The Office PA: Office Production Assistant Duties in the Film Industry

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of being a set PA, we’re going to move to pre-production. This is where office production assistants get started. Be prepared, because as an office production assistant you will be handling a lot of paperwork, lunch orders and coffee runs. Just like most film production assistant jobs, this may seem like grunt work, but being a part of the behind the scenes of a movie or television show can be come exciting stuff! After the hard work is done of course. In this article, we’re going to prepare you for the realities of being an office production assistant because while there are some benefits, there are some downsides too. But ultimately if this is the type of PA you want to be, you’re in the right place to learn more about what it takes to be a successful office production assistant in the film industry.

What is an Office Production Assistant?

Within the film production team, the Office Production Assistant (PA) plays a pivotal role in fulfilling basic production assistant duties. They are responsible for assisting the producer, production coordinator, and production secretary in handling a range of office and administrative tasks such as:

  • Coffee/Lunch orders
  • Maintaining craft services in the office
  • Answering phones
  • Scheduling meetings and table reads
  • Sending/receiving paperwork too and from set, such as sides
  • Making signs for the office
  • Going on supply runs

The order of hierarchy goes like this: Unit Production Manager – Production Coordinator – Production Secretary – Office Production Assistant (aka YOU). You will be at the bottom of the totem pole, but that doesn’t mean your job isn’t important. Your tasks, however small they seem, are a part of a bigger picture that keeps work flowing smoothly in the office.

Office PA Duties: A Typical Day in the Production Office

The office production assistant job description can vary depending on the size and type of production, but generally, they are responsible for the following:

Administrative Tasks

The Office Production Assistant holds a crucial position in the film production team, with one of their key responsibilities being the efficient management of daily administrative tasks. This encompasses a range of activities such as:

  • Answering phone calls
  • Responding to emails
  • Scheduling appointments and table reads
  • Sending paperwork to and from set
  • Filing heavy amounts of paperwork

By taking charge of these essential administrative duties, the office production assistant helps to keep the office running smoothly and enables other team members to focus on their creativity.


In addition to managing daily administrative tasks, the Office Production Assistant is also tasked with coordinating and communicating with various departments involved in the film production process. This includes coordinating travel, accommodations, and transportation arrangements for cast and crew members, as well as ensuring that all necessary information is communicated effectively to relevant departments. For this ( and for the majority of errands), you will be working closely with the production secretary. By acting as a liaison between different departments, the office production assistant plays a critical part in ensuring that all aspects of the production process run smoothly and efficiently.

Production Support

As part of their diverse range of jobs within their day, the office PA also provides crucial support for various production-related errands. This may include printing call sheets or schedules, overseeing budgets and expenses, and tracking important production deadlines. By taking on these jobs, the office production assistant helps to ensure that all aspects of the production process are meticulously planned and executed. Their contributions play an essential part in maintaining the efficiency and success of the film production, and allow other team members to focus on their specific areas of expertise. If you are a good office production assistant, you will go unnoticed, but your work will not.


In addition to supporting the crew, the Office Production Assistant also plays an important part in managing relationships with important stakeholders involved in the production process. This may include studio executives, agents, and vendors, among others making sure they’re able to get to set. They are responsible for scheduling meetings, table reads, and ensuring effective communication with all relevant parties. By maintaining strong relationships with these stakeholders, the office production assistant helps to ensure that the production process runs smoothly and that all parties are aligned towards a successful outcome. Their ability to manage relationships and communicate effectively is an essential component of their part in the film production team.

Requirements of Office Production Assistants

To be successful as an office PA, individuals must possess a range of key attributes. Productions seek out individuals who are highly organized, possess the ability to maintain a professional demeanor under pressure, and have excellent communication skills. Furthermore, due to the nature of the work, this often requires individuals to work long hours, weekends, and holidays, and to have an unwavering commitment to ensuring that the project is successfully completed. Those who thrive in this challenging and rewarding industry are passionate about bringing creative visions to life and are willing to work tirelessly to achieve success.

Being a Successful Office PA: Fulfilling Your Production Assistant Duties

The job description of an office production assistant may seem like grunt work, but it is crucial any film’s production as they play a small yet significant part. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the production office by coordinating between each department, providing support for various production-related tasks, and maintaining relationships with stakeholders. Given their responsibilities, it is evident that the office production assistant is an essential component in the transformation of a script into a successful film.