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6 Questions to Ask When You Hire a Camera Crew

Sure, references and a great resume come in handy when it comes to reviewing applicants to hire as part of your camera crew, but hiring a camera crew takes more than just accepting the first “great candidate” you make contact with.

Before you declare someone part of your film crew, make sure you’re prepared to ask these questions to help you better understand the applicant, whether or not they will fit in with your film crew, and if they’ve really got what it takes to work with you on the set.

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1. What is it that You Are Most Interested About in Working on this Project?

Before you ever hire someone to be a part of your film crew you need to know that they are invested and interested — not just in the paycheck, but in the long-haul.

Hiring a camera crew requires making sure that each person you hire will be fully invested in the crew and making the project a success.

I like to ask what it is that they are most interested in because this tells me whether or not they have done their homework.

Even if the role they are being considered for has minimal involvement, every position on the camera crew is important and, if someone slacks off, it will be felt within the entire team – so we need to hire smarter to ensure the production goes without a hitch.

If I ask you what is most important and you don’t have an answer, or your answer tells me that you didn’t do your homework, I’m probably not going to hire you. If you can’t research the project and my crew even a little bit before your interview, you’re probably not ideal for this team.

2. What’s Your Favorite Movie?

This sounds silly, but I’m wondering if you have even remotely the same sense of taste or style that I have. Can I tell all of that by your choice in a movie? Probably not! But I can get an idea of what style you like with the answer.

Be prepared to elaborate a bit and tell me WHY you like a particular movie or director. I don’t want a generic, “I love action” answer, either!

I want to know how you apply your role in cinematography to the details of the movie that you claim to be your favorite.

If you’re not considering how you would recreate, change, or otherwise be involved behind the scenes of your favorite movie, you’re probably not passionate enough about film to be part of my camera crew.

3. How Will You Go Above and Beyond working with My Crew?

camera crew - The martini shot

You may not have the answer here, but I would love to hear how you have gone above and beyond on projects in the past.

Did you pull together with your team to produce a film that you absolutely didn’t think was going to work when you started?

Did you put in extra time and effort to make sure a project got completed on time despite delays and setbacks that threatened the timeliness of the project?

When I ask this question I’m looking for answers that will help me to pinpoint you as someone that works well under pressure, adhere’s to deadlines, and will do whatever it takes to make the project a success!

4. Would You Rather Work with a Team or are You an Independent Worker?

questions to ask a video production company

We’re looking for a camera crew, and that’s going to mean we need team players. Even if you prefer to work alone, you may need to find a reason or way to enjoy working with others if you’re interested in being hired as part of a camera crew team.

While there may be times or positions in which you can work independently, the majority of the work on a camera crew is teamwork where every working piece of the puzzle is important.

I want to know that you can work with others, will make exceptions to ensure a happy work environment with those others, and you’re not just making some time up to say what you think I want to hear.

When you answer this question, you should be thinking about examples of how your teamwork has helped projects to succeed in the past.

As an interviewer, I’m looking for details on past situations that would have been an epic fail if it were not for the team player attitudes, sportsmanship, and general ability to come together and get things done.

5. What Kind of Experience Do you Have with Video Editing Software?

Hiring a camera crew has little to do with hiring an editor, but this question helps me to determine whether the applicant has a technical understanding of the shots and scenes they capture on the set.

If you’re technically experienced then you can see in advance situations that would require extensive editing or that may not fit together as well as they could.

While I don’t expect you to fully have the skills to edit an entire film, I want to hear that you not only understand the technical aspects of filmmaking but that you have a passion that takes your mind beyond the basic skills of operating a camera and into the technical world of editing or even better, tell me about a time when you helped someone else finish their job which was completely unrelated to your work on the set. Again, teamwork makes the dream work!

6. How Many Hours Can You Work?

hourglass time

Don’t tell me you’re a 9-5 and out kind of person because that’s not going to work on MY film crew. While film crews may eventually get the luxury of a standard workday you shouldn’t go into the job expecting it.

Film crews work long, crazy hours. At times a 12 or 14 hour day is the norm. I want you to be comfortable working long hours. Hiring a film crew that is prepared to work overnight, into the wee hours of the morning if necessary is vital to the success of the film.