How to Hire Below-the-Line Crew for Feature Films

In film making, crew is divided into two sections, above-the-line and below-the-line. The main team members like director, producer, actor and writer belong to former category whereas the latter comprises assistant directors, art director, line producer, location manager, costume manager, graphic designer, production assistant, make-up artist etc.

In short, the people who are not at the driving seat in their department fall in below-the-line category. However, this does not mean that they do not have a significant role in making of the film. That is why it’s important to hire a professional and skilled below-the-line crew for feature films.


  • 1

    Know your requirements:

    First of all, you should know what type of crew members you may need to hire for the project. The best way to find out is reading end credits of the films. Another good option is to study books about film production. However, you can also seek help from an experienced film maker.

  • 2

    Let the people know:

    Now, when you know your requirements, it’s time to list the job openings. Advertise in film magazines, newspapers and websites covering show business news. You must provide complete details of your project and give your contact information so that they can respond in time. You can find many agencies that can provide you the technical staff. However, you will have to spend little bit of money in the form of commission.

  • 3

    Decide wages:

    Before calling people for interviews, you must know the average salary of the below-the-line crew members. Though, it varies from person to person but still you should have the complete idea about their market price.

  • 4

    Review resumes:

    If the response is according to your expectations then short list the candidates by reviewing their resumes. Call at least three candidates for each seat otherwise you won’t be able to find the best man or woman for the job.

  • 5

    Ask about their skills and experience:

    Do not rely just on the resumes and conduct a detailed interview. Ask the candidates about their aptitude, inclination and experiences. You must select those who have spent couple of years in film making. However, sometimes even a beginner can perform better than the experienced person. The newcomers carry fresh ideas with them and they work for much less salary.

  • 6

    Evaluate their aesthetic sense:

    While interviewing, you should check whether they possess a strong artistic sense or not. If you are satisfied then draft a contract and get it signed by them.

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