The Future of Production Services: What to Consider When Hiring Crew in 2022

Published on in Exclusive Interviews

There are so many benefits of production services—taking care of the hiring, coordinator, and other production details—it's no surprise that many companies are starting to take advantage. 

We sat down with our in-house Production Manager, Jennelle Jordan, to get her biggest takeaways from 2021 and what agencies and content creators should consider when it comes to hiring crew and vendors in 2022.

PH: What are the most important things agencies and businesses need to look for when it comes to choosing a production vendor or freelancer for their project?

Jennelle Jordan: From a first glance they should be taking a look at the vendor or freelancer’s portfolio - do they have a reel or sample videos they’re sharing, do they have some behind the scenes photos or other still photos of projects, etc.?  Whether you’re a DP (who of course should definitely have a reel and samples to share) or a H/MUA or a PA, clients of all size look for examples of previous work that aligns with what they are trying to accomplish with their production.  Once you find someone with relevant work examples or at least a client or credit list you can reach out to have a conversation, engage that freelancer 1:1 to make sure that they will then be a good fit to gel with your agency or client team.

What are some new considerations that need to be factored into the hiring equation that didn't exist two years ago?

Jennelle Jordan: Well obviously all things COVID are now being discussed in the hiring process - from vaccination status and PCR vs. antigen testing, to new terminologies in positions such as Covid Compliance Officer or red/yellow/green zones - these are all considerations we never faced before 2020, but are likely to stay - at least for the next little while.  

With that there is also the question of remote vs. in-person - we’ve seen more and more remote-specific positions, where freelancers and even full-time employees are now primarily working from home and not in fact coming into an office every day.

PH: If we can look for silver linings, how have the challenges of Covid you've faced as a Producer and Production Manager, and the solutions you've developed to those challenges, changed the way you work for the better?

Jennelle Jordan: I think everyone in the entertainment and digital media industry has gotten smarter at budgeting, and making sure you have the right amount of above and below the line crew and costs for each job.  We continue working to take every precaution possible to ensure the production team and talent, agency and client are kept safe throughout the production process, and to just value every job that comes through, the people you work with, and the clients for giving you an opportunity.  

PH: What are your favorite adaptations or "pivots" that you've seen come about in the production or live event world over that past year and a half?

Jennelle Jordan: Remote production has become very popular, and honestly just necessary to continue working while travel was shut down for many.  So seeing that portion of the production world come to life has been really great.  It’s provided an opportunity for the live event world to pivot a bit without the large tours, and overall it’s helped connect countries and people that may not have been connected previously.  For instance, while Europe was not allowed to travel into the U,S ProductionHUB helped to connect countless European clients with US vendors that they may not have worked with before because they would have physically been here to do the production themselves - and vice versa US clients having to rely on international vendors for their production work overseas.  So I think one positive in the craziness is the opportunities to connect with crew and vendors outside of the normal everyday production.

PH: Sum up a successful production in 1-3 words: 

Jennelle Jordan: Planning, Pre-Production, and did I say Planning?!

PH: What new types of projects or tech do you anticipate clients asking for more of in 2022?

Jennelle Jordan: I think we’ll continue to see virtualization/remote production, but coupled with live event production as things open back up, which I think is a really great ‘best of both worlds’ scenario.  We’re seeing people embrace and want to do more with AI and VR, more intricate 3D animation and gaming tech, and of course just capturing a ton of content (both interactive and traditional) with all the many varied streaming platforms and OTT.

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