Daily tasks of a production assistant on a film set
- Help prepare the set with lights, props, equipment etc.
- Assist costume designers, directors, camerapeople and other crew members
- Print and distribute daily paperwork (e.g. scripts, call sheets)
- Escort actors around the filming area and coordinate extras
- Conduct crowd control by putting up signs, directing pedestrians away from filming, lock down sets etc.
- Act as a runner distributing messages or items within film crew and cast
- Perform administrative work (answering phones, paperwork etc.)
- Undertake errands as assigned
The regular tasks for a Set PA are always varied and rarely glamorous. Expect long hours, lots of standing, and the expectation that you be simultaneously invisible but ready at a moments notice to lend support. The most common tasks I see PAs (who aren't assigned to a specific department) doing are: picking up coffee/breakfast, setting up tables/chairs/popup tents, emptying trash, fire-watching (keeping an eye on equipment, sets, or trucks while not actively in use), lock-ups (making sure people don't accidentally walk through the shot), and going on runs (driving to pick up or return things throughout the day). This is a great guide/overview of set etiquette and definitely worth reading for someone thinking about beginning a career in film: https://filmmakermagazine.com/92534-the-seven-arts-of-working-in-film