So you’re ready to produce your next film, but need to work in an unfamiliar location? This can be challenging for any film producer. Being in a different filming location than what you are used to brings many obstacles. One of the biggest obstacles is finding a local film crew in the new location.
If you’ve decided to shoot in a new location you want to know where you can look for the best film crew. You also want to know how to adhere to the laws, guidelines, and regulations of the new locations you choose.
Particularly with the pandemic, so many rules have changed for film productions. Some states/cities have more lax rules while others are more restrictive. This has caused many film productions to alter their shooting locations.
We’ve prepared this comprehensive guide on how to find a local film crew when you head to a new location.
Word Of Mouth
You can always rely on word of mouth to find talent. When you arrive in a new city, you can ask around where you can find the best film crew members and who they are. For example, if some of your cast has worked in the new locale before, they can recommend crew members whom they enjoyed working with in the past.
If you meet film producers and production company executives in your new locale, you can rely on their testimonials on where to look and who to hire.
Start with word of mouth to find your ideal local film crew. Once you have found a few members of your film crew, you can ask them to refer you to the others in the crew.
Facebook groups are a great way to find your local film crew. There are Facebook groups for general film crews and others for specific members of the crew. You can also join a Facebook group for residents of the locale and ask for referrals to qualified candidates.
You should also look up Facebook groups for film clubs, film schools, etc. in your locale. For example, if there is a film school in the new locale, see if there’s a Facebook group that all the students are a member of. This is a great place to recruit your film crew.
While Facebook is the best place for finding talent, you can also use Instagram and LinkedIn to find your talent. You can search if there are any film professionals on LinkedIn in the new locale and reach out to them directly.
Similarly, on Instagram, many film professionals share their work and you have the ability to message them directly. The great thing about Instagram is that you can see clips of their work on their profiles (camera work, editing, etc.).
There are production websites such as IMDB Pro, Mandy, Production Beast, and Production Hub where you can hire film crew. These websites are made for experienced film crew members to share their credentials.
For more technical positions such as camera operators and sound designers, make sure you see a sample of their work before hiring them.
You should always have a membership on these production websites. You will have exclusive access to talent (both cast and crew) and will be able to contact them directly to offer them work.
Film Clubs and Societies
We mentioned film clubs and societies on social media. If you can attend these meetings in person, this is even better. These organizations are great for finding anyone eager to work on a film set.
As these organizations are intended for people who appreciate the art of film, you can use it for recruiting the most creative positions such as your director or cinematographer.
If there’s a film school nearby, or if the local university has a film department, this is another great place to recruit your film crew. If you haven’t been able to connect with the film school via social media, stop by and speak to the administration. Ask if you can post flyers seeking crew members around the campus.
Many film students are eager to work and will work for low wages or even for free. They want as much experience working on a film set and will put forth a lot of effort. You can find film students who have experience in directing student films. These students will work well as assistant directors or camera operators.
You will also find film students that don’t have a particular focus and work well as a jack-of-all-trades — and master of many! Among this group, you’ll find your script supervisors, production assistants, etc.
Many great actors got their start behind the camera. Many young actors are curious about every aspect of filmmaking. Many aspiring actors want to work on a film set — in any capacity — just to be near other actors.
If you have gaps in your film crew and are having difficulty filling in the remaining roles, you might find a production assistant, script-supervisor, camera operator, boom operator, and much more from aspiring actors who are in acting school.
Build Your Network
Once you start finding your local film crew, you should build your network. If you find that you enjoy the chemistry with your film crew and that they understand your artistic vision — you should stick with them.
Many of the most prominent filmmakers always worked with the same crew whenever possible. This ensures consistent quality and great working experience.
Your network will also expand. As your production assistant moves up in their career, they will be able to refer you to other crew within production. As your camera operator gets more experience they will refer you to gaffers, grips, and assistant directors.
Got Your Film Crew? Time for Lights, Camera, Action!
Now that you know how to hire a local film crew and what positions you need to fill, you are ready to start searching for local talent. The crew truly are the unsung heroes of a film but once you see your finished product — you’ll appreciate their craftsmanship and collaboration.
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