You're going to get sick of me saying this, but filmmaking is a collaborative process. At this point in our 'how-to' adventure together, you should have a script, a producer or two, a director, an organized script breakdown, and an idea of where you're going to get the necessary cash. Now it's time to build the rest of your team. This week, we're talking how and who to hire for your crew.
If I'm being honest, on a no-budget production, crew is second priority to securing actors, but the more people you can bring onboard, the easier everyone's jobs will be. And because having the same people behind the scenes the whole shoot isn't as important as having the same actors on screen, you can be a bit more flexible.
You're going to want to call on friends to fill out your crew, and that's fine, but a few words of warning. First, prioritize crew who already have access to equipment. Hiring a director of photography (DP) with a camera is better than a DP without one, and hiring a lighting person with a lighting kit is better than your roommate from college who owns a table lamp. Don't just hire friends because they seem excited to help. Only hire friends if they are a) already skilled at the thing you're hiring them for, and/or b) clear on the expectations and responsibilities and ready to follow directions. I don't care that you've been friends since childhood‚ if your friend can't do the job or won't follow instructions, don't hire them. It'll just put undue stress on the relationship as well as the production.
Because a crew is a luxury for a no-budget project, here's my entirely subjective list of essential team members for any production, regardless of budget:
If you happen to know more people, though, here are potential add-ons:
Of course, best case scenario is that you get to hire fifty different people, who are all specialized in different parts of running a set, but reality might not be so kind. Different scripts and different sets will require different combinations of people, and at the end of the day, you're going to need to figure what works best for you and your story.
Now that you've built your behind-the-scenes team, it's time to look in front of the camera. Next week we'll talk actors, auditions, and good vibes.
This article was originally published on TVWriter.Net, Larry Brody's guide to writing for the medium everyone loves to hate.
Bri Castellini is an award-winning filmmaker and the Community Liaison at Stareable, a hub for web series. Looking for your next favorite show? Head to Stareable.com to browse and read reviews of thousands of web series, all in one place.
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