Last week while on set I got asked a question that really shocked me, and made me really think. While in the middle of crew meal, the D.I.T. leaned over to me and asked¬† “So why are you a PA still?”¬† I looked up with him with a completely dumbfounded face and honestly replied, “I really don’t know.”
Later on that day¬† I started thinking, why exactly am I still a PA?¬† I’ve been working in the industry for a few years now, and I know I could coordinate a production a whole heck of a lot better than some people I’ve worked with, so then why am I stuck in this continuous PA loop?¬† Finally the answer hit me.. I was still applying for PA positions hoping that someone would notice that I am over qualified and place me somewhere else. I was the one causing me to stay in the hamster wheel and not get anywhere.
So fellow PA’s that are in the same position as me, I say we take a stand and quit applying for the same position.¬† Take a chance and who knows..maybe I’ll end up getting something great.¬† Has anyone else started to do this?¬† Post your comments about it!
One thing that I have realized working on set is that green PA’s don’t know how to use their walkies.¬† What I don’t get is that walkies really aren’t that hard to use, but then again I’ve also said that it isn’t that hard to be a PA and yet some people still manage to screw that up.
Here is your basic guide on how to use your walkie on set:
Turn it on
So it is your first time being a PA and you are so super excited so you arrive on set like 30 minutes before your call.¬† You meet up with your production coordinator and they hand you a walkie.¬† At first glance it looks simple enough.¬† Then the coordinator hands you some crazy looking headset.¬† Don’t panic it’s pretty simple, just plug everything in and turn the nob on top.¬† When you hear it make a nose that means that its on.¬† Grab your mic and say “walkie check”.¬† If someone else is on walkie they should say “good check”.¬† Trust me you don’t want to be that PA who does not have their walkie on.
Keep it on the right channel
This should be pretty self explanatory but everyone messes this up at some point or another.¬† Depending on how large or small your production is different departments will be placed on different walkie channels.¬† Double and triple check which channel you and the rest of the PA’s are supposed to be on.¬† Only switch to a different channel if someone asks you to.¬† Once you are finished on that channel switch back to your PA channel.
There are several quick phrases that people use on walkies to get their points across quickly.¬† Here are some main ones that you should know:
Walkie Check- what you say when you are trying to see if your walkie is working
Good Check – what people say when someone asks walkie check
10-1- You are using the restroom
Switch to (insert number)- switch your walkie channel to another one
Copy- You understood what is being asked of you.
Remember each set is different.¬† Find out how your production runs and follow those rules.