7 Things Producers Look for When Using “Staff Me Up”
Looking to expand your filmmaking resume with some additional experience? Here are some tips on using platforms like Staff Me Up.
Cover image by gnepphoto.
It’s a well-known fact that the film and video world is a “who you know” industry. Whether you’re a grip, a gaffer, a director of photography, or a director, it takes time to build a career — and you do it job by job. While the best advice will always be to work hard and make solid connections, you should also know about a new wave of platforms aimed at helping producers put together their crews.
Staff Me Up is a great example of how filmmakers and crew members can find gigs in today’s digital world. We chatted with a producer who regularly hires through Staff Me Up about what makes a strong profile for a candidate that ultimately gets the best gigs.
1. Clear Photo
Image by Dean Drobot.
When a hiring producer is scanning profiles, the first thing they’ll see before they even get into your credentials is your photo, so it needs to be clear and do a good job of representing yourself. Not having a photo is simply not an option. A producer needs, first and foremost, to know that you’re a real, accountable person who isn’t just spamming a website or running some scam. You don’t have to be a knock-out, but a photo that clearly shows who you are is important.
2. Credits Are Key
Image by Zorik Khutoryan.
As frustrating as this sounds, you gotta have credits to get credits in this industry. A full list of past gigs and credits on your profile is the strongest way to stand out. It shows that you’ve done the jobs and have the accolades to prove it.
If you’re just starting out, however, don’t let this dismay you. Credits can come from both big projects and small ones, so if you’ve worked on projects in film school or with friends on weekends, those count if you can build them up and get them recognized on places like IMDB.
The bottom line is that if you’ve done something, give yourself credit for it, and add it to your profile.
3. Similar Projects
Image by gnepphoto.
Once a producer looks at the credits, he or she is very likely to look for similar project experience. If you’ve worked on reality TV show productions in the past, you’d be a good asset on a similar team in the future. So, if you’ve found success working in a particular medium or genre, include this in your profile so you’ll stand out for those producers looking for help on similar projects.
4. Resume as PDF
Image by jamesteohart.
This may seem like a minor concern, but if you don’t follow the instructions and upload a PDF resume, you may lose out on more jobs than you realize. When reviewing candidates, producers often batch-download resumes once they’ve whittled down a list. They can forward these resumes and send them to other producers and team members for review. If you have a resume that won’t open (or even won’t download), it’ll just get deleted.
Image by zhgee.
Apps and platforms like Staff Me Up are great for producers who are working on projects both in-town and out-of-town. If you’re in a mainstream hub like Los Angeles or New York, that’s great — you may find gigs in your town or get flown out to gigs based on your experience. But, if you’re a professional anywhere else in the world, producers may be want to hire you in your current location (or nearby) instead of shipping a crew out to your locale.
6. Pro Member
Image by SFIO CRACHO.
Staff Me Up, like most “free” sites these days offers a Pro Membership option. It’s not necessary, and it will never disqualify you in the eyes of any producer, but having it won’t hurt either. It’s just another way to show that you’re a real person and that you’re invested in your career.
7. Google Search
Perhaps the most interesting piece advice we learned from a hiring producer who uses Staff Me Up is that “You will be Googled.” All the information you choose to include is highly important — you get to put your best foot forward. However, be prepared (and do what you can to monitor) for all the information about you based on an online search of your name and profession. If you’re careful about what information about you is available online, this could work to your benefit because the more a producer can learn about you and your work, the more likely they are to hire you.
If you’re just getting started using digital staffing platforms like this, know that you might get many notices and inquires before your first hire. Staffing procedures usually begin (and like to be locked up) several weeks (usually 6 weeks) before the gig, so keep a tidy calendar. Often, you won’t have to worry about travel considerations, so consider travel miles to and from gigs as part of your payment.
And, as always, the best way to find consistent work and good gigs is to be ready, reliable, and positive. Once you get on with a good producer or production company, chances are very high that they will use you again and again — which is always the ultimate goal.
For more tips, tricks, and resources on freelance film and video production, check out some of these articles.