What does a best boy do? Or a Key grip? If you’ve ever looked at the credits at the end of a film, these are a couple of the names you might see. These are the people that make entertainment possible. Each crew member is an essential cog in the giant filmmaking machine and if one cog is missing then it can be a major problem.
With TV commercials we need highly skilled operators who can get the job done under intense time pressures. We know exactly who the MVP’s of the TV commercial world are and what they can do to add value to your shoot.
Keep reading if you want to know how to build your dream team from scratch.
Choose your best players
Making sure you have the best people on your project is all about insurance. It gives you the freedom to create work that will push the boundaries when you know that you A team can be relied on.
The Producer is the best place to start any project. They are often the first in and last out of any commercial project. But what does a producer actually do? Simply put, they manage the entire production process from start to finish. They work with the client to build their vision, starting with the creative direction and ending with the delivery of the project, ready for the world.
The key decisions are made by the producer from creating a budget, attaching talent and key crew to securing creative rights and packaging the project. They need to be a solver of problems. At the end of the day, they need to make sure that the project runs on time, is under budget and is a creative success.
Equally important is the director, who will work in tandem with the producer. In a perfect world these two roles will work closely together to get the job done. On a TV commercial, a director will be brought on board after the budget has been given the green light. The director is responsible for the entire creative process. Essentially, the producer provides the tools and the director needs to use them. They work with the client to bring their vision into reality, using storyboards, visual references, shot lists, casting actors and getting a performance from them. They are the creative minds that add that sprinkle of magic to any project.
The cinematographer (or director of photography) is the next crew member on your call sheet. If you care about how your advert is going to look then you’ll need a DoP. They are in charge of the visuals, using their knowledge of light and technology to craft a memorable image. In the modern era, these visual artists are more important than ever, making sure your TV commercial stands out in a crowd.
Your DoP will need to balance creativity and technical know-how, with the director to craft the final beautiful image.
Every crew member is important
This is the absolute truth. Real filmmakers commercial and otherwise understand the importance of having smart and dedicated people to create good work. When building out your crew members, you’ll need to make sure you’re finding the right department heads.
In commercials there is the production team, art department, grip and electric, wardrobe and make-up to think about. These departments all have a lead that will have a range of duties to fulfill across your production. The producer will employ his production team, who are responsible for scheduling, accounting, rentals, transportation and anything else that needs to be set up for the big day.
The producer will also hire heads of departments, such as the gaffer (head of grip & electric), wardrobe stylist, 1st AD (they keep the schedule on time) and plenty more. These are the talented people who run the entire production. When you find the right people then you can rely on their expertise to solve problems. There is a long list of personnel that can be employed that include the camera team, lighting, grips, sound dept, locations, art dept, hair and makeup, wardrobe and the stunt team. Each crew member is there to make sure the project is a success, so choose wisely.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Yes, this is corny but true. Filmmaking is a collection of elements that need skilled experts to execute the demands of the shoot. If you want to create a set that is based in 1980s America, then you’ll need a great location scout to find the right space, a wardrobe stylist who has the vision to select outfits that work and a make-up artist who can add the right amount of glam. This gives you an idea of all the various roles that you’ll need to make an idea work.
Understanding and respecting the job roles will make sure your project stays on budget and on course. At Epic Light Media we have the skills and expertise in house, as well as a network of film and TV professionals filling up our black book to make any creative vision work.
Get in contact and let’s make something together.