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MFJF Academy

Starting a Career in Film

Set PA

Wednesday 17th January at 6pm, ET.

This free virtual workshop is your chance to understand the fundamentals of life as a Set PA.

Starting a Career in Film - Set PA

This Set PA Virtual Workshop is an informal course, giving you the confidence and information you need to start your Set PA career.

This course is aimed at our Stage 1 and 2 members.

The workshop is 2 hours long, delivered via Zoom, covering the basics from your first day on set, the lingo used on walkie-talkies to how to network and make a resume.

The workshop only has a limited number of spaces to encourage your questions and participation.

You will then have the opportunity to get your questions answered with a concluding Q&A session. 


"MFJF Academy’s PA Workshop was such a great experience and prepared me to work on set. The presentation extensively covered what a day on a film set would look like, and the different types of roles available in the AD department. Then, we were able to speak with industry professionals who were more than welcoming and willing to talk about their various roles and experience. I learned so much during the workshop and met so many amazing peers. I would highly recommend anyone to participate!"

- Anna LaGrassa, April 2023 PA Workshop attendee



The aim of the workshop is to teach people who have never been on set of a scripted tv show or feature film how to succeed as a production assistant.

Topics covered will include: 
- A Day in the Life of a Set PA 
- What is a Set Production Assistant? 
- The Hierarchy of the Assistant Director Department 
- Explanation of the staff production assistant roles
- Tips on what to bring and what to wear for your first day on set 
- The Do's and Don'ts of being on set 
- The lingo used on walkie talkie 
- What is a lock-up? 
- What does it mean to gaff a van? 
- Go over resume and networking tips 


Course Leader

Nicole Payson - Assistant Director, DGA

She started her media career working as a production assistant in live events in early 2013 before switching full-time to scripted shows in the fall of 2013 beginning with Broad City Season 1. Nicole joined the Directors Guild of America in 2019 and is currently a member of DGA East 2nd AD Committee.

Nicole has worked on notable productions and garnered 5 Directors Guild of America Award nominations for her work on Succession and What the Constitution Means to Me. Notable directors she has worked with as a PA/AD include; Noah Baumbach, Barry Levinson, Marielle Heller, Chris Storer, Steven Soderbergh, Mark Mylod, Paul Schrader, Lucia Aniello, Alan Yang, Thomas Kail, Ramy Youssef, Cherien Dabis, Desiree Akhavan

Nicole is particularly proud of her work helping PAs start their film careers; she has organized three PA workshops/networking events since 2018 that have helped launch people's careers, specifically in the AD dept.

She is now Head of the MFJF Film Academy, running PA workshops and helping early-career filmmakers find work.

Free? Yes, Free!

Our Starting a Career in Film series of virtual workshops are all free. It costs nothing to join and participate in. However, places for each workshop are limited so please do not delay, reserve your please now!

To register please follow this link:



Anyone is welcome to join our virtual workshops. No experience is required, if you are simply curious about a career in film or are a recent film graduate we welcome you to join us.

Please look at our Career Stages Pathways to understand where your experience lies in the grand scheme of things, it will help you navigate and plan your next steps. These workshops are for Stage 1 and 2 members.

You don't need to have MFJF membership to join this workshop.




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