The previous blog (How to be a good Production Assistant; Part 3) talked about how to take initiative and anticipate what’s coming next. If you’ve already done all that and you still have nothing to do, here are some tips for what to do next.
If you’ve already asked what to do and you’re still just standing around, find something useful to do without being in the way. Ask if anyone could use a bottle of water or a snack brought to them. Many times cameramen, talent, directors, ADs, sound mixers and others aren’t able to step away from their gear or their job and therefore forget to eat or stay hydrated. Just make sure not to bug them when they’re in the middle of something important. Depending on the shoot, you may not be able to address someone directly but there should be someone below them that you can check with instead. Other tasks you could do without asking are picking up trash (soda cans and chip bags can end up all over the place), walking by each department and maybe even checking in with them to see if they need anything, tidying up the craft service table (unless there’s a craft service person on set), reminding folks to put on sunscreen (if needed), see if anyone needs a new walkie talkie battery and anything else you can think of. Again, don’t be a nuisance. Your job is to be useful without getting in the way.