Friday, May 09, 2008

Hiring Crew/AF Tip of the Day

I think one thing that a lot of filmmakers should pay more attention to is hiring crew. I know you all spend way too much time thinking about DPs. One mistake I have seen over and over is hiring a DP that really wants to be a Director. And I see that a lot. The problem I see with hiring and working with crew people (and not just DPs), who want to direct is that so many of them are more concerned with your job then theirs. I have had PAs come up to me on the set and ask me why I am doing what I am doing. They’ve said, “That doesn’t look like a very good shot to me.” Who asked you? They were not asked back the following day.

As the Filmmaker you have to wear a lot of hats and make a million decisions an hour. Surround yourself with crew who are there to support your vision. Not a bunch of people who want to do your job.

A buddy of mine had to fire his DP a couple days before the shoot started. It was obvious that the DP thought he was a better Director than the one who hired him. I always say that took guts to fire the guy, especially since the DP had his own gear! (And no, you can’t fire someone and ask to use their equipment - - really bad form.) But you know what, the production was better off losing this DP (who was really talented).

Remember, a set is not a democracy, there can only be one Boss. I look at myself as a benevolent Dictator, but a Dictator none the less.

Put as much thought in to hiring crew as you do your cast.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

You have only one chance to get casting and crew right before you commit to shooting.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in Spring 2008)

And don’t forget my Masters Class in Filmmaking this summer through the Franklin Film Institute. Go to for more details.


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