How to choose the right cast & crew for your next video production

Jul 19, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Ambient Skies Productions Blog

Posted by John Schaus


Choosing the right cast and crew for your upcoming video production may not seem like a science, but there are key elements to keep in mind so the end product is successful. Talented people are desirable for both cast and crew, but remember—you'll be spending long hours with these folks, so you also want to hire basically easygoing, positive individuals who have a good work ethic.



Developing a good working relationship with a talent agency and/or casting director will make casting your production simpler and less time-consuming. It's an excellent idea to look into the background and testimonials of the agencies and casting directors you're considering based upon their track record. First, submit the script to the agency/director along with any preferences about individual characters—i.e.. age range, dialect/accent, and whether you prefer to work with seasoned actors or will take a chance with new ones, based upon the agency's/director's assessment.

Bear in mind everyone must start somewhere; sometimes a fresh face/interpretation of a role can be valuable. This also presents the opportunity to work with eager-to-learn actors who may be more directable; not to mention that these actors have a much more affordable fee than that of a famous actor. This isn't always the case—sometimes very famous, respected actors will take on an intriguing part without demanding an outrageous fee. Case in point, Robin Williams accepted the role of the psychologist in Good Will Hunting for a modest fee compared to his usual salary because he sensed the depth of the character and script. And he received an Oscar for his faith in the script of two then virtually unknowns named Damon and Affleck. Conversely, many a talented unknown has made a film memorable while launching his/her own career.

So experience and training are valuable, to be sure, but should never be the only factors upon which you base your casting choices. Initial screening and testing of actors' abilities by a talent agency will help avoid missteps in casting.


Again, experience and training are extremely important. It's vital that each crew member know their responsibilities and perform them smoothly and expertly. The number of crew necessary will naturally depend upon the script (number of locations, simple or elaborate settings, etc.) as well as your budget. For a tight budget, a "skeleton crew" can make do, with some crew members performing more than one duty whenever possible. For example, you may find a talented Director of Photography who's also an excellent editor. Check out completed films or videos which are pretty similar to your project (budget, locations, etc.) with an eye to the number of crew members.

The entertainment industry has a strong allure, and there are always willing interns available looking for credit as a way to break in, so staffing from local film schools or departments for some of the "go-fer" or assistant jobs can be a big budget boon.

American Vision Windows - "Cherish The Moments"


Best wishes staffing for your video production—"Action!"


Check out some additional resources discussing camera comparisons and other useful tips to help gain more knowledge about various video production topics. 


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Defining DIT: The big misconception 

Straight Outta Compton's DOP chose to fly with the RED Dragon


If you are not too familiar with the different equipment that is needed to produce professional video, take a moment to read this ebook on What Camera Package is Best for my next Video Production below. Our experts explain all of the main differences of production equipment and what equipment is recommended most for different industries.



Topics:  Video Production Equipment, motion picture production, Camera crew, Director of Photography


Topics: Video Production Techniques, Corporate Video Production, video production services, motion picture production, company video production, Video Pre Production, Techniques