McCarren Park is an interactive transmedia experience that combines an smart phone application portal with film, social media components, narrative blogs, location based unlockable material, and live events.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The P.A.: The Production Assistant

For our dear P.A.'s birthday, we have decided to profile one of the most thankless jobs in show business (don't worry grips and craft services, you'll get your day in the sun, someday. )

Before we get into some real analysis, here is an ode to our very beloved, much appreciated P.A. by Jurassic Park Slope writer, producer and actor, Steele Filipek.

P.A.’s are but a dime a dozen, most
So many are such tools, their class be dearth
But let us raise our glasses high in toast
To he who one night proved his worth
Forsooth, the Michael Watson held the boom
Which no one ask-ed for, but none denied
Were grateful, we, though we did not but choose
To whine on how his arms did shake and slide
How little we did know of this man’s balls
For in that night, eight hours passed us by
We bitched and fought, but lo, so tall
Did Mike still stand, a-smile, with arms on high
So here’s to you, with love, our great P.A.
You put up with such shit? No words allay.

There now that we've gotten through the high art, we're posting embarrassing photos.

Here is our P.A. getting a hot dog. See we told you there'd be craft services.
Now, the Production Assistant on a small-crew project like ours has to wear many hats, literally, on one day he wore like 4 hats at once because we didn't have a wardrobe rack. The P.A.'s job is usually to do whatever people tell them to and to learn. These folks are usually just getting into the business and while the hours are long and the responsibilities many, the P.A. usually gets to see a wide swath of all the parts of the production as they run around doing what is required of them.

The Producer's Guild of America actually offers courses in for future members which are incredibly helpful for both learning how to do the best job possible and getting into the business. While we would love to have been able to pay a P.A. to join our crew, ours and most other P.A.s are working on set as unpaid internships or for college credit.

Michael, our P.A. is a film student at Ithaca College who approached us and was able to find the time to help us out on set last Summer. He got to do all the glamorous things one expects from Production Assisting, not being listened to when offering script advice; getting yelled at by passersby as he attempted to divert them around filming on the street (he was very polite, some P.A.'s aren't, they should be to people they're inconveniencing). Helping to fit costume pieces, even making cameos as a dinosaur.
He was attacked three times, twice by dinosaurs once by another actor.
For his trouble, he gets credit on the film. Invitations to all our sexy parties, and our undying gratitude.
He also got to experience the unparalleled excitement of working with Stars.
A huge volume in film has worked as a Production Assistant at one time or another, it's a great opportunity to see how you'll get along on set and if the job is really for you. It's a great opportunity to meet people who you may be able to work with in the future. The responsibilities vary wildly from project to project but it's one of the few low-barrier-to-entry jobs in production and it's worth taking a look at if you're just coming into the field.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday Michael! We adore you, you're awesome, and we're sorry we made you carry things so much, but not really. Thanks!

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