Blogger-Like

The ?Who? Behind the Headset

By Kindsey Young

Get to know the hard-working production assistants from the third season of Insecure.

A Production Assistant (PA) is ultimately an entry-level position in the world of television and film. As one of this season's Insecure Production Assistants, Danni Davis, described it, PA's are like "behind-the-scene ninjas" of a production: They are ready to take on any task and work hard to prevent any setbacks that could slow down the creative process. "Time is money," said every Unit Production Manager ever. Not all heroes wear capes, but one could argue that they do, in fact, wear headsets.

Sometimes being a PA can mean a lot of grunt work, as duties can vary from making coffee runs, being on water duty, grabbing food for people on set, crowd control, and pretty much saying "yes" to any request made of you. But, let's be clear: Being a Production Assistant is merely a stepping stone for those who have much bigger goals and aspirations. Today's hard-working PA is likely tomorrow's biggest television success. Find out more about the PA team behind Season 3 of Insecure below.

TEVIN SCOTT

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO ON SET?
Issa ? she?s literally in the position I?m working towards. She wears so many hats ? writers room, acting and handling all stages of production ? and that has been inspiring. It lets me know that I can do this too. I?ve always admire her from afar: It?s even more dope to get hands-on experience with the woman behind the magic.


WHAT?S YOUR MAIN DUTY ON SET?

To help things get done overall. Being a PA has allowed me to start fulfilling what I?ve been put on this earth to do. I?m a PA now, but as I move up in this industry my main focus will always be to help others.


WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO DO IN THE INDUSTRY?

I?m going to be a revolutionary auteur. I aim to create authentic and compelling content that pushes the culture forward. I?m going to raise the stakes.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING ON SET?

Getting to watch my idols work in person.

JULIO ZEPEDA

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO ON SET?

The directors. Having done this for two years, I?m learning more and more what type of director I?d like to be someday. You learn the different flows and techniques from different directors from episode to episode.


WHAT?S YOUR MAIN DUTY ON SET?

I do everything asked of me. But mainly I?m in charge of radios and communication for the crew.


WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO DO IN THE INDUSTRY?

Direct/produce.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING ON SET?

Learning. I learn something new every day.

DANNI DAVIS

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO ON SET?

Denise Davis, Issa and the producers for breaking the mold of what it means to make relevant content. Insecure resonates with all walks of life, connected by common themes while staying authentic.

WHAT?S YOUR MAIN DUTY ON SET?

I?m the Main Set PA ? I like to think of us as silent ninjas that keep the set safe and running in the middle of chaos.


WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO DO IN THE INDUSTRY?

I aspire to follow in the footsteps of Insecure and give a voice and perspective to aspects of our culture that don?t typically get represented.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING ON SET?

I love how every single day is a new adventure. New location. New scenes with crazy stuff going on. And the variety of experts in their field that come together to make film and TV is so impressive. I never stop learning. Plus, it?s so much fun!

ROME MILLER
WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO ON SET?
Prentice ? I like listening to the notes and alternative directions: thinking on the spot on how to improve something that?s already in the process.

WHAT?S YOUR MAIN DUTY ON SET?
Giving people whatever they need ? whether it?s water, coffee?or jokes. Oh, and I like tapping people on the shoulder and making them do a 360.

WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO DO IN THE INDUSTRY?
Studio-head ? to be able to greenlight projects that show black people as multidimensional, like Insecure does.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING ON SET?
Seeing people that I was/still am a fan of in a natural habit in their working environment. It?s surreal to see Issa go from Awkward Black Girl to Insecure.
MONIQUE SHAW

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO ON SET?

It was one of our directors ? Regina King. I grew up watching her, so I?ve seen her growth? I aspire to do what she does. I love that she?s a woman doing great things. This is a high pressure industry but she?s always kept her composure and professionalism.


I also look up to our Assistant Director, Valerie Johnson (Val). She?s great to work with too. Being an AD can be a stressful job but she always kept things running smoothly. People expected her to freak out at times and she didn?t. She?s great.


MAIN DUTY ON SET?

I?m the First Team PA, so I make sure the actors know what?s happening on set at all times, getting them wired, and hair/makeup ready. I always need to know where everything is. I?m the eyes and ears for cast.


WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO DO IN THE INDUSTRY?

Be a producer, but I?ve always wanted to be a director, too. I?m still new to the industry so being on set allows me to see everything. I?m learning more and more about what I really want to do.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING ON SET?

I enjoy the overall process and then being able to see it all come together on TV later. I like the idea of being able to reflect back and see how far things have come. I also enjoy meeting new people and finding out what they actually do on set.

Check out new episodes of Insecure every Sunday at 10:30 pm, and head to the Blogger-Like page for updates all season long.