Getting the right film crew together is critical for a successful corporate video project. It doesn’t matter if you have the latest camera kit or the fanciest lenses, it’s the film crew that make or break a shoot.
Each corporate video shoot has different requirements. Simpler projects may require just a camera operator and a producer, whereas larger scale films such as narrative dramas might call for a crew of ten or more people.
It all depends on what’s needed from the script and any limitations that may be placed on the project, such as budget, timescales, hours available for filming, deadlines etc.
But who does what on a corporate video filming day?
The Camera Operator
The camera operator is responsible for setting up the camera and capturing all footage required on a filming day. They work with the director on ensuring that they capture everything needed from the shoot.
Usually one camera operator is sufficient for most filming days, but there could be any number of camera operators on a shoot depending on the project. A live event may require multiple cameras to record the action from different angles, or a conversation where both the interviewer and interviewee need to be seen would be better captured with at least two cameras.
Having multiple cameras on a shoot also make the editing process easier, as there is more footage to use in the edit which can make for a richer looking film.
Ultimately, the camera operator is the most vital role, because without them you’d get no footage!
The Producer is responsible for managing the project from start to finish. They are the glue that holds a video project together as they lead pre-production, which is arguably the most important part of the video production process.
The producer develops the concept of the video with the stakeholders, manages deadlines, schedules the project, carries out risk assessments and much more. The producer also manages the project’s overall budget and books the crew for each filming day, as well as overseeing the editing process.
So there’s a lot on the producer’s plate! which is why they’re known as the first one to show up and the last to leave!
The director is responsible for the overall creative vision of the project and can communicate their creative ideas to all involved to make the project successful.
The role is sometimes combined with that of producer, but on larger projects such as narrative dramas, the director’s role will usually be carried out by a single person.
A director will have a clear understanding of the visual language of film, as well as a technical understanding of lighting, sound, camera movement and of course storytelling.
An important skill for a director in a corporate video environment is being able to communicate effectively with professional on-screen talent such as paid actors and presenters. Also, being able to interact with non-professional talent in front of the camera, like business representatives or members of the public is vital too.
If a project requires people who are not used to being filmed to communicate important messages, such as delivering specific information to camera or answering questions in an interview style, this can be incredibly daunting for most people!
The Sound Recordist
The sound recordist is responsible for capturing the required sound on set, whether that’s interviewees, actors or presenters and ensuring that sound is properly mixed for use in the edit. They’re experts in microphone placement and ensuring the right type and number of microphones are used on set.
A sound recordist will use a separate sound mixer to capture their recordings, allowing several microphones to be recorded at once – many more than can be plugged into a camera.
They will also have a broader range of microphones and accessories to hand, with all manner of gadgets and adhesives to keep microphones hidden from view whilst still capturing excellent sound.
The best film crew is the right film crew – whether it’s two people or twenty. Each crew member on set will be there for a reason and their presence will help ensure the production is efficient, effective and will produce a cohesive and creative production for the client.