Production Assistant Work Belt Kit
Are you getting ready for your first Production Assistant job but you don’t know what to buy? Well, let us give you some advice and links to put your kit together.
First, you’ll need a belt pouch to hold all your work items. Nothing really big, but you will have pens, pencils, sharpies, highlighters, notepads, and other items.
What do you want to keep in your pouch? First, metal pens. Why not just a regular Bic or something like that? Because you’re on set! You’re out in the world, running around, getting dusty and dirty, climbing over things. Plastic pens break, and you don’t want ink getting everywhere.
Other useful writing implements: highlighters (not for you; it’s more likely the cast will ask you for a highlighter than you’ll actually use it yourself). I’d recommend getting a variety of colors. Also, twin tip Sharpies; they’re more useful than the regular ones, because the pen-side can write basically anywhere. Multiple colors are useful for these, too.
You should always have a notepad on hand. When someone gives you complicated instructions, always write them down. Plus, if you need to pass someone a note silently, you always have paper on hand, rather than tearing pages out of your sides.
A totally random but completely useful addition: binder clips. As a starting point, use a binderclip to hold your sides on your pouch, so they’re easily available. But also, while you may not handle as much paperwork distro as the office PAs, you’ll still have quite a bit. Keeping things organized and neat is much easier with binder clips.
Next, you need a really, really bright flashlight. This is an area you might feel like going cheap on. Don’t. When it’s 3:00am and you’re in the hills on the edge of of the studio zone, walking a cast member from basecamp to set through a fake forest that is specifically designed to be frightening, a keychain flashlight just isn’t going to cut it. Many ACs I know recommend Scorpion brand, but there’s plenty of good brands out there. Just make sure it’s bright.
If you are a new Production Assistant make sure you have your Production Assistant reference guide, Production Assistant Passport. Pull it out whenever you need to reference something pertaining to your job.
You’ll need gloves. There’s a company out there called SetWear, and as much as I enjoy CamelCase, I don’t recommend them. You’re basically paying a 50% markup for the word “set.” I bought the least expensive pair of gloves they sold, and wore through them in about two weeks. I called the company to complain, and they told me those gloves weren’t for “heavy duty” work, such as… moving card tables. Seriously, what are they for, then?
Then, an experienced electrician told me to just buy gloves at half the price at a hardware store. I’ve had my CLC gloves for 5 years now, and they still work fine. If you plan on moving into one of the heavy-lifting departments, welding gloves work great. You’ll never burn your hands on even the hottest lamps.
Not for every day use, but you’ll want to have a big, floppy sun hat. It gets hot in the summer time and even in the winter there could be some very sunny days and it is great to wear to block the sun. Along with keeping yourself hydrated, a hat is a very good idea. Likewise, a small tube of sunscreen, which can hopefully fit in the pouch you bought eight paragraphs ago.