Production Assisting Ain't Easy: Meet Kellen Lee
Tell us a little bit about KELLEN.
My name is Kellen and I wear many hats in the entertainment business. First, I’m an actress, a performer, assistant director, producer, production assistant and production manager. I’m from Detroit. I am single and no children, but I do have a fur baby. And if you count parenting my mom, which is not for the weak. Lol.
As a production assistant, what are some of your tasks?
As a production assistant, every set has different needs. I’ve been responsible for completing the directors shot list for each take, taking set pictures for behind the scenes, continuity pictures for hair, make-up, wardrobe, and overall production. Also, time management is very important and I help stay on task while filming. I also report back to the production manager where we are during filming, what scenes we’ve completed, anything unexpected that may arise, running errands, maintaining things on set, picking up food if needed and a variety of tasks that help everyone else on set be efficient and focus on their tasks.
Do you think going to school for PA is important ? If not, why not? If yes, why?
I think that if a person wants to go to school to learn about being a PA, that’s totally fine. Everyone has their own path. There are things you may learn in school that is valuable to what you’ll do, but hands on experience is also a very good teacher. Especially when you work on different production sets as everyone does things differently on each set. I wanted to learn a lot about production behind the scenes and had a great mentor in Melissa Talbot who listened to me and helped me accomplish my goals.
What is the most difficult production problem you had to solve?
The most difficult production problem I’ve had to solve, it could possibly be recasting the day before when an actor doesn’t respond to being on set the next day. Also, wardrobe being consistent and what to do when an actor doesn’t bring all their clothes back and it’s something we need for that day.
Earlier you shared some of your tasks. Seems like a lot, How do you juggle keeping everyone on time and in place?
Sometimes it’s a little crazy juggling a lot at one time, especially when a lot is going on at one time. But working with people consistently, we learn a rhythm and can work together with as few bumps as possible. Also, remembering time is money, we have to stay on a time frame to not go over our film schedule.
Some sets, I’m sure are different. Some easier than others. Name 3 of the most important things any production assistant should know for all sets.
Yes, every set is different and before working with anyone, I would recommend doing research on the production company first to ensure you’re not getting into something you don’t want to do. The next thing I’d say is important is being flexible, anything could happen and you may need to pivot. Organization is very important and learning to anticipate what may be needed helps you a lot. Lastly, the most important thing is being reliable as a PA does a lot that helps on the set and is a liaison between everyone.
FUN FACTS about Kellen
I’m an experience. Lol.
I love to travel and swim.
Everyone calls me a mermaid because you can always find me in a pool.
I have a crazy obsession with lip products and have over 100
(lip gloss, lip stick, lip anything lol) and sunglasses.
My first lead role in a movie was during the pandemic and I had to travel to Atlanta. That was a crazy time.
I started a clothing line called “Respect my hustle and my heels.”
It was a pleasure getting to know you.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us.
We're looking forward to seeing you on set and
on the screen in the future.
If you're interested in a production assistant or an actress, please feel free to contact Kellen. Tell her Cori sent you!
Behind the scene is where even more work goes into play to create a film. Without the majority of the people behind the scenes, what we see on screen could not be possible. Let's make it our business to "spotlight" those that help create your favorite scenes.
If you know someone that should be spotlighted go ahead and shine the light.