How to Decide Crew For Documentary Film Production

Concept boards two uses a subtle storytelling approach, where the calls to action and appreciation are more subtle and come out from the details of the first person story captions. Corporate production shoots can be surprisingly long and physically exhausting. Depending on the budget, they can use the talents of a number of people or just a lone cameraman.

If you watch the credits roll for any big budget movie, you will no doubt be amazed at the list of people who worked on that film.
Compared to a big budget movie set, a corporate production usually has the same job functions as a movie, but on a much, much smaller scale.
Let’s take a look at the different production roles for a typical corporate production and when these people are needed.

Production Roles
The Director -oversees every creative aspect of a movie from start to finish. The director approves all of the camera angles, camera effects, lighting and set design. They read the script and develop their own vision for how the story needs to be told.
Directors are mainly used on corporate productions with decent sized budgets and flexible timeframes. They can add an extra dimension to any video by ensuring the same look and feel is consistent throughout and that the right message is conveyed.
When actors are required (both professional or non-professional) the director elicits a believable performance. This can be the difference between a video that is embarrassing to watch or one that is appealing and effective.
The Producer -initiates the project and manages it from its initial concept stage through to completion. They are responsible for budgets and ensuring the project gets done according to the specifications.

On corporate productions, the producer usually has other roles on the set (eg: the director might also be the producer).
Camera operator – operates the camera and acquires all of the moving vision needed. It takes many years experience and a good eye for composition to be a good camera operator. There’s more to it than just pointing the camera and shooting.
On movie sets, the Director of Photography (DP) is responsible for directing the camera operators. The DP is also proficient at lighting and for directing complicated shots.

In television, the camera operator acts as the Director of Photography.

While for corporate productions, a lighting cameraman expertly uses the camera and also lights the subject (using a more basic approach) rather than using a separate lighting director.

Camera assistant – assists the camera operator by setting up equipment and lighting.

They can provide enormous support to the camera operator and save valuable time by helping to carry around 30 kilograms of equipment, as well as setting up gear.

Sound operator – when the production requires speaking roles a sound assistant is needed to check the audio levels and to hold the microphone at the appropriate place. This role is imperative for videos that have a lot of talking heads (particularly out in the open where natural noise can pose a problem, such as cars or planes).

In some situations, the camera assistant undertakes the sound assistant role.

Make up artist – used for productions that have a lot of important people talking to camera. The make up artist ensures an even skin tone, smooth hair and a flattering look. Even males get the beauty treatment (and they love the results!).

A Typical Production Crew
For the average corporate production, a camera operator and camera assistant are used.
This means it is up to the camera person to direct, light, manage talent and shoot. This is no easy task and needs the ability of an extremely experienced cameraman to pull it off.
If you have a limited budget and you can only afford a two-man crew, check that your camera operator has extensive experience in shooting, lighting, audio and directing abilities. You want a camera operator who is ‘on the ball’ and can interpret your script to really bring out your product or service.

Working out the Numbers
Ideally, a production house will want to use the most amount of people allowable in a budget. Shoots can be lengthy and exhausting. The more people sharing the workload the better. Keep in mind that a happy crew equals a great result.

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