Production Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Production Assistant, or Production Crew Assistant, serves on film, television or theater sets assisting the Producers and Directors of a production. Their main duties include printing and distributing scripts, relaying messages between crew members and running errands for Directors and Producers.

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Production Assistant duties and responsibilities 

Production Assistants have a wide range of responsibilities that can vary depending on whether they work in an office or on a production set. In an office setting, Production Assistants may have more secretarial responsibilities, while those working on set are more likely to directly assist the production teams. They often have the following responsibilities: 

  • Moving equipment up to 50 lbs
  • Answering phones
  • Handling paperwork related to production
  • Operating common office equipment like copiers, scanners and fax machines
  • Assisting the production team with lights, cameras and set up where needed
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Production Assistant Job Description Examples

What does a Production Assistant do?

Production Assistants are entry-level employees who work on television or film studios, or backstage for theatrical productions. They typically complete basic clerical tasks to keep the set running smoothly. Production Assistants are typically responsible for getting the set, Cast and Crew Members ready for filming or rehearsing. 

They’ll prepare call sheets for Actors and will provide information regarding which scenes are being filmed and when the Actors will be called to certain rehearsals or film times. Production Assistants will also monitor sets to ensure there aren’t any issues occurring and will work to quickly resolve any problems that take place during filming or rehearsal.

Production Assistant skills and qualifications

Production Assistants use a variety of skills and knowledge to provide the most comprehensive support to production teams, which can include: 

  • Creative thinking and problem-solving ability
  • Good listening skills
  • Excellent attention to detail 
  • Flexibility and willingness to adapt to changes 
  • Self-motivation
  • Patience and the ability to maintain a professional demeanor

Production Assistant salary expectations 

A Production Assistant makes an average salary of $13.60 per hour. Salary may depend on a candidate’s education, level of experience and geographical location. 

Production Assistant education and training requirements 

Although it’s not a requirement for Production Assistants to have a degree, an associate or bachelor’s degree in film, communications or a related field can demonstrate a candidate’s competency and provide them with in-depth industry knowledge. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum level of education for Production Assistants.

Production Assistant experience requirements 

Entry-level Production Assistants typically have up to 2 years of experience through a previous job and relevant training through production courses. Having prior experience in film and television production is a plus, but is not required for many employers. Many Production Assistants gain their initial experience through working on independent films. Production Assistants should also have a passion for the industry and demonstrate enthusiasm for all aspects of the job. Production Assistants with more experience in a variety of duties are more likely to be hired.

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Frequently asked questions about Production Assistants

 

Who does a Production Assistant report to?

Production Assistants will typically report to several production members on set. Many of them will report directly to the Associate Producer or Producer, who will assign the Production Assistant with their daily tasks. Directors may also be in charge of the Production Assistants and may ask them to run certain errands throughout the day to keep the set operating efficiently. 

Production Assistants usually have career goals to become a Producer or Director, so they’ll regularly look to these employees for feedback, advice or guidance regarding their work performance or advancement in the industry. 

 

What are the different types of Production Assistants?

There are a wide variety of sections of the entertainment industry that a Production Assistant may decide to work in. Film Production Assistants may serve on the set of a motion picture, running errands for Directors and Producers and informing Actors and Crew Members of their call times. Television Production Assistants typically complete similar duties as Film Production Assistants, and will perform additional tasks like preparing scripts for upcoming table reads and distributing script notes. 

Theater Production Assistants will work backstage during plays, musicals and other stage performances. They’ll regularly attend rehearsals and will run daily errands for the Director to ensure the theatrical performances run smoothly. 

 

What settings do Production Assistants typically work in?

Production Assistants spend a large majority of their time on the set of a film. They’re usually moving on their feet constantly to run errands and provide their assistance to Directors, Producers and other Crew Members when needed. 

Some of them may even travel to various locations if some scenes of the movie or television show are being filmed in other cities, states or countries. Production Assistants may also be expected to work late hours or early mornings preparing or cleaning up the set before and after shootings.

 

What makes a good Production Assistant?

A great Production Assistant should have effective problem-solving skills to quickly and logically resolve any issues that may occur while they’re working on set. Since they’re usually assigned several tasks, Production Assistants must also have effective time-management abilities to complete all of their work items by their respective deadlines. 

They also work on a team of other Crew Members, so the ideal Production Assistant candidate should have impressive team-building and motivational skills. Strong Production Assistants must also possess good communication abilities to regularly interact and engage with various members of the production crew throughout the day. 

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