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PA job - worth it?


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#1 Ethan Lyu

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:16 PM

Any experienced guys, opinion would be appreciated.

If you want to become a director, do you think working as a PA is helpful? I suppose few times could be, to see the ins and outs of production and how team work works.

But we're talking about PA here, not ADs.
In Canada, where I can work legally, even becoming PA takes long.

1. PA Helper for 30 days, take training courses
2. Obtain Log Book (keeps track of work record, pay) from the Guild,
put in 150 days as PA and become a "real PA" (they call it Associate Membership but I assume it is PA since it doesn't say AD etc)

I called a Hollywood studio production shooting in Vancouver, asking for PA openings, they asked if I had a Log Book. So if I don't have one I will be PA Helper, below PA. And as I wrote above, after 180 days I am still PA!! I think 6 months of shooting experience, I can learn script supervising which is more useful.

I saw the Director's Guild requirement for US (I go to film school in LA)
and they don't require any days for PA. Maybe some safety training.

Yes, I know the fastest way to Director is to make your own film, which I am working on. But I still wanted to know.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 06:56 PM

Have you ever worked on a professional film set? If the answer is "no" then the answer to your question is "yes."
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:44 AM

If you've never worked in the industry it gets you in through the door. You meet people and hear what's going on. Other people in the industry can see how you go about your job.

In the UK starting as a runner is pretty normal, then they move up. You don't do much "directing" in the lower AD grades, mostly stopping traffic.

If you want to direct, you can make shorts and do some writing between jobs. You'll have the contacts you already developed to help you.
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#4 Chris B. Cornell

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 01:46 AM

Try to work on some indy or student films. They will generally take no-experience PA's. Stay there long enough to figure out how the set works and how the ebb and flow of daily work load goes. Then leave and never come back, a job on a film set takes too much time. Sign up for some film classes at the local city college and use that as access to cameras and lights. Have fun
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