Just about everyone on a film crew has equipment, gear, or some kind of tools for their department. From the grip team to hair and makeup, everyone should come to set prepared with what they need, and PAs are no different. As you assemble your PA kit, here's what needs to be in it.
These are things you need to have ON your person where they are easily accessible:
-Multi-tool with a knife blade
-Several pens you don't mind losing
Pro tip: On set, somewhere, at any given time, someone is looking for a pen. You will be the PA who has pens. Bonus points if you have a sharpie too.
-A sharpie or four
-Small notepad Or use the one on your phone.
-Business cards If you don't have 'em, make some. Like, yesterday.
-Fully charged cell phone If you're able, upgrade to a smart phone. You have no idea how useful it will be on set.
-Hand sanitizer Nice to have before you stop by craftie.
-Wallet Ladies, you won't be carrying a purse around, and there's not always a safe place to stash your stuff. I suggest getting a men's wallet that's just big enough for essentials, like ID and cash.
Here are a few things you should have in your car before heading to set:
-Full tank of gas You may have to run errands or give someone a ride.
-Tylenol or your preferred pain med
When going into battle, you need the proper uniform as well:
Dress for comfort and practicality. Definitely consider weather. Even if the production is filming indoors, PAs and other crew may spend a lot of time outside.
-Cargo pants or comfy jeans with big pockets (consider all the things you'll need on your person)
-Comfortable shirt, and extra layers if it's cold
-Warm hoodie and/or coat for colder temps
-Sneakers or other closed-toe, terrain-appropriate shoes
-Rain coat if needed
-Minimal jewelry (nothing that will get in your way or could be damaged)
-Hair pulled back and out of your way
An AD I worked with gave some great advice to the crew about preparedness. Keep a box in your car with an extra change of clothes, shoes, and any other essentials you might need if the weather gets the best of you.
Coming up in the next post: On-set DOs and DON'Ts, and walkie-talkie tips!