The most common entry level job in the film industry is Production Assistant (PA). When I’m working I always hang out with the PAs. They are some of the coolest and most interesting people, and are really excited about their future in the industry. I love that!
Some have gone to film school, some have done their own filmmaking, many are into music. Some are models, actors, dancers, writers. Working their craft from the inside. Smart.
Here’s some PAs I met recently:
Jim, a musician, gets his music into films by meeting people on the set. Editors and creative directors are often on set, and he gives them a sample of his music.
Kevin is an actor. He gets acting jobs by knowing Production Managers and Producers. They get him in on casting calls. He also has an advantage because he knows the Director through working with him in the office and on the set.
Inside relationships work. He’s gotten several great acting jobs in movies and TV shows from his friends. Working your acting career ‘from the inside’ is very common in this business.
Another Production Assistant, Dominique, based in Orlando, FL has gotten acting parts on Nickelodeon. The Director keeps putting him in the show simply because he likes him. Dominique’s nieces and nephews love to see him on TV.
Ben, another Production Assistant I know, works 20-24 days a month and averaging $250/day. That’s $5000-6000/month – not bad for an entry level job. Ben is from Kansas. He said that he wants to get into transportation, where you make $500-700/day.
The great thing about being a Production Assistant is that you work with all the departments on the set. Make up, Hair, Camera, Sound, Wardrobe, Grip, Electric, Production, Stunts, Assistant Director, Medic, Art department and many other departments. Those jobs pay $400-900/day. And if you make friends, you can be taken under their wing and learn those jobs. It’s a great way in.
Production Assistant isn’t just an entry level job, it’s really a springboard into whatever you want to do!