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Stop Calling the Production Company

Matt writes:

Hi how are you…i’m in search for over 2 years now for  an PA job on a decent TV Drama or Movie but i cant get anywhere… i tried to call some prodcution companys for th shows but i always got slammed from there assistants like we are not hiring right now etc… they also refuse to transfer me to someone who is in charge of the hiring….but how can i get an job without knowing  where to apply…

My last chance would be from someone who is already inside who can help me to get an job…all i need is an chance…

thanks
Matt

That was painful to read, wasn’t it?

Generally, I clean up emails like this before posting, because everybody makes typos now and again (myself included). But in this case, I wanted to use it as a demonstration.

You should never, ever, ever send an email out like this, no matter who it’s to. It’s riddled with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. One thing you, the reader, can’t see, is that his own name is misspelled in his email account. (Not the actual email address, but in the account information, where Gmail tells you the person’s first and last name, it said “Mat.”)

Now, in Matt’s defense, his email address ended with @gmx.net, which seems to be a German website. If English isn’t his first language, good for him. I certainly couldn’t write an email nearly as coherent in German.

That might explain the mistakes, but it’s not going to help him get the job; no one’s going to want a PA who sends out status reports with poor grammar, regardless of the reason. (Also, that doesn’t explain how he got his own name wrong when he signed up for his email account.)

Now, as to the substance of Matt’s email– if you’re new to the Industry, it’s a little hard to understand the structure of a Hollywood studio.

Shows are set up like terrorists cells. They all report to a central authority (the studio/network/production company), but they have little to no contact with each other. The shows’ producers are given a task (“Make a hit show!”) and a lot of autonomy in exactly how to do that.

This includes hiring crew. The studio or production company doesn’t care who the PA is. They leave that to the show to decide. The producer generally allows the coordinator to hire the office PAs, and the ADs to hire the set PAs.

Calling the show’s production company will not get you far. There is no human resources department that hires PAs.

The only reason to call the studio or production company is to ask for the number of the production office. Anything else is outside of their sphere of influence.

Post Script

I replied to Matt with a short version of what I wrote above. He responded seven minutes later with the following:

Thank you
You just proved me that you are a low level PA loser…Nevermind…and go to fucking hell with your faggot blog!!1

While his grammar didn’t improve (the “1” just kills me), he did change his account name to Mathias, which I guess accounts for the Mat/Matt discrepancy.

I’m aware that my tone can be harsh, and a language barrier could make that even worse, but I don’t think that justifies name calling and homophobia.

I’m including the response not to publicly shame Mathias (well, not only to shame him), but to give an example of how silly you look if you don’t take the time to think things through before firing off an email. Especially to someone who has a public forum like the TAPA blog.

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11 Responses

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  2. A heads up to matt going for the “high level” PA jobs. PA jobs ARE low level, but way better than living on skid row. Why in the world would you insult someone as a “low level” PA when you seem to want to BE a PA? That makes NO sense!

    Profanity + “faggot”. Great entry to the professional Hollywood world! Couldn’t script this stuff better.

    Funny story, but had a posting out for a position. Super grunt low level position (think office PA + some financial work) which was in the ad BUT had the potential to become a really good manager / senior role in 2 years (lead was going to be moving on and… not in the ad for obvious reasons). 100+ resumes with “dedication” and “hard-work”, but one took the time to write that they would never apply for the job as the job requirements were insulting and they were wildly overqualified and the position would never be filled. The grammar reminded me of the above!

  3. I agree with Matt. The only jobs I’ve gotten have been from other PAs recommending me for shows they’ve already been pulled onto. I interned for a long time to make connections before I started getting calls for paid PA work.

  4. I know it sort of blows, but the majority of PA hires in my office have been friends of friends of the other PAs. Most times it has little to do with the resumes or calls (we’ve never hired a PA from a call, just FYI) we have received. And honestly, it makes sense for some PAs to bring on their friends that they know are actually decent at their job.

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