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New Mexico Productions Get a P.A. Pipeline

Original publish date: November 16, 2021

The New Mexico Film Office has partnered with CNM Ingenuity to provide a series of online Production Assistant Bootcamps. This free program runs November 2021 through April 2022 and seeks to train residents of the state for entry-level positions as film and TV production assistants for New Mexico productions.   

The Film Office aims to establish a pipeline of trained PAs for New Mexico productions in need of entry-level crew members.  

“Working as a production assistant is like a rite of passage and is an excellent way to get to know all the various departments on a film set and figure out what one wants to do and if this is the career for them,” says Amber Dodson, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. “This is the job that is the entry point for those interested in pursuing a career in the film and television industry.” 

A production assistant, also known as a PA, is an entry-level position within the film crew in the film and television industry. A PA’s role can vary and include a range of delegated tasks including, but not limited to, office work, errands, set up, and clean up. Strong organizational and communication skills are required.  

The New Mexico Film Office’s new partner, CNM Ingenuity, will run the virtual bootcamps and provide their training expertise to help satiate growing workforce needs on New Mexico productions. 

CNM’s history precedes them as a premier partner for this initiative. “CNM has been training film production technicians to support New Mexico’s growing film industry for nearly 20 years,” said CNM President Tracy Hartzler. “We’re excited to expand our workforce development support of the film industry by providing this new opportunity for those who are interested in quickly becoming a production assistant as an entry point to this major industry.” 

Participants in the online bootcamps will gain a comprehensive understanding of the basic role of a PA, how to read a call sheet, an understanding of departments and protocols, general terminology, familiarity with equipment, safety training and more.  

The Production Assistant Bootcamp will be taught by Alton Walpole. With over thirty years of filmmaking experience, Walpole has worked on projects such as Crazy Heart, The Book of Eli, Longmire, Godless, and more.  

The one-day PA Bootcamps will be held online via Zoom. The bootcamps will be offered regularly from November 2021 – April 2022, with the first session being held on Saturday, November 20, 2021. 

Participants must be New Mexico residents over the age of 18 and interested and available to work immediately. More information, a training schedule and a link to register can be found on the CNM Ingenuity website. Space is limited and spots will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

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