Booking the Right Live Production Crew

Dec 5, 2016

There are several factors that come into play when crewing a live production.

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There are several factors that come into play when crewing a live production. Building a strong team can be a challenge, but it’s a key component of a successful show. Here are some of the factors we look at when trying to book the right live production crew.  

The Right Background

We specialize in live production, so our crews must have live production experience (duh). It’s that simple. Shooting live in a remote location is much different than shooting from a studio (though studio productions can be just as challenging) and it requires a specific mentality. You only get one bite at the apple with a live show, so there’s a certain level of adrenaline that comes with the territory. We need adrenaline junkies. When we’re crewing a production, that’s one of the first things we look for: live production experience.

The Right Kind of Live

Not all live productions are created equal. Shooting for sports is different than shooting for entertainment. Shooting for music is different than shooting for news. When we look to book crews, we need to make sure they have the experience to match the needs of the production. Every production is unique and poses its own set of challenges, so we need people who are accustom to those specific challenges.

Who Do You Know?

In all our major markets, we have a core team of people that we like to work with regularly. They know us, and we know them. Consistency can help lessen anxiety and that’s a huge plus in a live environment. But, of course, it’s rare that everyone will be available when you’re trying to crew a production. In the event we have to work with someone new, we always like to get referrals and we make sure those referrals know some of our other team members. The production community is a small community, so we want people who are known among their peers and who others can vouch for.

The Right Attitude

Live production is not for everyone. Days are long and conditions can be less than ideal, but it’s a team sport and we need people with the right attitude. We have simple criteria: Be positive, speak up when there’s a problem, and watch your words in front of our clients.

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  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd: I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working! Thanks again for the work earlier this month. Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • K. Lona Lymen Reply
    2014-01-31 17:54:25

    You are spot-on that voters don't believe that Obama can accomplish any of his plans. I vote in every election, but I am disgusted with all the arguing and last minute actions that band-aid a problem for a few months, and then break out into new arguments. The comparison to the Superbowl was interesting because, like politics it is a great American sport. But, instead of Peyton Manning giving a State-of-the Union, the President's address should get better commercials!

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!