6 Tips for Hiring a Camera Crew
Whether you’ve been involved in video production before or you’re new to the process, hiring a camera crew that’s skilled and prepared for the high pressure environment that comes with video production can make or break the success of your project. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities for mistakes when it comes to hiring a camera crew for the job and, if you make mistakes here, there’s a pretty solid chance that your project will suffer later on. To help you avoid mistakes on-set, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you hire a camera crew for the job. 6 Tips for Hiring a Camera Crew.
1. Get Several References
Anyone can fabricate a single reference, but rarely will a camera crew fabricate several solid references that will make you accept them. Before you hire a camera crew, ask to see their work and ask for at least 3 recent client references. Make sure you specify RECENT as you don’t really need references from a decade ago. What worked ten years ago may be ineffective in production now so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got recent references on the work.
Team Beverly Boy offers professional camera crews that are local to where your project is happening. This way you can trust that they are familiar with the local city. You can rest assured that they will have a firm understanding of local zoning, culture and processes. Hiring local camera crews also eliminates travel and lodging fees. They also have a clear understanding of local transportation, what to expect when traveling to the set, and an understanding of the terrain if shooting on location. A local camera crew will also be more familiar with location permitting and special needs as regulations go.
3. Remember, You Get What You Pay For
Don’t think that you can hire a camera crew for pennies and get top quality work out of them. It just won’t happen. You get what you pay for in video production just as with anything else in life. While you may be able to get quality work occasionally when you’re hiring on a freelance budget, chances are you’ll get a lot of stress and a little quality if you’re not willing to invest in the production. Instead, set a reasonable budget and be prepared to pay for quality video production. In the end, it will be worth it!
Now is also a good time to make sure you’re hiring enough crew members to get the job done on schedule. Your camera crew will not be happy coming into a project that they know is understaffed and impossible to pull off just because you wanted to lowball the budget.
4. Get Estimates in Writing
Word of mouth is not good for much these days. Contract law requires you to have your estimate in writing if you want to have any control over the process and the final product. Make sure that you get all estimates in writing and that the estimates clearly define the crew, the day rate hours (8, 10 or 12 is the norm), and any union details as required based on the location of your shot. Location circumstances may dictate a unionized shoot in some cases.
5. Hire the DP First
Before you hire anyone else, hire the right DP. In fact, if you can manage to hire the best DP for the job, the rest of the camera crew will likely fall into place rather quickly and easily. The DP is essential and will play a major role in delivering a successful video production. Once you hire a DP, ask them if they have recommendations on the rest of the crew. Chances are the remaining crew members will be easier to hire than you thought!
6. Ask for Recommendations
If you’ve already hired a DP or you’ve hired someone else for your camera crew, ask them for recommendations on who to hire to fill other positions. A DP may already have details on a favorite gaffer or they may have recently worked with a local sound guy that was really great. Likewise, maybe you already hired a 1st AC that knows a great Steadicam operator for the job. Ask for recommendations, especially from camera crew members that you’re already working with and doing well with or have worked with in the past successfully. You can trust these recommendations above others.
Need help coordinating a camera crew that will produce your next big project? Give Beverly Boy Productions a call! We have a vetted camera crew that’s ready to shoot in over 300 locations worldwide. No matter where you are, or what your project entails, Team Beverly Boy has got you covered.