Our Production Assistant at Napoleon Creative was taking a well earned holiday, so we needed someone to cover her desk for a week. Answering the phone, a little editing, picture research. Of course, it was one of those jobs that slipped down my list, until I suddenly remembered on the Sunday afternoon before her holiday.

I wracked my brains to think who was in my network who might be interested in the work, and I remembered meeting a production assistant at a networking event a few weeks earlier. She was a production assistant keen to get their next job. She’d got her CV together, even printing it out in a very stylish way. We’d chatted for a few minutes and she was a good all rounder, with some After Effects and Premiere experience as well. She’d be perfect for the role.

So, being Sunday afternoon, I sent a text to introduce myself, remind her how we met, and to say I had work for her that week, should she not have employment. I explained it was to cover someone’s holiday. I didn’t expect an immediate reply, and there was only a slim chance she would be free. However, I thought I’d get a polite yes or no by the following morning, as least. But nothing. In the end, we all mucked in to cover the phone, fitted in the extra workload amongst the team, and kept all the plates spinning.

The next weekend, my phone pinged. I was startled, rubbed my eyes. I looked at my phone, it was 4 am. Anyone texting me at this hour on a Saturday night surely must be in some kind of trouble.

production assistant

“So sorry I missed your msg. I was travelling. I am available next week if you are still looking for a PA. Let me know.”

What possessed her to text me at 4am? I wasn’t really in the mood to speculate, and simply never responded.

I understand she might not have received my text because she was traveling. There’s a slim chance that there was a technical error, and she didn’t intend to send that text at 4am. However, I think there’s a general rule there that no one wants to be woken at 4 am by a text about work.


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Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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