Many people want to work in the entertainment industry, and the production manager assistant job is a common way to get into the field. Production manager assistants work in several areas of the entertainment industry, such as television, movies and advertising. Their roles consist of a wide variety of duties, including administrative manual labor and technical tasks. If you want to become a production manager assistant, you usually will need a strong work ethic, an educational background in film production and industry networking connections or contacts.
There typically are two main types of production assistants: set production assistants (PAs) who work on set or sound stages and report to directors or assistant directors and office PAs who work in the production office and report to the production manager. The latter is considered a production manager assistant. This role typically is responsible for making script copies and deliveries, answering the phones, delivering lunch and coffee and basically supporting the producers, crew and talent in various ways.
A bachelor’s degree is not a set requirement to become a production manager assistant, but many production assistants have degrees in film, art, business or another entertainment industry-related field. Landing a production manager assistant position can be very difficult, so many people gain an edge over their competitors by earning a degree. If you are serious about this career path, consider taking classes or courses in television, film, media or web-based technologies in order to learn the standard concepts, practices and procedures used in daily production.
Another way to stand out from competitors when trying to become a production manager assistant is to learn all of the different types of production software programs, such as film editing software or transcription software. Many people who work on movie or television sets or in the office might be instructed to assist in the editing process or to log tapes. Office PAs should know how to use spreadsheet software and type on a keyboard as well as be proficient on computers.
Some production manager assistants are able to get started in the industry through unpaid internships. These types of opportunities allow them to make invaluable contacts and connections with key decision-makers who might be able to offer them full-time employment at a later date. If you want to become a production manager assistant, you should practice your communication skills and learn how to get along with a wide variety of personalities.
The desire to become a production manager assistant usually is not the end career goal for most people in this industry. In fact, many production manager assistants view the position as a stepping-stone to bigger and better opportunities, such as directing, acting, producing or writing. The knowledge learned and experience gained in the PA position usually is worth the long hours and low starting pay.