd, but if they do, she’ll probably go back and forth between basecamp and set for much of the day. She’ll fill in for the 2nd while he’s making the callsheet, for instance; but she’ll also make sure the cast gets to wardrobe and makeup on time, too. It’s a full union position; they’re in the DGA. They’re just not the lead 2nd on this particular shoot.
So is the 2nd 2nd AD in charge of hiring PAs? Probably not on her own authority. Any set PA hires will have to be approved by the 1st AD, and maybe UPM. But the 2nd 2nd is an important part of the team, and her recommendation carries a lot of weight. If the 1st AD has gone through her list of good PAs and none are available, she’ll ask the AD team for recs. If you’re lucky, your friend will put you at the top of the pile.