Choosing the right size camera crew
There is a lot of planning and preparation involved when it comes to creating a video. When you are planning, you must consider what size crew you will need to get the best results possible for your project. This post will walk you through the process that goes into choosing what size production crew you will need.
Single Camera Operator
For the vast majority of our video work, a two-person crew is the bare minimum. There is just too much work involved to ensure that both sound and vision come out perfectly. However, there are a few instances where you can get away with just a single camera operator who will also operate the sound equipment.
If absolutely required, for example if there is an interview to be filmed, one person can operate the camera and monitor sound, but be wary of getting an operator to do too much, this can mean trying to focus on too many things at once, meaning the quality won’t be as high.
Or, perhaps you are filming an interview and the budget is tight, most camera operators can also direct a simple shoot and ask questions to the interviewee. At the same time they need to make sure the subject is in focus and the audio levels are correct.
2 Person Crew
A two person crew (director/camera operator and camera operator) is a great place to start for an average project based on interviews and most corporate interview work. It’s perfect for talking head style interviews, as two cameras can be operated, giving you options to cut between angles and give you much more room to edit.
The director can set up the shot, guide the interviewees or actors into place, and make sure everything is running to schedule, while the camera operator can set up cameras, lights and microphones and make sure everything is ready to roll.
3 Person Camera Crew
We firmly believe that every crew should have a director on set, someone to keep everything on track and someone to defer to with tricky decisions. But it’s a great idea to have at least three crew members on set to make sure no aspect of the production is left unattended. Two focused camera operators give the editor more cutaway options and footage to work as well as less pressure for someone to monitor the shots on two cameras. If you’re looking to shoot an interview but need to ensure the shoot runs smoothly with the best possible footage, we suggest a three person camera crew. The additional member can do the odd jobs that pop up on a crew; charging batteries, moving lights, and applying make-up.
This simple setup, when polished and edited in post production will have a refined, elegant style.
The Rest of the Crew
For simple things like an interview or a bit of B-roll, a larger crew than 3 will be overkill. However, the more people on camera at once, the more camera operators you will need. For a TV interview chat with say, 4 participants, you will need at least three camera operators and a director, and the scale just gets larger as the production gets bigger. For example, a sound recordist is required if your video will feature more than 2 speakers. A gaffer (electrician and lighting expert) may be required if the filming needs a specialist shot, like large outdoor scenes or shots on a moving car. Production assistants, runners, camera assistants will all get involved as the project gets bigger and more complex.
Hopefully this post gave you a brief guide as to what size camera crew you will need for your upcoming project. For more information, get in touch with us today.