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 5 Member Film Crew: All Members Needed for Micro-Film Production 

What’s the smallest possible film crew that you can hire to get the job done? How many film crew members do I really need? Is it really necessary to hire “insert film crew member here”? Will I be able to produce my corporate video with just “insert film crew members here.”? Why do we need to hire “insert number,” film crew members? 

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These are all common questions that come up in the planning and execution of hiring a film crew. It’s natural to want to cut corners, keep costs low, and minimize operating expenses. But, even the smallest film crews require at least a few professionals on-set in order to get the job done.

In fact, the average number for a small film crew is 5. With fewer than 5 people, your chance of completing the shoot will be a struggle at best. Here’s who is involved in this micro-film production crew of 5  members.

1  Director of Photography

The most important role in a micro-film crew, the Director of Photograph is your creative vision. Without a DP the chance of getting a film produced that isn’t just run of the mill, standard point and shoot is slim.

A DP will help you with things like lighting, sound, set up, angles, and bringing out the cinematography skills of even a camera crew that isn’t so great.

2  Hair & Makeup 

Body Makeup Artist on Set

Small, short films and those that intend to go beyond the basics, will require hair and makeup to be on set. You can’t really cut corners here because without a great makeup artist  you won’t manage to maintain the photographic specific looks of each of your actors from scene to scene.

An excellent makeup artist will be able to keep the makeup of your talent consistent throughout the movie and on-point. 

3  Production Assistant 

The production assistant will wear several hats when working on the micro-film crew. Production assistants generally perform a wide range of duties anyway, but in the cast of a super small film-crew, the production assistant is responsible for even more than usual.

Production assistants may help move gear, feed crew, drive members to locations, deliver supplies, or otherwise perform tasks that would be unexpected.

The production assistant for a small film crew is essentially a short order stagehand that can help you with everything from gear and grip to sound and music.

4  Location Sound Recordist 

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The location sound recordist is responsible for capturing sound production without capturing any of the poor or unwanted sounds that may be present in the background noise of the location. 

What’s most important to you when you watch a film? Great video, great audio, or both? Many say both, but in order to get both you must have a great camera crew and a great sound recordist. 

The location sound recordist knows how to capture the sound of a location or stage crew without capturing unnecessary noise.

Small film crews may have limited equipment to work with when recording sound but a great sound recordist should be able to work well with the provided equipment to produce top quality sound for each scene despite complex surroundings.

5  Gaffer & Grip

Not both, but two in one if possible as we’re going for low budget! The gaffer and grip are responsible for fixing issues with lighting, stands, stage equipment and other production based equipment. Don’t just hire any Gaffer and pray that the Director of Photography will do the rest. 

A grip and gaffer should know cameras. They should know lighting. They should know sounds and they should know all of those in a way that allows them to work independently on the film set while simultaneously providing direct assistance to the DP.