The Production Assistant Diaries

January 28th, 2016

It’s a new day, a new start, new opportunities, and a fresher perspective on what makes the production world go round.

Driving into work hearing belting out my favorite Little Mix songs, last night’s conversations make their way into my thoughts.

“Stay strong. You’re tough. You always have been,” said a friend

“Look for something positive,” said good ‘ol Daddio.

In both conversations, only texts were exchanged, along with a few vines to cheer me up. The support system we surround ourselves with is our army, the people who will raise us up and make us feel like you can even when you think you can’t.

January 29th, 2016

Day four and things are better. Better would seem to be an understatement, as I am surrounded by some of my favorite things.

Hockey, stage crews, and stage and the NHL’s best hockey players.

With all the craziness going on around me, in my small world of production, it amazes me how there are at least 100 other companies on site, doing their huge or small part in contributing something to this event.

I am in awe during every show I work on by the effort, time, and energy put into a production that only lasts a few hours, one day, or one weekend. You have to wonder, why do people take the time to exert their own precious energy?

Often times, when I’m working away on a large scale show, we deal with credential issues. Credentials are like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket in the production world. Your credential will get you where you need to be if you don’t have one, good luck.

People don’t often realize that it takes an entire team to work on credentials, it takes an entire staff to enforce the credentials, and it takes the entire production crew to follow the rules of the credentials.

With that said, everyone who works on events typically takes their job seriously. They, just like me, came to work to do their job the way they are supposed to, even if it means not letting someone on the site because they do not have the proper pass.

Little, small, minor, large, major, executive, there is always a job to be done on events. To you, this may be common sense, but to me it is humbling.

The past few days, I’ve spent time asking myself why I wasn’t doing more or why I couldn’t play a more important role in an event as big as the NHL All-Star Game. I spent more time the first two days worrying about what I could do, rather than getting off of my feet and doing something.

At the end of a really, I’m going to be brutally honest, shitty day, I took what my dad said seriously and I was determined to turn the next day into a positive one, I was going to learn something new.

And so I did; over the past two days, I’ve assisted the Script Supervisor and learned about the vital role she plays in the production. Cindy is the first to get to the office and the last to leave. Essentially, she always is supposed to know what is going on, because, let’s stick to Willy Wonka references, the huge chocolate bar everyone wants to get their hands on, the rundown.

 

The rundown, my new best friend, informs the production crew what is going on during the show, similar to a script, but without all of the lines. Without the rundown, the stage manager would not know when to deliver talent to the stage, the Audio crew would not know when to turn levels down or up, and graphics would spend their time guessing who was who.

I may never go into script writing, or I may never have to copy another script ever again (that’s highly unlikely), but I took advantage of the past two days, I gained a new perspective.

I turned the day into a positive one.