The Anonymous Production Assistant http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com A view of Hollywood from the bottom. Mon, 17 Jul 2017 14:45:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/cropped-Tapa-Coffee-32x32.png The Anonymous Production Assistant http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com 32 32 23762613 Is It Okay to Call a Stranger? http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/30/okay-call-stranger/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/30/okay-call-stranger/#comments Tue, 30 May 2017 16:01:10 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7453 Beth writes in about calling a complete stranger:
I’ve recently moved to LA and while I have been networking I don’t want to wait around for [...]

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Beth writes in about calling a complete stranger:

I’ve recently moved to LA and while I have been networking I don’t want to wait around for that to be the only way to get a job lead. I found the phone number of the AD on a tv show called [redacted]. I found it using IMDB Pro, while I know they put the information on there to contact them, is it meant for someone like me seeking PA work? Would it be inappropriate to call? I’m not even sure how to address the question about the production needing PAs. Any advice would be brilliant.

Evolvoing Ettiquete

Phone calls have evolved in the time since cell phones became commonplace. No one really likes getting cold-calls on their personal line (if they ever did).

Think about how many spam calls you get on a regular basis. Now imagine you’re in a position to hire people for a job that’s in-demand. AD’s, cooridnators, UPMs, producers and so are flooded with “unknown caller” notifications every day. There’s a good chance they’ll just ignore you.

Plus, we’re talking about an assistant director on a TV show that is currently in production. He doesn’t have time to call his mother on her birthday, much less talk to you.

Aint nobody got time for that.

Results

More to the point, what is the best case case scenario for this conversation?

BETH

Hello, Mr. AD, I’m a complete and total stranger, but can I have a job?

MR. AD

Absolutely! I just happen to need a PA right now, and even though I clearly have decades of film industry experience (or I wouldn’t be an AD on a network show), I don’t happen to know anyone else who can do that job.

No, the most likely scenario is… he won’t even answer.

But if he does answer, he’ll dismissively tell you to email your resume. Skip that step and go straight to the email. Introduce yourself politely, describe your professional film experience, and offer to fill in anytime he needs a day player. Don’t forget to thank him for his time!

This method is not much more likely to yield a job than cold-calling, but at least it won’t leave a negative impression.

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Share Your Ice Cream Sandwich http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/25/share-ice-cream-sandwich/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/25/share-ice-cream-sandwich/#comments Thu, 25 May 2017 14:47:24 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7445 When you’re a PA, it can be easy to feel separate from the higher ups. They’re older, more experienced, higher paid. It’s understandable that you [...]

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When you’re a PA, it can be easy to feel separate from the higher ups. They’re older, more experienced, higher paid. It’s understandable that you might think of them as different or somehow special. While respecting aged wisdom is a good idea, don’t forget that producers, directors, and star are still people.

Case in point: last week, we were shooting on location, and I had to run some paperwork from the production office to be signed by our UPM on set. When I showed up, though, he was sitting down with our executive producer in the AD trailer.

Now, I’ve never actually met our executive producer. He didn’t come to set often; he didn’t need to. He’s a big enough producer, simply having his name on the callsheet probably got the movie greenlit. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated to be in a room with him.

Thankfully, the UPM came to the rescue. He told me to just hand over the papers and come back in 15 minutes. I didn’t have to stand there awkwardly while he signed a bajillion checks. (Some UPMs make you do this; I don’t know why.)

After making the rounds, saying hi to everyone I knew on set, I went over to crafty to see if they had anything good. Boy, did they!

Crafty on this show does not disappoint.

It had been about fifteen minutes, so I headed back to the trailers, unwrapping my sandwich along the way. I stepped up into the trailer, and saw the UPM was still signing. The EP glanced up and saw me. Or, more specifically, my ice cream sandwich.

“Is that an ice cream sandwich?” he asked excitedly.

“…Yeah.” I mean, what else would it be?

“Where did you get it?”

“Crafty?” Then I realized. “Do you want this one? I can go back and get another one.”

“Really? Thanks!” His eyes lit up. I swear to God, he looked like a little kid.

“Sure.” I handed over the sandwich and he imediately dug into it.

I grabbed myself another ice cream from craft services, and by the time I got back, the EP was gone.

“Looks like you made a friend,” the UPM told me.

“Really?” It didn’t seem like that big a deal to me.

But just yesterday, the EP came by the office to talk with the head accountant. He saw me at my desk and actually came by to say hi. We had a little five minute conversation about nothing, really. Just a friendly chat.

My boss was agog. “Do you know him from another show?”

We’re not best friends or anything, but a simple act of kindness, without any expectation of any sort of reciprocation, made an impression. Maybe he’ll give me a job in the future, maybe not. It doesn’t matter. This business runs on relationships, and every new relationship is worth while.

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When Do You Start Day Playing? http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/23/start-day-playing/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/23/start-day-playing/#comments Tue, 23 May 2017 16:16:45 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7434 Elizabeth has a question about day playing on an old post:
How early do you call for a day playing position? For instance I work a [...]

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Elizabeth has a question about day playing on an old post:

How early do you call for a day playing position? For instance I work a full time job as a PA at a VFX House but sometimes I have week days off. Should I call the day before? That day?

Day playing is, by it’s very nature, an uncertain position. Productions rarely know if they’ll need a day player more than a couple of days before.

That being said, when a show needs a day player, they probably need them that day. If cameras are rolling, it’s probably already too late, and the position’s been filled. You can roll the dice by calling the production office and asking if they happen to need a PA that day, but the chances of that working are slim. Instead, you want them to call you.

This is where your network comes in. If someone has a doctor’s appointment, jury duty, or just plain comes down sick, they’re likely to call their friends to fill in. If the crew needs an extra PA (or grip or MUA or whatever you are), again, they start by calling people they know. You only get on that call list if you know lots of people.

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What If the Pilot I Worked on Never Airs? http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/02/pilot-worked-never-airs/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/05/02/pilot-worked-never-airs/#comments Tue, 02 May 2017 14:36:56 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7412 Vashti writes in:
I was a PA on a pilot last month, but I still haven’t been told if it will become a series. What happens if it [...]

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Vashti writes in:

I was a PA on a pilot last month, but I still haven’t been told if it will become a series. What happens if it doesn’t? Will I get to work on a different series? If not, can I even put it on my resume? There isn’t even an IMDb page for it.

Most shows don’t find out if they’re picked up1 until the Upfronts. That’s when the networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers, and try to sell ad time “upfront.” This year, they begin May 15th, so your question is rather timely.

As for your specific situation, I’ve got bad news and worse news…

The Bad News

Networks produce way more pilots than series. The odds are against any one show making it to air. And no, you won’t get transferred to another series. Remember, you don’t work for the network or the studio; you work for the show.

The Worse News

Even if the show is picked up, that doesn’t mean you are. Producers and actors are regularly replaced between the pilot and the series. What chance does a humble PA have?

Not only is your boss at liberty to replace you, their boss might replace them. Likely, you came as a package deal with the AD or coordinator who hired you. You might be out of a gig through no fault of your own.

The Slightly Less Bad But Still Not Really “Good” News

Let’s suppose either of the above scenarios occurs. The pilot might not ever see the light of day, and even if it does, odds are slim your name will be in the credits. Can you still put it in your resume?

Yes.

Every job you’ve ever had goes on your resume, no matter what IMDb says (as long as it fits on one page). It’s not your fault the pilot didn’t get picked up.

It’s sad when your pilot doesn’t become a series, but don’t focus on the bad news. You got some valuable experience out of the deal, possibly made some friends along the way. All of that will help you land your next gig.

Unless there’s another writers strike, and then we’re all screwed.


You might be wondering why this blog has been on hiatus for a little while. Well, it’s because I haven’t been on hiatus. Between the show I’m on (fingers crossed it gets renewed) and the TAPA book, I haven’t had a ton of free time to just blog.

I suppose it would be easier if there was someone else to write the blog with. If anyone’s interested in taking up some of the slack, shoot me an email: anonymousproductionassistant@gmail.com. If you’ve got a funny anecdote or some sage advice you’d like to share with the world, I’d be happy to get it out there.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. The industry term for a pilot being ordered to series.

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Hustle http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/26/hustle/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/26/hustle/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2017 19:00:33 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7376 Ahoy TAPA readers!
My name is Kate Lupo and I want to talk to you today about a very important word here in Hollywood.
Hustle.
That’s right: pure, [...]

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Ahoy TAPA readers!

My name is Kate Lupo and I want to talk to you today about a very important word here in Hollywood.

Hustle.

That’s right: pure, sparkling, brilliant HUSTLE.

I got off the phone today with the head of HR at one of the top management companies in the industry and we discussed how most job candidates these days lack this important character trait.

But it’s the #1 thing recruiters (like me) are looking for.

I’m an entry-level Hollywood career coach and I specialize in training the next generation of intelligent, compassionate, and diverse Hollywood leaders. I’m proud to have trained thousands of candidates across the country, and even prouder of my clients who have gotten hired at top companies.

The difference between the candidates who succeed and those who don’t?

You guessed it: Hustle. When I hear your voice on the phone I can tell almost immediately if you have it.

I immediately pay attention to you if you tell me:

  • You live and breathe entertainment and follow the trades (Deadline, Hollywood Reporter, Variety) religiously every day
  • You’ve wanted to work in entertainment for years
  • You’ve already made strides in your networking and have calls and meetings set up with alumni from your school, friends, and family who can help you get in the door
  • You know exactly who you want to be and have a clear idea of how you want to make a positive contribution to the industry
  • You have read The Mailroom by David Rensin (the entry-level Bible of Hollywood)
  • You say the words “I’m ready for the challenge” or “I know how to work in a fast-paced environment”

I could go on for 5 more pages!

You’re on this TAPA newsletter (big shout out to TAPA for providing this amazing resource!) because you want to learn more. You may want to improve yourself in your current position, but most likely, you are actively looking for a new job. And many of you might be frustrated in your job hunt. You’re asking yourselves: WHY? Why am I not getting called in for interviews?

You may be lacking… you guessed it… Hustle.

So today I want to challenge you all to look inward and examine your own inner sense of hustle. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you reading the trades daily?
  • Are you organizing 2-3 networking meetings or phone calls each week?
  • Are you religiously looking on LinkedIn for new connections?
  • Do you have a clear idea of what your ultimate career goal is?
  • Do you read books about your role models in the industry?

If you answered YES to all these questions, then you are a hustler, baby! Woot!

If you found yourself saying more no’s than yes’s, then it’s time to revamp your job hunt. The good news is that you don’t have to be in this alone. You have The Hustle in you, you just need a push in the right direction.

Enter me…

I’m currently accepting applications for my signature Entry-Level Hollywood Training Program, which is a 1-month intensive program designed to equip the nation’s top college students and recent grads with the skills and job hunt techniques needed to land highly competitive jobs in the business side of the industry.

In this program, you will work with me 1-on-1 to get crystal clear on your goals, and create a realistic job hunt plan and timeline for your success.

We will create your own personalized job hunt database, revamp your resume, and I will help you ACE all of your upcoming interviews. (Interview prep is my favorite thing to teach and also the most life-changing!)

I will also teach you essential Hollywood Assistant skills, including phone skills.

I am the only person in the country who formally teaches Hollywood Assistant phone skills, which are essential to your entry-level success.

So my questions for you:

  • Are you ready to take your job hunt to the next level?
  • Are you serious about landing an entry-level job in Hollywood?
  • Are your parents supportive of your job hunt efforts – emotionally & financially?
  • Are you ready for the challenge?
  • Are you ready to have a competitive advantage over other entry-level Hollywood candidates?

If you answered YES to all these questions, then you’re the exact person I want to work with, and I can’t wait to meet you. Take a look at my Entry-Level Hollywood Training Program page here and I welcome you to apply today.

Registration closes next Tuesday, January 31st and I only have 3 spots left – and I hope one of them will be you!

I want you to be my next success story!

Apply now.

You rock!

Kate

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Reimbursement for Uber http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/10/reimbursement-for-uber/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/10/reimbursement-for-uber/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:05:38 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7364 Frank writes in about getting reimbursed for riding Uber:
I chanced into a PA job with a very nice producer this past week. I had seen [...]

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Frank writes in about getting reimbursed for riding Uber:

I chanced into a PA job with a very nice producer this past week. I had seen a “notice of filming” sign they post around LA, left a message on the number saying I’m an actor and am familiar with film sets if they need to hire any helping hands on set, and lo and behold, she texted back and I found myself being her PA on a modeling shoot.

I don’t have a car so I used Uber, and I made quite a few trips, spending about $100 total. My salary was $600 for 4 days. She knows I Ubered, but we never talked about compensation for travel or Ubering, and now she’s asking med to email her an invoice and W9, and said she’ll contact me again in January when they resume filming.

Should I ask for Uber compensation? Would that be appropriate?

First of all, always be careful when spending your own money on a shoot. Even on a big production, you may wind up getting screwed out of reimbursement. Prepare yourself for never seeing that money ever again.

Also, I’m genuinely shocked they let you get away without using your own vehicle. This sounds like it has the makings of a new iteration of The Bus Story. Still, if your boss was okay with you Ubering around town, that’s his business.

I’m assuming she didn’t expressly state that she’s paying for it, or Frank wouldn’t be writing to me. Therefore, I’d proceed with caution. If she doesn’t want to pay for it, even asking could cost you a job. You really have to think about whether the cost of the Uber is worth the risk of losing a gig.

On the other hand, $100 is a good amount of money, when you only make $10 an hour. If you think it won’t get rejected, itemize each Uber ride that you made for work. This does not include trips to and from work. You’re on the hook for those, just like you would be for your own car. Only request reimbursement for the trips made during work hours.

Also, see if you can figure out a way to export your Uber receipts to a file that you can attach. You don’t get reimbursed for stuff without a receipt, generally.

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Tales from Lock Up http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/05/tales-from-lock-up/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/05/tales-from-lock-up/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2017 16:01:35 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7358 The other day, I tweeted out the above image, from Movie Set Memes, about lock up. I got some interesting responses:

@TheAnonymousPA I was in New [...]

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The other day, I tweeted out the above image, from Movie Set Memes, about lock up. I got some interesting responses:

Note the key difference between j.’s and Anthony’s tweets: there were police officers on j.’s set. This is incredibly important.

Cars

You should never, ever, ever try to block traffic without a police officer.1 It doesn’t matter if your film has a permit to film on the street, or if you’re just stealing a shot, trying to redirect or hold cars is super illegal. (Of course, you shouldn’t be shooting on the street without a permit anyway, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.)

It’s also incredibly dangerous. You should never be in a public road that hasn’t been blocked by police. Drivers aren’t looking for a lonely PA standing in the middle of the lane, which makes it easy to not notice you until it’s too late.

On a professional shoot, the locations department will have figured out the lock up weeks ahead of time. They’ll get the permits, hire the officers, all that stuff. The cops’ main job is to direct vehicle traffic.

Pedestrians

You, the common set PA, may still be called upon to direct pedestrians. And there will be pedestrians. Even in an industry town like Los Angeles, people love to gather and gawk at the shoot, hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. You probably can’t prevent them from taking pictures, but you can politely tell them not to walk onto set. (Again, always assuming you have a permit that allows you to keep people out of a public space.)

Be sure to tell them you’re “filming,” not “shooting.” That’s a misunderstanding that could lead to a 911 call.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Usually, they’re off-duty or retired officers, but they’re still acting in an official capacity when the studio pays for their services.

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Confirm Your Schedule http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/03/confirm-your-schedule/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2017/01/03/confirm-your-schedule/#respond Tue, 03 Jan 2017 16:01:49 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7351 The turning of the calendar got me thinking about dates, and scheduling. This is always a major headache in Hollywood, because you’re working with a [...]

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The turning of the calendar got me thinking about dates, and scheduling. This is always a major headache in Hollywood, because you’re working with a lot of busy, important people who want to prove they’re important by pretending to be busy.

As an assistant or a PA, scheduling a meeting can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to work around multiple schedules. (It can be even worse when you’re a PA dealing with an idiot assistant.)

Worst Producer Ever

Impractical shoes
Ready to work!

I’m reminded of a truly terrible producer I worked with last year. It was a short film, which is something you shouldn’t be able to screw up, but she somehow found a way at every turn. Things like not giving actors call times or not securing film permits. She actually showed up in open-toed, high heels to a location in the woods. That’s someone who is not planning on doing any work on set.

Anyway, I had scheduled a time to discuss the latest cut, about a week in advance. It was a date and time she had suggested. It was also expected to be our locked cut, so I would finally have this idiot out of me hair.

The appointed time came and went, and… she never showed up. The editor and I waited ten minutes… twenty… Finally, after a half hour, I texted her to see if she was okay.

She replied, “I never confirmed.”

Again, I had asked her what time worked. I emailed everyone the schedule she wanted. But… she never actually replied to say yes, she would arrive at the time she told me she wanted to meet.

Lesson Learned

Okay, so, she is a terrible person. But, she is neither the first nor that last terrible person I’ve had to work with/for. And luckily, this all happened on a rinky-dink short film I directed.

On a real show, I now make sure that 100% of the meeting participants respond to my scheduling requests. In writing, too; I want to be able to show my boss an email or text that confirms the person in question knew the time.

There’s a handy little app called Boomerang for Gmail1 that I like to use. One of its core functions is to remind you of emails that haven’t been responded to. Whenever I send out a scheduling email, I set it to remind me in two days. If I get confirmations, great! If not, I send a second email asking for confirmation.

Calendaring

Some people like to use group calendars, like Google or Outlook. The problem with these is, not everyone uses Google or Outlook. As a PA, you’re not really in a position to drag everyone into the 21st century with modern, electronic calendars. Some people are just going to stick with their pocket diaries, no matter what you do.

Plus, there’s the issue of time zones. I’ve had this happen more than once– someone from the East Coast is shooting in LA. You send them a calendar invite, and for some reason, the time is transposed to EST. Then they show up three hours late, and complain that your invitation said 6:00pm instead of 3:00.

Best to avoid this issue altogether with a straightforward, unambiguous email.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Not a paid endorsement; I just genuinely like the app.

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Two Sides to Hollywood http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2016/12/15/two-sides-hollywood/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2016/12/15/two-sides-hollywood/#respond Thu, 15 Dec 2016 17:12:26 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7326 someone contacts me about my resume service, the first thing I ask is, “Do you want to be a PA, or an assistant?” Because, you [...]

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someone contacts me about my resume service, the first thing I ask is, “Do you want to be a PA, or an assistant?” Because, you see, there are two sides to Hollywood: the business side, and the production side.

Here, I’m using “production” in the broadest sense, encompassing every department from art to editorial. These are the people who actually make the film.1

The business side is populated with people we in production call “suits.” Agents, managers, executives, distributors, people like that. These are the folks who make top-level decisions, like what movies get made and what shows go on the air. They make business deals, negotiating talent fees and distribution rights.1

The two sides interact at some points. Development executives work with writers and directors; financiers and studio execs oversee producers. But beyond that, the connections between these two worlds is limited. Most suits can’t tell a grip from an electrician, and most G&E guys don’t know the difference between the various types of accountants.

Their lives are drastically different. The business side is very much like a traditional job. You go to work at the same time every day, at the same place every day, probably wearing the eponymous suit. In production, your days tend to be longer; you never know when you’re starting or where you’ll be shooting more than a few days in advance (at best); and your job lasts only as long as the shoot. Once the film is complete,3 you’re out of a job and off looking for a new one.

Freelancing is tough. It’s not for everyone. I can definitely see the appeal of the business side– having full-time employment with benefits over the Christmas break would be nice. Personally, I really enjoy the unpredictability and excitement of set. Of course, I may not always feel that way.

[[2]]You’ll learn more about these people on KCRW’s aptly named show, The Business.[[2]]

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. We interview these types of people on Crew Call every week.
  2. someone contacts me about my resume service, the first thing I ask is, “Do you want to be a PA, or an assistant?” Because, you see, there are two sides to Hollywood: the business side, and the production side.

    Here, I’m using “production” in the broadest sense, encompassing every department from art to editorial. These are the people who actually make the film.1

    The business side is populated with people we in production call “suits.” Agents, managers, executives, distributors, people like that. These are the folks who make top-level decisions, like what movies get made and what shows go on the air. They make business deals, negotiating talent fees and distribution rights.1

    The two sides interact at some points. Development executives work with writers and directors; financiers and studio execs oversee producers. But beyond that, the connections between these two worlds is limited. Most suits can’t tell a grip from an electrician, and most G&E guys don’t know the difference between the various types of accountants.

    Their lives are drastically different. The business side is very much like a traditional job. You go to work at the same time every day, at the same place every day, probably wearing the eponymous suit. In production, your days tend to be longer; you never know when you’re starting or where you’ll be shooting more than a few days in advance (at best); and your job lasts only as long as the shoot. Once the film is complete,{{3}} you’re out of a job and off looking for a new one.

    Freelancing is tough. It’s not for everyone. I can definitely see the appeal of the business side– having full-time employment with benefits over the Christmas break would be nice. Personally, I really enjoy the unpredictability and excitement of set. Of course, I may not always feel that way.

    [[2]]You’ll learn more about these people on KCRW’s aptly named show, The Business.[[2]]

    [[3]]Your part of the production, at least. Editors naturally work for months longer than, say, cinematographers.

  3. Your part of the production, at least. Editors naturally work for months longer than, say, cinematographers.

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What To Do When You Don’t Get Paid http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2016/12/13/dont-get-paid/ http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/2016/12/13/dont-get-paid/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2016 18:21:38 +0000 http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/?p=7321 Ginny writes in about what to do when you’re not paid on time (or at all)–
Hope all is well. I’ve got a question. So I [...]

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Ginny writes in about what to do when you’re not paid on time (or at all)–

Hope all is well. I’ve got a question. So I worked on a production a month back in Atlanta.  I still haven’t gotten paid (for the day), and now I’m hearing that the production was shut down. Accounting and the producers have ignored all my emails, and I have no idea what do apart from writing it off mentally. What recourses do I have as a PA?If not, do you think there’s anyway I could use this as a tax write off? The job had required me to take a DP across the state, so about 250 miles.

To be clear, a lot of people start out working for no pay. This is what we call “paying your dues.” It sucks, and it’s hard, but that’s what happens when thousands of people are competing for a tiny number of jobs that don’t actually require much experience or skill. Wages are basically a function of how many people want to do a job and how many people are able to do the job. For PA’s, both numbers are high, which drives the pay low. Basically, zero, if the company can get away with it.

But Ginny is past that point; she wasn’t interning. She was not paid on a job that promised to pay. Some productions will try to get away with paying you a flat rate, no overtime. That’s technically illegal, but a lot of crew let the productions get away with it because some money is better than no money.

Most productions pay you on a weekly basis, but not all. Some hold your check for two weeks, or even a month. This is probably for some sketchy reason, like they don’t have enough cash on hand until they return the gear and get their deposit back.

But that does not sound like Ginny’s situation. Ginny was flat out not paid. That’s not cool.If the production was shut down, that probably means they ran out of money. This means you will probably will not be paid, no matter what. It’s still worth filing a wage claim, though, if for no other reason than to discourage these producers from trying to pull these shenanigans again.

In California, we have the Department of Industrial Relations. It’s pretty easy to file a complaint if you were not paid and owed some money.

Georgia, unfortunately, is another story. They don’t have an equivalent governmental department to  help out. Instead, you have to go to the US Department of Labor. I don’t imagine they work quickly.

As for a tax write-off, I don’t think you can deduct unpaid wages. You can, however, deduct mileage that was not reimbursed.

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