4 Crew Members Every Film Needs

4 Crew Members Every Film Needs

4 Crew Members Every Film Needs

Any film would not be possible without a solid crew. Even low-budget Indie films need people behind the scenes to make everything possible. Most of these films operate with a stripped-down version of a typical crew with only essential crew members to keep production costs minimum. This is called a skeleton crew and may also be used to remain low-key when shooting scenes without proper permits.

Most filmmakers will tell you that there is no magic formula for designing the perfect crew on such a small scale. Ultimately, each film is different, and the team they need on the set can vary greatly depending on the film’s needs. With that in mind, our stunt drivers believe there are a few crew members every film needs aside from the Director, who you can always expect to be on the set every day.

Director of Photography (DP)

The DP plays an essential role in film production, even on a skeleton crew. Directors demand a DP who understands their creative vision for the project, so they have time to direct the cast and do not need to focus on setups and lighting. However, some directors like to take on shooting scenes, but this requires DP experience for success. So, unless you have experience in the camera department, you need a DP to help bring your vision to life and keep the set running quickly and efficiently. Your DP will guide all setup, lighting, and camera functions for the film to bring your creativity to life on screen.


An experienced Grip/Gaffer is indispensable even when using a stripped-down lighting setup. You need to use a professional with skill, knowledge, and speed to keep things on set moving efficiently and effectively. Not that a DP can’t handle these duties effectively, they certainly can, but it will take away from their role and lead to missed shots or longer hours on set to achieve the right level of perfection. Having a great Grip/Gaffer will allow your DP to get those complex shots without worrying about actively setting up lighting and camera rigs and effects.


Everyone has seen an independent production with bad makeup or none at all. The best makeup artists will easily keep your cast looking and feeling camera-ready in character and know how to keep the look consistent throughout the film. Professionally applied makeup adds a level of professionalism that every film deserves, no matter how low the budget. It is never wise to allow your cast to do their own makeup because even if they know how to make themselves look appealing, they do not know how to do makeup for the demands of filming. It will take away from the mood you want to set in the film and be inconsistent throughout filming.

Location Audio

A location sound recordist is easily one of the most essential crew members on set. Sound is often referred to as 50% of a great film, but many producers argue that it is even more. Even with poor visuals, great sound can give the impression of professionalism and polish vs. a movie with great visuals and poor sound that comes across as low-budget and disappointing. Great sound is critical to film success. Look for a sound artist that fits well with the specifics of your production instead of focusing on only the rate and gear they bring to the table. For example, if you are shooting scenes with several actors at one time, you need someone who has experience with complex scenes and the knowledge to make it possible. Overall, your location sound recordist should care about the film's sound even more than you and do their best to provide the perfect sound for your movie.

These are crew members that even low-budget productions need for optimal success. And when you need stunt drivers and picture cars for your film, Precision Drivers of Atlanta is here to help. Contact us today for more information.

Past Projects

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