This is something I wrote a couple of years ago to amuse my coworkers. It plays partly off of the idea that film school doesn't prepare you for working in the film industry, and partly off the idea that you swallow a LOT of shit on the way up. It's really only funny if you work in this business, but I want a home for it online, so you poor saps have to read it.
University of California at Los Angeles
Bachelor’s Degree program in Feature Production Administration
The Feature Production Administration program at UCLA will prepare students for careers in the production offices of feature film and television productions. Students will receive instruction and hands-on experience in the various facets of production office work, and will hear from guest lecturers with professional experience in the field. Below you will find a sampling of our coursework.
PRD 101 – Introduction to the Production Office
In this introductory class, students will become familiar with the various duties of the production office worker and the personalities of the major players. Topics covered will include ordering lunch, getting the mail, grocery shopping, organizing office betting pools, and dividing your office into red desks and blue desks.
PRD 220 – Theories of Phone Answering
In this challenging class, students will be given instruction in the many methods of answering the phone through both classroom and lab work. Many thorny questions will be answered, including:
· How to give out a phone number that is on the crew list for the twentieth time without disparaging the caller’s heritage
· How to transfer a producer to another person cheerfully without wondering too hard why a third party needed to be involved
· How to explain that production and accounting are two separate and distinct departments without confusing a caller unduly
· How to deal with callers that insist on speaking only to the coordinator and then only ask for a phone number
PRD 370 – Care and Feeding of a Big Cheese
This course will teach the advanced student how to deal with the various big cheeses on the film, from producers and UPMs down to assistants who simply think they’re big cheeses. Valuable skills like assuming blame, banning offensive condiments from sandwiches, 20/20 hindsight, and obeying contradictory orders simultaneously will be learned. The class will culminate with a real producer’s assistant challenging the student to gather a scavenger hunt-like list of hard-to-find items completely unrelated to the film and to deliver them 30 minutes before they are asked for. NOTE: Successful completion of PRD 260 – Time Travel is a prerequisite for this class.
PRD/HOS 390 – Catering the Production Office
This joint offering of the Production and Hospitality departments will cover the feeding of the production office. This most important duty will be explored in depth. Topics include craft service shopping, faxing a coherent lunch order, convincing department heads to avoid ordering off the menu, choosing a restaurant that is inexpensive yet does not make the staff feel like white trash, reconciling the staff’s request for healthy snacks with their penchant for eating only candy, and handling the Vegetarian Question. The class will feature guest speakers, including Lupe from Baja Fresh and Chad the Disgruntled PA.
PRD 440 – Maximizing Your Income
This new and controversial class is being offered this term on a trial basis. Students will learn tried-and-true tactics for increasing their potential income. A sampling of the lectures offered:
· Padding Your Mileage for Fun and Profit
· Craft Service Purchases No One Questions
· Ralph’s Club Discounts: Don’t Pass Along The Savings
· An Overview of Liquor Stores That Don’t Itemize Receipts