The MFJF Day Players PA Careers Accelerator Program is here to help PAs find paid PA work on union TV series and feature films, in either the production office, assistant director or locations departments.
The ambition for many members of MFJF is to work on union productions, feature films and scripted TV. But how do you make that leap from working on student films, shorts and non-union to union-productions?
Jobs on union productions are rarely advertised. Finding work on these productions relies upon the traditional recommendation, who you know system.
Now MFJF is giving its members access to these jobs via The Day Players program.
The aim of this program is to work with small pools of participants for a minimum 3-month period, finding them day play and PA work, giving them the chance to get their "foot in the door" and launch their careers.
In addition, all participants will receive personal mentoring and career advice from our team and be invited to exclusive 'meet the industry' networking events so they can meet recruiters and expand their own networks.
Day playing as an additional production assistant in the film/TV industry is the most common way to enter the business. When productions have big shoot days and need extra hands on set for lock ups and various tasks, they call upon additional PAs. These are people who are not staffed on a show at the moment and are able to come in for one day or more to help the production.
The Key PA on set is the person who will hire the additional PA and sometimes that happens as quickly as the day before they are needed. When you are new to day playing, this is the best way to make an impression on set - do a good job and have a good attitude and the Key PA will call you back for more days and recommend you for more work on other productions.
This is exactly what our program aims to do, get you on set so you can make that good impression..
"The Day Player's Program at My First Job in Film has effectively changed my life. This program has given me so many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise, like working on my first union feature film, Good Burger 2. The entire experience was akin to living on cloud 9. It filled me with so much joy. I couldn't have achieved this without the Day Players Program, or Nicole, who quickly became a mentor and voice of reason for me. Her diligence and passion for what she does, as well as her want to see you succeed, leaves you feeling highly informed and confident in yourself and your skills. Truly anything is possible with the Day Players Program!" Maggie McKeown
Day Player since March ‘23
"The Day Player's Program at My First Job in Film has effectively changed my life. This program has given me so many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise, like working on my first union feature film, Good Burger 2. The entire experience was akin to living on cloud 9. It filled me with so much joy. I couldn't have achieved this without the Day Players Program, or Nicole, who quickly became a mentor and voice of reason for me. Her diligence and passion for what she does, as well as her want to see you succeed, leaves you feeling highly informed and confident in yourself and your skills. Truly anything is possible with the Day Players Program!"
Firstly, we have to find our Players...there are two ways to apply, one via the MFJF Job Board. An initial shortlist will be completed to ensure everyone meets the criteria, then each shortlisted applicant will be interviewed over the phone or via Zoom.
The second is via one of our workshops where we meet participants face to face, offering resume advice and guidance about working on set and starting your career.
Applications via our website will be open periodically, watch out for the big announcements via email and on our homepage.
Our Workshops run frequently, please see the MFJF Academy for the list of upcoming events.
Once we have our pool of talent, MFJF will use its network of contacts to find day-playing and entry-level staff PA opportunities. All are paid positions.
The resumes of our participants, along with our recommendations, will be given to the person on the production doing the hiring.
Each participant will receive personal 1-1 mentoring from our team and be invited to exclusive events and informal networking events where they can meet established crew members.
You are already set ready, it is our task to make you career ready!
"The Day Player Program has made my dream of working on a union TV show and feature film a reality. Thanks to this incredible program, I had the opportunity to work on my first union TV show, 911: Lone Star, and it felt like I was living a dream. The program not only provided valuable on-set experience but also paired me with an amazing mentor, Nicole. Her guidance and support were instrumental in preparing me for the high demands of a union set. If you're passionate about pursuing a career in the film industry, I highly recommend joining the Day Player Program. It opens doors to incredible opportunities and equips you with the necessary skills to succeed. Don't let your dreams remain dreams—take the leap with the Day Player Program and turn them into reality."
Each participant will commit to a minimum of 3 months working with us and pay a monthly fee of $99.
However, that fee is not due until we get you your first paid day on set. Then the minimum 3 months commitment kicks in.
That might seem a lot but one day of PA work pays $200+ so we hope you see this as an investment not a cost. It should pay for itself and be the launch pad for your career.
We only work with a small number of participants at any one time to ensure everyone gets the best chance for success.
Of course, there is no guarantee of work, however, we have a proven track record of finding PAs work through our network of contacts who trust us. Our personal aim, after the end of the 3-month period, is to ensure all our members have had enough day playing days on set to establish their own network of contacts and no longer need our support in finding work.
Ultimately, if we don’t find you work, you don’t pay.
"After hitting so many “Lock Ups” in the real world trying to break into the film industry. MFJF workshops opened that space up for me with the most amazing session with industry professionals that truly wanted to guide newcomers through their journey in film. After attending a Production Assistant Workshop & Networking session, I learned so much about what goes on a film set & chatted with an Assistant Director that gave me the opportunity to use my knowledge on a real production set as an additional PA! I went on set confident knowing new terms I’ve learned from the class & got connected with everyone on set after a successful day! Extremely grateful for how incredibly kind MFJF members are with proactively engaging a community with resources that are not always accessible.
Thanks to MFJF I got My First Job in Film!"
Filmmaker & Production Crew
As mentioned, we want to ensure each participant has some success via our program. As a result, unfortunately, we can only take a limited number of individuals, too many and we have less chance of helping you launch your career.
We hope we can extend the program to cover more individuals with locations across the US.
At MFJF we have created career pathways for our members, based on the three Career Stages. This is our way of breaking down the hard task of establishing a film career and putting a tangible plan in place to succeed.
Broadly speaking, those with no experience, knowledge or skills fall into Stage 1; those with the basics but need experience are Stage 2; and those with enough experience but lacking contacts to further their careers are Stage 3.
For this program, you need to be at Stage 3. Why because recruiters on union productions expect PAs to have a certain level of experience even though these are so-called entry-level roles.
Please apply to this program is you have either:
10 days cumulative experience on union productions; or
20 days cumulative experience on non-union productions
This may be spread over multiple productions.
In addition, recommendations will be required from two current, established, industry professionals.
Do not get disheartened if you are a Stage 2 candidate, someone with all the skills and knowledge but just needs a few more credits to show everyone you have what it takes...all is not lost, we have a pathway for Stage 2 members, read on...
This is the ultimate frustration for so many, stuck in a vicious circle of all jobs requiring experience but 'I can't get experience unless you take a chance on me'.
We get it, we understand.
So we are doing two things about it to help you:
1. We will endeavor to find and promote non-union productions, those that have a lower experience threshold. This includes those that are exclusive to MFJF and those from social media and elsewhere. Yes, these productions are not the end goal, but are a means to an end, an opportunity to gain valuable experience and grow your network of contacts. It does work.
2. We run specific workshops and networking events for Stage 2 candidates, these are your chance to meet our team, show us that you have the aptitude, knowledge and skillset to be an additional PA. We do not guarantee you will automatically be able to join the Day Players program, but if you impress us then we can put your resume forward for some suitable low-level work on union productions.
We have two ways to apply for this program, one is via the MFJF Job Board. Those who have strong resumes with over 10 days of cumulative work on union productions or over 20 days of cumulative work on non-union productions.
The second is informal and is via our Workshops or networking events. This is where our Head of the MFJF Academy will have the chance to meet you face-to-face. If you feel you are more than the sum of your resume then we recommend you use a Workshop as a means to meet the term. Of course, there are no guarantees, we only can take on those that truly stand out.