As a filmmaker, you need a team.
Having an experienced Line Producer or Production Manager is invaluable in the prep phase of your movie. The other essential professional you need is an experienced 1st AD.
And when I say prep phase, what I mean is – the sooner, the better. Even if you’re still writing your movie or raising funds, an experienced Production Manager and 1st AD can offer insight on how to get your movie produced efficiently.
These hard workers will refine your movie schedule and then keep the movie on time and on budget. Having these two professionals on your team are essential. Once you have these folks in place, they will provide guidelines on how to hire the crew.
To find both a 1st AD and UPM, check out the Director’s Guild of America website.
I know a lot of people who have success sourcing crew on Craig’s List. But hiring people from Craig’s List can be full of headaches too. Plenty of filmmakers who had horrible experiences with hiring inexperienced or untrustworthy talent.
The easiest way to find a crew is through referrals. Especially in the movie industry. People trust people they’ve worked with in the past. So go into your network and find out who knows whom.
You don’t need a huge crew either. A few years ago, I helped out on a 35mm TV commercial with a crew of seven. Each of us was cross-trained to handle multiple jobs. When we got onto set, each carried out every task with professionalism.
Once you hire help, make sure everyone’s needs are being met. Talk with the audio people, the camera people and the director to hear their ideas. Once you get in the groove, you’ll find most people get very creative in a small cast and crew production.
If you would like more information on this type of production, grab a copy of my filmmaking book.