Television production assistant
Literary & Communicators
Responsibilities of the job include:
- clearing copyrights
- booking studios, production equipment, performance and production staff
- liaising with a wide range of people
- organising meetings and interviews
- preparing and distributing briefing notes and scripts
- organising schedules and contracts
- overseeing cues, timings and continuity during recording
Travel, long hours and tight deadlines can make the work tiring and stressful. Job security may be an issue as the work is frequently dominated by short-term contracts.
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for production assistants
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Organisational skills
- Administrative skills
- Budgeting skills
- IT skills
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of production assistants
- Independent production companies
- Television companies
- Channel 4
Experienced assistants may also work on a self-employed or freelance basis, particularly within the independent sector. Vacancies are advertised online on sites such as Ideas Tap, in newspapers, and specialist publications such as The Knowledge and Campaign as well as their online equivalents.
Networking, job shadowing, speculative applications and sector research are advised. Directories such as Kays Production Manual can provide useful contact information. Some employers, including the BBC, operate graduate training and/or work experience schemes, for which early applications are advisable.
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into this profession for both university graduates and school leavers.
Any degree discipline is acceptable, although a relevant qualification in journalism, communications or media studies, humanities, English or business studies may be preferred.
The ability to demonstrate knowledge, experience or a genuine interest in television and radio is essential, and often more important than academic qualifications.