Life of a Production Intern: First Time on Set

By Lesley On Tuesday, April 22 nd, 2014 · no Comments · In , , , ,

Last week, our intern, Brandon joined us on set for the CoverGirl webisodes. Here are a few of his thoughts on his first experiences in the world of production:

This past week I was given the wonderful opportunity to work on a CoverGirl web series shoot. I was up early, anticipating the day that I was going to be on set, watching a girl dab on some lipstick and eyeliner while smiling with her eyes at the camera, a look that would make even Tyra Banks proud.


I eagerly refreshed my email the night before, unable to sleep at night, waiting for the call sheet to arrive in my email address. This is when I received the Production Assistant (PA) Handbook.

Now as I hope you all know, every human being starts as a baby, molded by their surroundings, family, and every person that comes into their life. This PA Handbook pretty much told me that by choosing the path of a PA, I was essentially being born into the world of production; a baby about to be molded by those around me, the entry-level position, the lowest of the low.

I arrived on set, finding parking in front of an abandoned building where I could buy fruit from a cart inches away. As I walked to the studio, a homeless man waved at me. Oh geez, where am I?

I made it into the studio; sweat dripping down my face, with the relief that this personal sauna known as LA weather would allow me to miss a gym day.

Five minutes later, I was out the door en route to Smart and Final to collect paper plates. This is the life of a Production Assistant; its pretty glamorous if I do say so myself. Cut to 15 minutes later; I was thrilled with my ability to spot a deal instantly (thank you TLC’s Extreme Couponing).

So I found myself back on set this time, counting the 150 count of paper plates as lifting weights; deciding that I didn’t have to go to the gym for the next week. I was rewarded with a walkie-talkie, a tour of the set and an introduction to another PA, well an actual PA. I was the bottom of the pot, the burnt kernel at the bottom of the popcorn bag that was practically inedible, I am the office intern.

Upon meeting the PA; he explained to me what he was doing, and then left to make a phone call. So I took his place; literally. I sat in his seat, watched from his angle. I WAS THE PA; THE PA WAS ME!

As I sat there, my whole production birthing had flashed before my eyes; from locking my car doors three times and explaining “No, I don’t have any spare change” to striding through the Smart and Final isles looking for the perfect deal; my whole day led to this moment!


And so I watched and learned; watching the director choosing the angling of the makeups; to the director of photography shooting material. I watched the lead actress request a cup of Starbucks, and watched the PA I was shadowing viciously scribble coffee orders onto his mini notepad. Yes, I am a baby to this process; I am learning things that I would have never dreamed of, but I know everyone started somewhere, and I know that this is only the beginning.