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2.4 Booking Your Crew and Talent

Whenever you hire others to work on your shoots, it is very important to lay out all the expectations ahead of time to make sure everyone is on the same page. In this lesson you will learn what details you want to go through with your talent and crew to make your shoot a success!

2.4 Booking Your Crew and Talent

Whenever you hire others to work on your shoots, it's important to lay out all the expectations ahead of time, to make sure everyone is on the same page. In this lesson you will learn what details you want to go through with your talent and crew to make your shoot a success. In a previous lesson, I mentioned that I asked my friend and colleague, Andrew Manzano, to work with me on this project. I've worked with Andrew on dozens of projects over the last eight years. He runs his own video and music production business and I thought he would be a great asset to have on set. Having Andrew on set would lessen the burden on me because, once I explained what I was looking for, I wouldn't have to direct his every move. From our experience working together, I know that he knows what I'm looking for and this is a huge help to the production. I made sure to go over as many details up front about his responsibilities, what gear I needed him to bring, and what I could offer him for compensation. These are important details to go over at the start of the project so no one is blindsided. I wouldn't wanna try and lock someone in for a price and then let them know at the last second that I needed them to bring a bunch of extra gear that they would normally charge extra for. That is not good business. In this case, I asked Andrew to bring his C100 camera, camera batteries, a 70-200 F2.8 lens, tripod and head, and a C stand. He ended up bringing a few extra pieces of kit as well. This was gear he normally brings with him to shoots, like extra lenses, and that was fine. For both Andrew and Cheryl, I calculated a rate based on the time they would be working on the day of the shoot, prep time, expendables, and travel costs. Cheryl had supplies to buy, and she was also going to be working on the script in advance of the shoot, so I calculated this into her compensation. Andrew was bringing some of his kit to the shoot, and he had about an hour drive in travel time, too. When I ask them to work on the project, I confirmed that their compensation was appropriate, and they both agreed. I don't want anyone to feel like I am devaluing their time. I want to pay someone a fair amount so that they feel part of the team. I believe that this creates motivation for them to go the extra mile for the project. I also worked it out so that my wife could take Cheryl's two children, along with my four children, to an indoor bounce house play center for the day. Cheryl and my wife, Rachel, are both stay at home moms. And I know that it isn't always easy to find quality child care for your children, especially during normal working hours. I factored in the cost of my wife taking the kids to the play center in the budget as well, and Cheryl was happy with that. From my experience shooting and producing for ad agencies and other production companies, up front communication leads to the best experiences. A few times, I've been booked for a shoot and I didn't know exactly what I was going to be shooting until I got there. I was able to adapt and be flexible. But, if I can mentally prepare before I get to a gig I feel like I can do a better job for my clients. That is what I try to do when I book talent and crew for my projects. I want the people working with me to hit a home run. So I try to give them everything they need up front, so that they can knock it out of the park. And just like other projects, when you have people in front of the camera lens you want to make sure that they sign a model release or a talent release with all the relevant information so that you can make sure that you and your clients are covered. Now that you understand what's involved in booking talent and crew, it's time to move on to stage plotting, which is coming up next.

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