PPP – Production Assistant

A step up from Runner is Production Assistant, which has the majority of the same responsibilities and but is much more of an office based role, dipping in and out of other production processes.

Production Runners are the foot soldiers of the production team, performing small but important tasks in the office, around the set and on location. Their duties may involve anything from office administration to crowd control, and from public relations to cleaning up locations. Production Runners are usually employed on a freelance basis, are not very well paid, and their hours are long and irregular. However, the work is usually extremely varied and provides a good entry-level role into the film industry.


The production assistant, or PA position, is the entry level position on a film or television set. The production assistant does just about anything and everything, from getting coffee, to making script copies to shuttling crew or equipment around town as needed. How much a production assistant does really depends on the budget of the production as well as how much faith his/her superiors have in their abilities. Production Runners are deployed by the Producer and by other production staff, such as the Production Co-ordinator, to assist wherever they are needed on productions. Their responsibilities vary considerably depending on where Production Runners are assigned.

The PA position is a lot of grunt work, but can be extremely educational. It is a highly visible position in that just about anyone can give you an order, from the producer to a sound technician. The production assistants who do as they’re told without complaint are the ones who are remembered when it comes time to fill more important positions.

Office Duties
In the Production Office duties typically include: assisting with answering telephones, filing paperwork and data entry, arranging lunches, dinners, and transportation reservations, photocopying, general office administration, and distributing production paperwork.

Set Duties
On-set duties typically include: acting as a courier, helping to keep the set clean and tidy and distributing call sheets, Health and Safety notices, and other paperwork. 

Location Duties
On location shoots, Production Runners may also be required to help to co-ordinate the extras, and to perform crowd control duties, except where this work is dangerous, or performed by police officers or other official personnel.

Production Assistant is an entry-level role that can provide valuable contacts and experience for many other roles. Progression might be to a trainee position within another department or to a more senior role within the Production Office.

[Film/TV Careers,Production Assistant] http://filmtvcareers.about.com/od/basics/p/CP_ProdAsst.htm
Production Runner or Production Assistant] http://www.creativeskillset.org/film/jobs/production/article_3873_1.asp

I have previously been a Production Assistant for two professional productions; an online lifestyle television series for Matmedia Online called ‘On The Rock’, a documentary for Migrant Media called ‘Who Polices The Police?’, and a small final project for university called ‘Hush Little Baby’.

  • ‘On The Rock’ – Matmedia Online
    For this I was generally assisting, setting up equipment and moving it from location to location, slating scenes, and logging scenes.
  • ‘Who Polices the Police?’ – Migrant Media
    Transcribing a feature length documentary and writing in the precise time codes for each necessary person and their speech.
  • ‘Hush Little Baby’ – Edina Toth
    On this production I was a Driving Production Assistant which meant I was responsible for transporting crew, actors and equipment.

In order to do the best possible job I can, get noticed and open up a whole new door of opportunities, I have found this simple tip list to help me.

  • Assess the skills you currently have and those you will need to develop.
  • Learn the basic terminology of the technology and of the industry.
  • Seek opportunities to build your skills and to gain contacts through education and volunteer work.
  • Create a resume and business cards and carry them everywhere.
  • Research contact information for all local television stations, production companies and film projects that may need a production assistant.
  • Contact production coordinators, producers or assistant directors either by telephone or in person.

[How to Become a Production Assistant] http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Production-Assistant

Ollie Gatehouse BBC Production Assistant Post Production

Been working in the film industry since I was 16. I have mostly been concentrating on the editing side of filmmaking but have done some on the floor production jobs. I am a huge film fan and have a large collection of DVD’s and original film memorabilia.

Adam Arabi Production Assistant Apprentice Channel 

Hi! My name’s Adam Arabi, I’m the Apprentice Production Assistant here at 4Creative which is the only production company directly attached to Channel 4. Prior to me getting my current role I’d applied for 2 other apprenticeships that came up with C4, so it goes to show persistence really does pay off!

My job here is pretty varied, one day I’ll be assisting a shoot, the next I’ll be producing trailers and delivering tapes.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here and really looking forward to the year ahead at Channel 4.



About gailenepierre

Ambitious and driven but knows how to have funnnn :)

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