When Do We Start? – The Anonymous Production Assistant

Reader Dallas writes in:

I used to be instructed by an AD that I obtained a job as a PA on a collection being made by a really legit place and I couldn’t be happier! The one that I imagine is the 2nd AD additionally reached out to me and confirmed my begin date over the telephone.

My begin date is in early April, and as of now, that’s all I do know. I have no idea the place I might be going or if I might be signing some form of contract or another info, simply that I’m beginning someplace on a day in early April.

This is just not unusual (particularly now, with the ever-shifting calls for of COVID protocols). Start dates change because of actors’ availability, funding falling via, or simply normal shit taking place.

Lots can go unsuitable in three weeks. Hopefully the present doesn’t disintegrate, however should you’re not instructed to indicate as much as work tomorrow, at all times needless to say you might be in search of work earlier than you even begin capturing.

I despatched the AD this e-mail with the topic line “Quick Question”Hi _____________,

Im so excited to begin working in 3 weeks! I’ve two questions for you: are you aware after I might be getting extra information about the place I might be going and what time I ought to get there on April 4th? Also, are you aware if my job will contain a contract of some variety?

Thank you a lot for your whole assist.


This is the primary time I’ve reached out to him for the reason that job supply, and I’ve not heard again. At what level do I attain out once more, to him or the 2nd? Should I simply be ready quietly for a name sheet? Should I count on to be signing one thing in some unspecified time in the future? I see a lot information in regards to the job, however in these crazily worrying pre-job days I do not know what to do or count on!

Callsheets are created the day earlier than capturing. The capturing schedule most likely received’t be ultimate till every week or so earlier than. There is principally no solution to reply the primary query three weeks prematurely.

If you could have a begin date of the 4th, don’t hassle anybody till the first, and even then, simply give an informal, “Looking forward to working with you next week!” form of e-mail.

As for a contract, PA’s (and a lot of the crew) should signal quite a lot of begin paperwork: I-9, W9 or 1099, a waiver for showing in behind-the-scenes stuff, possibly an NDA. There’s most likely not a “contract” per se, since PA’s are at-will, non-union workers.1 There nonetheless is likely to be, relying on the community, however don’t count on it.

They’ll give all of this to you on day 1. There’s no purpose to ask the AD for it prematurely. Also, if it’s a significantly huge present, the AD isn’t going to be your direct supervisor, anyway. The 2nd is.


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