Crewing Up

Filling your crew lists with the right people is crucial to the success of your projects.

Filmmaking involves people with different skills, qualifications, and temperaments. Their craftsmanship quality is crucial for the artistic result, for the success of the work processes and for an efficient, goal-oriented shooting process. The size of a team depends on the requirements of the script and the budget of a project.

The Process

The director and producer choose the department heads of the specialist departments together, as these people will often have budgetary responsibilities in addition to artistic ones. The department heads are then responsible for the further development of the departments as the respective production phases of the project move forward, though certain key positions in these departments are coordinated with the direction and production. Key positions in the director's and production departments will also be filled in consultation. The employment and remuneration of the employees is done through the production. As an employer, they are also responsible for complying with legal, collective bargaining and trade union requirements.

Crew Member Sourcing

To become aware of filmmakers who are eligible for a project, producers and directors always look at current film productions with regard to credits and positions. Often, artistic-technical employees are also organized in professional associations that publish – either online or in print – overviews of their members with filmographies and contact details attached. Agencies often act as representatives for actors. Other tools for crewing include online databases, in which primarily non-artistic filmmakers present themselves. Given the specialized environment of a visual production, networking is a central part of the industry. It's a human business – the experiences of friends and colleagues on previous projects can help to assess candidates for future productions.

In addition to technical and artistic considerations, psychological factors play a role in the formation of the team. Film production is time-consuming and labor-intensive and poses many challenges to working together. Trust and predictability are valuable assets and experience working in a collaborative environment is an advantage, because information can be interpreted very differently depending on the temperament and self-image of the people involved. For these reasons, certain constellations of filmmakers work together regularly, often over many years.