Much like the growth of video conferencing instead of in-person meetings, hiring local crew for your video projects can make a lot of economic sense, even under the best circumstances. In recent weeks, the argument for hiring local crew for out-of-area video projects has become stronger than ever.
Here are some of the advantages of hiring local:
1.) Travel Savings: When you consider the amount of money it costs to fly a video crew and their equipment from one city to another, plus lodging, ground transportation and dining costs, even a reasonably priced video project can become an expensive endeavor.
2.) Locals Know the Area: How often have you flown into a location, only to find that you need something for the shoot? A local crew knows where to get those last-minute items. Additionally, they can quickly secure rental gear, locations, and additional crew. They know the ins and outs of specific filming locations and are prepared for potential obstacles like parking, local events, permit knowledge or safety issues.
3.) Convenience: Often, it’s just a matter of one or two phone calls to get a full crew hired for your project. Most locals will be able to hire or refer others on your behalf, saving you a lot of time and energy.
4.) Safety: Public health issues such as the COVID-19 Coronavirus have impacted companies around the world. Many businesses are limiting or restricting their usual work travel and are implementing smart solutions that enable them to maintain business operations with as little disruption as possible.
Political Ad Shoot - All crew was hired locally
Credit - Chris Gomez
Some producers are uncomfortable hiring local crews that they are unfamiliar with or haven't worked with personally. While it is understandable to be hesitant, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of a negative experience:
1.) Check the crew person’s website.
Most reputable production professionals have a wealth of information about their qualifications on their websites, along with examples of their work, testimonials from past clients and a gear and price list. If the person you’re interested in hiring isn’t available, chances are they can recommend some trusted colleagues.
2.) Reach out to ProductionHUB for assistance selecting local crew or vendors.
The team at ProductionHUB is quite good at recommending crews around the world. They have in-house Production Managers that can assist you with sourcing whoever or whatever you need. They take a lot of time speaking with the freelancers and vendors listed on their site, getting to know their work and learning which crew people are the right choice for a particular project.
3.) Communicate your project needs and budget with the crew or company you hire.
Make sure you and the crew you've hired have everything laid out beforehand, including what gear will be used, the scope of the job, the hours included, an estimate, and any extra costs that could be added such as possible mileage fees, etc.
Car Dealership - Shot for an out of state client.
Photo credit - Chris Gomez
Traveling is usually one of the perks of working in this industry. As a producer and cinematographer, I’ve been fortunate to work with crews from around the world. I've found that when it comes to production, we all speak the same language. Usually, after just a short time on set together, we are humming along with everyone in sync, understanding the needs of the shoot. In my business most of the projects I do involve working on behalf of clients who are not from the city I live in. By following the rules above, I'm able to allay any uncertainty they may have. My clients end up very happy because of the many benefits of hiring a local crew brings to the table, only part of which is the time and travel expenses saved.
Land Rover Shoot - Hired local crew
Photo credit - Mikon Haaksman