Friday, September 14, 2007

Dirty jobs

Boyfriend is a Production Assistant. Just like everyone else out here he has his eyes on something greater, but for the time being he is an errand runner on set for whatever television show happens to need his services, a very important job that almost never gets mentioned in the credits.

Until recently he worked on a bad reality show that will thankfully not get a second season, although this did not stop me from demanding a hat that I now wear all over the place as if I were somehow affiliated with the show.

On this show he usually worked 12 hour days with no overtime pay and no health benefits and for a paltry sum of money. Then the job ended and he was unemployed so we've been on vacation together until some production manager somewhere remembers him when they need a PA and gives him a call.

Then last week he was offered a one day job on a new show for the fall season. It's a drama on a network, a show I'm excited about, a show that will most likely get a full season order and possibly more seasons after that. I hope so, anyway.

Boyfriend didn't want to give up his vacation, but this was a one day job. More importantly, for a drama on a network. A real show with a plot and everything.

Real shows with plots and everything pay a decent wage. They also pay overtime and a few benefits to the long term folks. And the craft services is excellent. So of course Boyfriend took the job.

Then he was on set for 16 hours. His call time was 6 am. He called me at 9:44 pm, exhausted, saying they'd asked him to come back the next day.

In addition to the crazy hours, he was in a park all day on a second unit shoot. There was no shade and he spent most of his day running up and down a hill, so now his neck is redder than the blood of the innocent. Just as well. He does like to hunt and fish.

The next day he went in at 7 am. Around 9pm he called to say he'd be there until at least 1:30 am so don't wait up.

Today he's on location somewhere. We're supposed to meet tonight to go to a show but now he's worried he won't make it because he'll still be onset working on the 3/4 of a page they're supposed to shoot today.

I'm starting to forget what he looks like. Fortunately he has tattoos so I'll be able to identify him by those when next I see him.

Right now he's working day to day, but I have a feeling they'll offer him a long term job soon. I may have to get a walk on to the lot just so I can see him again.

This has served as a reminder to me that 1 - PAs are awesome and deserve some credit and major amounts of appreciation and 2 - that the script needs to be tight and the actors need to be prepared and the crew needs to be efficient so that people have time outside work to have a life.

If you see Boyfriend, please tell him I said hi.


  1. I work on a lot with a name that starts with the letter P. I'll start saying hi to everyone I see with tattoos, just in case.

  2. I can't tell you how many times a smart and gutsy PA has saved the day. We'd be lost without them and you're right, they don't get much credit.

  3. Didn't anyone tell you?

    When you get into production - you don't get to have a life. Outside of production that is...

    And PA's have the least amount of life there is. As the glue of production - they worker longer and harder than almost anyone. You'll never work harder on a set then when you're a PA.

    So goes the curse of production. When you don't have work - you pray for work. When you have work - you pray for rest.


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