How to Hire a Film Crew for Your Next Passion Project
Hiring a film crew for your passion project? Here are four tenets to keep in mind to make sure you assemble a successful team.
Passion projects shape us as filmmakers. Whether it’s a narrative, art, or documentary piece, there’s always one thing you need to do — hire a film crew. However, finding dedicated and talented people for a passion project can, at times, be an issue. Recently, I started one of my own passion projects and this got me wondering How do I crew this?
1. Give First, Then Receive
When you’re looking to hire a film crew for a passion project, you’re typically pulling from your social and professional networks. This was very much the case for my project. Over the last few years, I’ve built a solid network of like-minded filmmakers whom I’ve worked with on a variety of paying projects. Many of these filmmakers I’ve personally recommended for many paying jobs — and vice versa. Essentially, we’ve become a support and referral network for each other.
If you don’t have a huge budget, then hiring from your networks like this (if you’ve put in the time), can save you in total cost — in the form of discounted rates and personal favors.
2. Build a Solid Pitch
Before people can buy into your project, they have to know exactly what you want to create. If you’re hiring a film crew, they’ll want to know there’s a solid direction behind the production.
You can do this by creating a pitch deck, a mood board, or even some storyboards.
3. Be Honest and Upfront
When you begin actually hiring a film crew, be upfront about what to expect, especially when it comes to pay. If you’re agreeing to a discounted rate, be sure you’re both clear on the number. Avoid abstracts agreements. State what you can afford from the beginning. If you over-promise but can’t deliver, this will damage the morale of your crew — and your standing in the community.
4. Show Some Respect
If you can’t afford to actually hire a film crew at standard rates, do your absolute best to cover other hard costs like travel, expendables, and food. This simple gesture can go a long way if you’re asking people to do you a favor. Treat your crew well, and they’ll treat your project well.
Also, don’t ask your crew do more than you agreed to. For example, don’t push your crew to work a fourteen-hour day when you originally said it would be a six-hour day. If a shoot gets out of control, stop and rethink it, and figure out how to finish the job with input from the crew.
Cover image via Sundays Photography.
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