Pre-Production: How To Find a Crew

Your crew is comprised of the people who will essentially make the movie for you. Having a complete and talented group of people putting all the pieces together is critical to maintaining the quality of your film.

Step 1: Top Positions

There are a few positions that you will want to be highly selective about in your hiring process. The production designer will be working closely with the director to create the world of the movie. This person needs to be creatively intuitive as well as a pleasant collaborator. On top of that, they need to have knowledge of designing and building sets. If you are going to be doing a lot of visual effects, then you will want to find someone to serve as an expert in this department very early on. You will then need a director of photography who will be in charge of getting your scenes onto recordable media. This person not only needs to be technically savvy, but also easy for you to work with. Their personality will play a big part in the mood of the set.

Step 2: Collecting Resumes

The best way to find these people is if you know some strong candidates. Reach out to people you know first because you will be more familiar with them than anyone you interview blindly. Your network is the best tool that you have. You can then explore some other options. The first is to seek out some below the line agents and find people through them. You can also try to post onto a job search website such as or Craigslist.

Step 3: More Positions

Now that you have your top positions, your network has greatly expanded. Though you have only added a few people to your team, these are people who work with crew members all the time and in all likelihood have a long list of talented, friendly people that they would like to hire below them. The DP can probably find camera assistants, a gaffer and a key grip. These people can in turn find more electricians and grips. The production designer will probably have an art director who she always works with. They can then also recommend a prop person and a set dresser.

Step 4: Other Departments

You will still have some vacancies in the make-up, wardrobe, sound and other departments. Again, rely on your network first. Ask people you know for recommendations. If you turn up with no results, then you can again pursue these people on job search websites. The trouble with these is that you will get a huge amount of responses that you will need to weed through in order to find the talented people. Unfortunately there is no way to be completely sure that anyone is legitimate, but meeting them beforehand can help a lot.

Your crew will carry the weight of your production. Finding great people will keep your shoot moving and in high spirits.

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