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 if you want a successful end product. Talented people are desirable for both sides of the spectrum (cast and crew), but remember—you'll be spending long hours with these folks, so same rules apply as most industries. You want to hire easygoing, positive individuals who have a good work ethic. There's more to it though.



Developing a good working relationship with a talent agency and/or casting director will simplify the casting process and make it less time-consuming. It's an excellent idea to look into the background and testimonials of the agencies and casting directors you're considering and make a decision based upon their track record. First, submit script and details 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 newcomers, 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 direct-able; not to mention that these actors have a much more affordable fee than that of a seasoned actor. This isn't always the case—sometimes very famous, respected actors will take on an intriguing project 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 here. It's vital that each crew member know their responsibilities and perform smoothly on an expert level. The number of crew necessary will naturally depend upon the script (number of locations, simple or elaborate settings, necessities of the scene, 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. If you can't afford the luxury a full crew, cut corners where you can, it is what it is. If the budget is there, then the size of your crew will solely be based off the needs of the scene. If your experience is only with smaller crews, check out completed films or videos which are similar to your project (budget, locations, etc.) and take note of the number of crew members involved if the information is accessible.

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 budget boon if you're getting squeezed. The value of a strong experienced assistant is worth it's weight in gold on and off set though. If you have the money, spend it on seasoned crew members. If your directory is lacking, recommendations from one professional can start a strong domino effect that results in a lot of new competent contacts willing and able to fill positions.


PARAGON VISION SCIENCES - "See Your Life Without Limits - w/ Sierra Blair Coyle"



Best wishes staffing for your video production!


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