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PA Boot Camp

Starts February 24

In-person. 2 sessions: Saturday-Sunday, February 24-25, 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Looking to begin your career in the film industry? Interested in the path to becoming a producer? In this workshop we’ll start at the very beginning: The PA!

A production assistant/PA’s role in film production is an entry-level position and the starting point for many paths in filmmaking. The basic job a PA has, no matter how experienced, is to help the 1st Assistant Director make sure that the production has everything it needs. This can mean you’ll be doing tasks for pretty much every department. You’ll be doing everything and anything the 1st AD asks of you, whether that’s moving things from point A to point B, wrangling cords, grabbing coffee, or setting up props.

This workshop will teach you the skills to help you up your game and soar in the role, making you the prized PA of a production – and the first to be offered more work! We’ll explore the PA’s many job duties, including:

  • Being prepared: what to bring to set, depending on location/situation
  • Transporting equipment
  • Supporting crew members on set
  • Handling call sheets and other production paperwork
  • Cleaning the set and protecting it from the public
  • Other special skills/expectations

There is a lunch break each day.

NOTE: this in-person course is held at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul, MN 55114. FilmNorth is following CDC’s current COVID-19 variant guidance for Ramsey County:

  • People may choose to mask at any time. Masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or at high-risk for complications associated with COVID-19 variants.
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Tuition: $245 regular | $195 member | $155 low-income

As a child, Barbara Wiener first wanted to be an astronaut but discovered that motion sickness would be a hindrance to successful completion of the training. Instead, she found herself drawn to telling the stories of the world around her. Barbara believes human beings are hardwired as a species to respond to stories and images in emotional ways. That means our modern media has significant influence to shape how we see ourselves and others. She believes sharing visual stories has the power to create the world we want to live in. That’s where making films comes in.

Barbara’s career in film and television and teaching has spanned 32 years. She was a senior and executive producer for 14 years at Twin Cities Public Television and has completed many independent feature documentaries since that time. Her arts and cultural documentary and performance work has received many awards including six Midwest Emmys and a Ciné Golden Eagle for her documentary film, Ida’s Story. Her work been seen in broadcast and screenings around the world, including the Walker Art Center’s Women with Vision, the New York International Film Festival, Chicago Silver Screen Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, Denver Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival, which featured a piece called Curious George Goes to Hellmade with storyteller Kevin Kling.

In 2000 Barbara founded TVbyGIRLS, a nonprofit that collaborates with and mentors teen girls using the tools of filmmaking to develop critical thinking, leadership, and social change film work. Films made by collaborations with girls have been seen by audiences around the world and been awarded with four Telly Awards and a nomination for a student Emmy award. Barbara is finishing up a documentary with Art from the Inside profiling the power of art programs for incarcerated people. Barbara has taught many cinema production courses at FilmNorth and helped develop and instructed for the Stories 55 film program for older adults. She is also working on a series of creativity workshops for students 55+ called Adventures in Visual Storytelling.

Barbara also teaches college students to think about films and our society at North Hennepin Community College and does work with AJ+, Zinc Video, and Pear Video in Shanghai, China.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




February 24 @ 10:00 am
February 25 @ 4:00 pm
Event Categories:


Barbara Wiener
Registration Deadline
February 23
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
2 sessions: Saturday-Sunday, February 24-25, 10:00 am-4:00 pm