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10 Great Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Crew

Posted by Tony Muzzatti on August 15, 2012

Corporate video production is nothing new, it’s just grown in popularity over the years. Many of the corporate video producers and media managers of today are working year round to produce engaging content for their brands. If you do not come from a video production background, you might not be familiar with how a video production crew works before, during, and after a shoot. When you only have five hours to complete six hours of work, things can get chaotic. Here are 10 great ways to get the most out of your crew.

1. E-mail as often as necessary – but not TOO much. Make all relevant information in ONE email. If you have a long string of emails back & forth important information can be lost. After all is communicated, draft a single page summary of what has been agreed. We have found that putting together a call sheet with all of your shoot information on it will save a lot of time as well as the crew can ask any questions once they review it.

2. Be Communicative on set. Do not be afraid to say, “that isn’t quite what I was looking for” on set. It is always better to directly address an issue in a straightforward way, than to let it stew. You are not going to hurt their feelings, in fact they will likely grow respect for you out of your honesty. These folks do not work with you every day so they cannot predict exactly what you want unless you tell them. The set can be a stressful environment so communicating issues and ideas always trumps passive aggression.

3. Allow the crew to see a rehearsal of the shot. If the shoot is complicated with lots of talent actions and blocking, do not skip rehearsals. A rehearsal allows the DP and A1 time to preview the blocking and examine minuscule details the producer might not notice. If you do not have the time or budget to allow for a full on rehearsal then do a couple run-throughs of the shot before you start recording.

4. Cold water goes a long way. If you are going to bring a crew to the desert it does not hurt to supply some cold drinks. The work involved in video production is physically arduous, cold drinks are as important as the camera itself.

5. Be extremely organized. Know what you want and how you want it. This will make everyone’s life a little bit easier. Do your research, come up with a shot list and then let your cameraperson have some input if he feels something needs mentioning.

6. Lunch is necessary. A hungry crew is not a happy crew. If you are going to be on site for 6-10 hours make sure you give them a break to eat and rest up a bit. This goes a long way in the production world and your crew will thank you for it in the end.

7. Be flexible. Sometimes you have to make work with what you got. In a perfect world everything would go according to plan, but this is not a perfect world. If you find yourself in this situation it’s a good time to pull your DP to the side and ask them for advice. Generally speaking, they have likely been in a similar situation before.

8. Take time to listen. With Crews Control crews, all of our DP’s are highly experienced, just like you. They may have a suggestion that you may not have thought of, or might be able to point something out that you did not notice. Not because they know more, but because they may just have a different way of looking at it.

9. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. It’s the golden rule that, in theory, everyone knows and practices. Do unto others – enough said.

10. Remember your Production Manager at Crews Control is always here for you…whenever or whatever. Their job is to make your life easier and they love to do it!

Have anything to add? Tell me what you would add to this list in the comments below, or join the conversation over on our Facebook page.


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