Top 10 Tips to Keeping Production Crew / Kids Happy
Having kids is like running a daily production. I call my crew my work kids because the similarities between them are uncanny. So here are my Top 10 tips to keeping your crew / kids happy.
1. Keep everyone fed and watered. This can prevent major meltdowns.
Shooting days can be long and your crew can be on their feet for many hours after carrying a lot of kit around. Make sure you break for lunch after 6 hours in a 12 hour day, or after 5 hours in a 10 hour day. Make sure everyone eats…so find out if anyone has any allergies or intolerances or whether anyone is vegetarian or vegan. I still haven’t fully recovered from not being able to feed a lovely, vegan runner on a shoot. You know who you are….forgive me???!!!!!!
Some of our favourite location catering companies are:
Fayre Do’s – Hot boxed delivered food with a head chef who used to work for Marco Pierre White!
Reel to Reel – A ‘restaurant on wheels’ – they cook out the back of a truck. A requested catering company by Jamie Oliver demonstrates the quality of the food they provide.
2. Never shout at kids / crew. They just shout back. This achieves nothing except a lot of unnecessary noise. This will only upset your sound recordist!
3. Praise the positive. Always say thank you or well done when someone does a good job. And whilst crew will always appreciate the praise, they also appreciate being paid. So ensure they have all the correct details to invoice correctly so they can get paid promptly. This will keep the accounts department happy too! Not always an easy task ☺
4. Good organisation and planning prevents mayhem breaking out…usually…but don’t forget to plan for the unexpected!
Crew, like kids, like to know what is happening when. Call sheets need to be detailed and easy to read. No-one likes getting up super early, so if you have a very early call time reward everyone accordingly (kids need distraction, help and encouragement….crew need caffeine!)
7. Be punctual. Your kids won’t like you if they miss half a party. Your crew won’t like you if they are all hanging around waiting for you to turn up. Especially if you’ve given them an unfriendly call time and not provided caffeine (see point 4!)
8. If you can’t work to a budget, don’t be a Producer. And don’t have four kids either!
Life is expensive. Production isn’t cheap. Your crew need the tools to do their jobs so negotiating is a key skill to ensure you can get all you need for the budget available to you.
9. Knowing how to tell a story helps.
Children loved to be told stories. Your crew are helping you tell a story. Involve them in that process. Share the finished product with them so they can see what they have been a part of. At Pretzel Films engaging, creative and compelling storytelling is at the heart of everything we do.
10. Don’t forget to have fun! Your children / crew will love you a whole lot more if you inject a bit of fun into their day.