As you should have probably guessed, this email comes from Brian, a current resident of Atlanta, GA. Brian has had some pornog…erm, “alternative film industry” experiences trying to lock down PA work in a town where more than a fair amount of real studio (and indie!) movies shoot. The problem is that he doesn’t know where to look for the opportunities. So I was hoping that someone with more hands-on experience in out-of-California physical production could lead him in the right direction, as I feel ill-equipped to give him a decent answer. I’M JUST A KEYBOARD JOCKEY.
Anyway, Brian writes:
“I’m in Atlanta, GA. As you probably know, there are a lot of projects going on in the area. On two occasions, I have replied to ads that were placed on craigslist, and have offered to work for free as a Production Assistant. Without going into detail, I left (on my own) minutes after arriving. I will just say that there was absolutely nothing professional about the people, or the set. It was a craigslist lead. I’m sure you get it.
I consider my Google skills to be above average, but for one reason or another, I can’t seem to locate the companies to contact. I search for production companies and jobs for Production Assistants, but I can’t seem to find anything that seems to be film related. If I read that the feature film “XYZ” begins filming in Atlanta during August, how do I get my name in the hat for something like that? For example, they have been filming INSURGENT in Atlanta. They had the cameras rolling before I knew anything about it. Also, the state has a website and, oh, a “hotline”. Of course, It hasn’t been updated in over a month! In L.A., I’m sure I could get the info at the local Starbucks. But here in Atlanta, it’s still relatively new.
I have zero experience in film, but a ton of interest to gain the experience. Over the last year, I’ve just sort of become fascinated by the entire process – from story concept to film completion and everything in between.
If you have any advice on where I should look, or what approach I should take, I would really appreciate it.”
BTW, let’s step back here for a second and talk again about how to ask for something of someone who’s a professional in this business, because Brian knows what the hell he’s doing. He admits he’s stumped, admits he’s new to the business (or even WANTING to be in it), declares his passion for wanting to learn more, yearns for experience, and just wants to be pointed in the right direction. THAT is how you ask for help. Brian is going to get help now, I promise you. So if you’re trying to get your feet wet, consider jumping into the pool the same way Brian did. I could never stress this enough.
Back to the matter at hand: help Brian. Unfortunately generating this post is the best I can personally do for him, but I know you guys will fill in the gaps for me (the gaps in this case being “literally everything having to do with obtaining a PA gig outside the Greater Los Angeles area and almost literally everything having to do with obtaining a PA gig within the Greater Los Angeles area).