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Film

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Producer's Assistant

Producer's Assistants are highly competent administrators who work closely with Producers throughout the production process, from script development and pre-production through to marketing and distribution. They must be well organised, highly flexible, and possess a good overview of the film production process. Producer's Assistants may be either freelancers keen to learn about the business, or long-term employees of a production company. They occupy a privileged position, which offers great insight into the film making process, and this role should not be confused with that of a Production Assistant. If they rise to the challenge, Producer's Assistants may come to wield considerable influence over the production. Indeed, a Producer's Assistant is sometimes accorded an Associate Producer credit, if he or she has carried out significant producing functions in the Producer's absence. Rates of pay vary with experience; however, all Producers' Assistants should be willing to work long hours in a loud, demanding, and fast-paced environment.

Responsibilities

Producer's Assistants provide administrative support to the Producer and are involved in all stages of the production process from pre-production through to post production. Their responsibilities are defined by the Producer, on an almost daily basis, throughout the production of the film. Duties may range from writing coverage on scripts, drafting letters, making phone calls, running an office, interviewing personnel, co-ordinating the fundraising process, assisting with duties on and off set, liaising between the producer and the post-production team, and helping to prepare publicity materials. Producer's Assistants may also be asked to assist with securing clearances for copyright materials, arranging business meetings and social events, as well as handling floats and petty cash. They may even be asked to contribute to strategic thinking in relation to projects in development.

Skills

Producers' Assistants must have a keen interest in the business of filmmaking, and an eagerness to gain further experience. They should have strong planning and organisational abilities, combined with good communication and interpersonal skills, and be efficient in time management. They need to be confident and enthusiastic when communicating in person or on the telephone, have excellent clerical skills, a good work ethic, and a strong sense of loyalty and responsibility. They must be highly computer literate, with excellent secretarial, typing, word processing and e-mail abilities. Script reading skills, experience with script writing software, and knowledge of the film industry is an advantage. They should also be aware of health and safety issues, and ensure that their actions do not constitute a risk to themselves or to others. Producer's Assistants must also be able to manage and market themselves as freelancers.

Qualifications/Experience

No specific qualifications are required for this multi-tasking role; however, job advertisements frequently ask for a BA, preferably in Film Studies or English, as a minimum. Industry experience in Assistant Direction, or in the Production Department, is advantageous. Employers may also ask for experience in reading screenplays and writing coverage. A full, clean EU driver's license is usually required.

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