Production Assistant, PA, On set Production Assistant

4 Ways Anyone Can Be The Best Production Assistant On Set (Infographic)

If you were to ask any film crew how they began their career in the industry, the most common answer will likely be “as a production assistant”. Despite being the lowest on the totem pole, the PA’s are some of the most important members of any set and can cost (or save) production tons of money depending on how good they are at their jobs.

The work can be hard, menial, and thankless at times, but it builds character and serves as a “boot camp” of sorts to filter out those who aren’t willing to deal with the hard parts of working in the industry. Unfortunately, these challenges are often compounded by the fact that new production assistants must also deal with all of the intricacies of on-set etiquette, politics, and protocols. You don’t have a lot of time to learn how to tread water before being expected to swim.

In the film industry, there are two types of production assistants.

A. The Production Assistant that are hired on big stunt/fx days, when someone is called in sick, or on less desirable projects.

B. The Production Assistant that have to choose a full-time gig on one of three different shows, and are always in charge of something. 

Fortunately, the type of Production Assistant you’re going to be is one hundred percent in your hands if you implement the right habits to maximize your efficacy.

FilmToolKit recently produced this infographic detailing 4 simple ways you can stand out as the best Production Assistant on any set. These tips are fast and easy to implement and are essential to making yourself invaluable on any set. They are a few of the biggest factors in determining whether you’re going to be an A or a B, and can completely change the trajectory of your career.

While time and experience are essential to improving your skills as a production assistant, these four principles can dramatically improve your learning curve. PA’s that are “good enough” is all too common, and landing a few days on a show is no real accomplishment. Truly great PA’s, however, can be a very hot commodity, and by making an effort to be great, you can nearly guarantee yourself consistent work and maximize upward mobility.

production assistants_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sean Baran is the founder of, a website providing in-depth guides for film industry workers, Filmmakers, and YouTubers, as well as equipment recommendations. He has written many other articles targeting production assistants with valuable tips to help them avoid simple mistakes. 

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