December 30, 2010 \ Geoff Birmingham
How a Video Production Crew Functions

I talked a little before about the difference between hiring a video production crew silhouettedsingle videographer for video production rather than a crew.

I must admit that I can’t speak with total knowledge about the benefits of hiring a single videographer because we typically send a crew of three people on our shoots – a producer, a cameraman, and a sound person.  And on some occasions it’s a bit larger with a make-up artist or a teleprompter operator, for example.  The most obvious reason to hire a single videographer is that it will be cheaper, but I am guessing there are other advantages, and I welcome any thoughts on this subject, of course!

Hiring a crew has several advantages, but here are perhaps the three biggest ones:

1. Each crew member can focus on his or her responsibilities.

Shooting video doesn’t have to be complicated.  The cameraman takes care of the camera and lights.  The sound person takes care of the microphones and gets good sound.  The producer understands the big picture (i.e. what the client wants for her video), and gives direction to the crew and the “talent” to make sure that nothing is missed.

Though a production doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s still much easier for a cameraman to get the best shots if he isn’t distracted by recording audio, interviewing a company CEO, or interacting with the marketing director.  Vice versa, it’s going to be more difficult for him to help an anxious interviewee relax if he’s focused on setting up his lights.

2. A good crew works as a team.

A crew that works as a team will push a production along with greater momentum.  Though each person has his or her role, each crew member supports each other in any way possible.  As a producer, I don’t know much about how to set up lights, but if my cameraman says, “put a light in the corner,” I follow his orders to get things done more quickly.

3. More manpower means fewer headaches.

I’ll be honest, not all productions go entirely without a hitch.  There are many factors that come into play with the success of a production, and often there’s no way to control them (a piece of equipment decides to misbehave, for example).  No challenge is insurmountable, and most can be overcome rather easily.  But those challenges are far easier to solve if there are additional people on hand to tackle them, and when that happens, the client is often completely oblivious that a problem ever existed.

More manpower = client peace of mind.  A good thing, I’d say!