CAST AND CREW CALLS 101: Who Are You?!

March 29, 2018

 

 

*This entry is part of a series about cast and crew calls.  Don't miss out on the others! Check those out first!

 

So you've posted your cast/crew call, or you've responded to one.  What's next?  The interview!  

Whether it's over the phone or in person, the goal is the same: who are you?!

Sure, as the candidate you've already sent in your resume, but that only says so much. No one should fear an interview, but we should all embrace the chance to get to know each other more before committing to "a relationship."  (because when it comes to making movie magic, it's more than casual)

 

It's important that an interview is a two-way communication.

Not only is the production team asking about the candidate's experience, but the candidate is asking the team about their experience!  Asking the right questions on both ends comes with experience... or with reading a blog!

 

In terms of crew, it's important to understand the size of the production.  

If you've only worked with small teams, maybe you've never used a walkie talkie and have no idea what "86" means, and maybe you've never had to gaff down electrical cords because you've only ever shot outdoors using natural light, and because members of small teams tend to wear multiple hats, you might not even be clear on the responsibilities of the role you are looking to fill as seen by another production team. That's okay!

With the right attitude and open communication, the production team might be open to getting you up to speed!

On the other end of spectrum, how does a candidate gauge a production team's experience and expectations without sounding like an interrogator?  Start by sharing your skill set.

For instance:

"I'm very fond of walkie talkies. I've worked in large settings, such as a three level bed and breakfast, and having walkies meant that the team members on the third floor could easily communicate with those on the first floor without shouting or taking the time to walk up and down the steps searching for each other.  They are a great tool for letting everyone know when picture is up no matter where they are on set! Will your production provide walkies at each set location?"

Alternatively, if the production team were to say this and end with "are you familiar with using walkies?" be honest! If you have not used this device in the past, but are open to learning, you might respond with something like... 

"I have not used walkies in the past, but I see what you're saying; those sound like a great tool, and I am open to learning!"

 

Another way to gauge a team's experience and know what to expect is by asking who else is on the team, specifically the name of the Director of Photography and camera operator (look up their website or profiles on social media) as well as the size of the team, such as how many production assistants will be available per department. 

 

Lastly, a visual way to gauge experience both on the crew and the cast end is the reel! This is a quick way to see the style(s) of production that someone has executed.  More on the actor's reel in another blog down the line!

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