The Secret To Crews
I love hearing producers and directors say " I wish I could shoot with this crew on every job. It's the best compliment I can think of - it means we have put together the right chemistry of people for that particular job. Of course the reality is that you can work with us anytime - it's just a matter of paying us. All kidding aside, getting the right crew is often a crap shoot, while working with a group of talented professionals with great attitudes and the right combination of creativity and technical know how can be a magical experience.
I travel a lot for work, "according to my wife "way too much", and I work with lots of crews from all over. Some shows are months long and I get the opportunity to work with the same crews every day, while others are one or two day shoots where you come together, meet, work and leave. From all these shoots, I've developed a massive database of all the crews I have enjoyed working with, both locally and nationally. It's one of my companies more valuable assets, because it represents reliable assets that I know will make each project that I'm on successful.
I have to admit I have a "type" when it comes to what I look for in a crew person. First, love what you are doing - if you don't love it, move on and find what you do love, life is too short. Second, be smart. Not so much PHD smart, but someone my mom would say had a good head on their shoulders, common sense can go a long way some times. Third, have a great attitude. I'm a "be part of the solution not part of the problem" kinda of guy and expect others to be like that. Fourth, have a strong work ethic, I can't stand lazy people, honestly I just don't understand being lazy, especially if you love what you are doing. Fifth, there is no room for egos in this business. On of my favorite sayings is - "I know enought to know I there is a lot I don't know". So if you are what one of my favorite DP's calls a "Know it all dumbass, I'm probably not going to find you a good crew member. Finally, be fun. You already know that I'm the one on the set smiling the widest most of the time, and if you love something and have a good head on your shoulders there is no reason not to have fun while your doing it. It only makes sense.
I learn something on every shoot that I go on, for me that's part of what draws me to the business, it's something new every day. It's an opportunity to work with brilliant, interesting people who are really good at what they do.
The secret to crews? Find the right people, pay them well and treat them right. A well fed crew that is treated with respect, can make the difference between a great shoot and a horrible experience.
Copyright 2014 Randy Baker Productions Digital Storytellers