The “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program is a free five week nonprofit training program, taught by industry professionals, and followed by two years of job placement. No previous production experience is required
Cycle 22 trainees after their mock shoot with guest Director Raafi Rivera and DGA guest Assistant Director Nick Bell, April 2011.
- Drive crew to and from set
- Pick up equipment and purchase production supplies
- Perform ‘lockup’ so that pedestrians don’t walk onto the film set
PA is the entry level position for the TV and film production industry – almost everyone starts out as a PA. After working as a PA for three to four years to gain experience and connections, you can move up into more skilled positions in specific crew departments. BWI works with “Made in NY” PAs for at least two years to help you find production work, define your interests and advance your career.
As a PA you can expect
- Long hours – 12-16 hour workdays; early morning, evening and weekend work
- Physical labor – you will be on your feet all day and must be able to lift and bend at least 50 pounds
- Outdoor work in all weather
- Freelance work – you will be hired day to day, and project to project; most jobs will not include benefits and you will usually not know your work schedule in advance
- Pay rates of about $100-$200/day
*Please consider whether these working conditions are right for you before applying.
The “Made in NY” PA Training Program family includes hundreds of alumni, employers, instructors and industry friends committed to our graduates’ success. If you’ve seen these productions (link-to: http://bwiny.org/pages/programs/patrainingp.html), you’ve seen the work of a “Made in NY” PA!
The training course is five weeks long, full-time, Monday through Friday, with homework and occasional evening and/or weekend sessions. Following the training course, participants enter a two-year career development program, which consists of job placement assistance, career counseling and support as you work your way up the entertainment ladder. To learn more, attend an information session, held every Monday at our office (see below for more details about our info sessions).
- At least 18 years old
- Current New York City resident (within the five boroughs) and able to prove residency for at least six months
- Unemployed, low income or receiving public assistance, and come from a low-income background
- Legally eligible to work in the U.S.
- Available full-time and able to attend training Monday through Friday 7:30 AM to 6 PM
- Able to make a two-year commitment to working in the industry
Note: This position requires a driver's license, but interested individuals are welcome to attend an information session and apply without one. If you are selected and you are not a licensed driver, BWI will help you obtain your driver's license [free of charge] thorough New York Drives.
This program requires a two-year commitment to developing your career in TV/film production. Please do not apply if you are employed full-time, enrolled in school, or plan to enroll in school in the next two years.
This program is specifically funded to help individuals from low-income backgrounds who do not have access to and/or significant experience in this industry. You are NOT eligible for this program if any of the following is true:
- You have more than 2 years of paid media, radio, print, production, post production or theater experience (international or domestic)
- You have supervised production assistants (paid or unpaid)
- You have a Master’s or Doctorate degree
If you are not eligible for this program, visit our Production Resource List.
How to apply
Attend an information session to fill out an application and meet with program staff to learn more about the program. A limited number of training spots are available, so apply ASAP to guarantee consideration. Applications are accepted year round on a first-come first-serve basis. Training classes are held at least four times a year.
Information Sessions are held Mondays* at 1:00pm at the BWI Main Office. Follow the instructions below to prepare for the info session:
- Before attending call 718-237-2017 x145 and listen for updates, cancellations and directions. Do not leave a message to say you are attending. No RSVP is needed.
- Bring your driver’s license (if you have one) or a photo ID and your résumé.
- Be prepared to stay for at least 4 hours.
- Arrive on-time because latecomers will NOT be admitted and space is limited.
NOTE: BWI is closed on federal holidays; there are no information sessions on those days.
BWI’s Main Office is located at 621 Degraw Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues in Brooklyn, NY. For directions click here or call 718-237-2017x145.
**Due to the high volume of calls we receive, if you leave a message it may take us a while to get back to you. Most questions about the program can be answered from the information on our website or if you attend an information session. Thank you in advance for your patience.