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Production assistants, or PAs as they are commonly called, are the people who do just about the most work in the film and television industry. This is a terrific first job for someone wishing to work behind the scenes in television and film. Production assistants are perhaps the most valuable people in the industry. Although this may be considered an entry-level position in the industry, a good production assistant who enjoys his or her work may do this for years, making a good career for himself or herself. Either way, you will gain a great deal of industry experience before taking advantage of all the room for career advancement.
The PA runs around taking care of all the little details that keep things moving smoothly. Your responsibilities may range from bringing the director coffee every morning to keeping pedestrians from walking down the street during the shooting of a scene. You help everyone who needs you. You must stay on your toes at all times, anticipating the needs of those you work with most closely. As a PA, you will be exposed to just about every aspect of the industry. A good PA will quickly earn respect, and not long after that, a promotion. When you are ready to advance in your career, you will have had such great experiences in so many areas that it may simply be a matter of choosing which field you like best.
The typical production assistant can expect to earn an average of about $25,000 per year, or about $500 per week. No, it is not great pay, but the experience you gain will compensate. On the other hand, if you get in with a good company on a high-budget film, the money could be very good.
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