PA Nation

A term used for any group of Film Production Assistants working on a set.


Variations of speed and timing within a finished video. Relates to a combination of script, video, voiceover, and music. Sometimes a video might seem too fast, or too slow – adjusted throughout the post-production process. See ‘breathing’. You’re always invited to comment on the pacing of your film.

Paper / Fly

The act of posting signage at a specific location or in a neighborhood to alert people that filming will be happening in the area and when. This step is part of pre-production and occurs after the city or county has granted the required location permit. Insider lingo.

Payroll Job

Being hired as a temporary or permanent employee and put on the payroll. This means that appropriate taxes will be deducted from your compensation.


A location shooting permit is a document typically issued by local, city, or federal governments, giving you permission to film in public places.

Petty Cash

Petty cash is a pre-determined amount of cash that a producer will bring on a shoot to buy last minute needs. Often the Production Assistant helps with these purchases, tracking the petty cash and submitting the petty cash recap form.

Petty Cash Recap Form

This is a report listing purchases made with petty cash, showing where the money was spent and for what purpose. Receipts for purchases should be organized and accompany the recap.

Pick Up (PU)

This refers to camera or audio recordings. It can be a relatively minor shot filmed after the fact to augment footage already shot or shooting a scene with talent again and picking up where dialog or movement left off on the previous shot. This happens in order to create continuity or capture different camera angles on the same scene or even as a re-take to achieve, a better performance. Insider lingo.


A system used to playback the footage just shot on set. Insider lingo.


After the footage is shot it then goes into Post-production where it is cut together in an edit, graded, sound mixed, and finished to become the final film. Colour, effects, music all happen in Post Production.