December 21, 2014 at 9:31PM



I'm involved in a no-budget project as a producer. The people involved in it are inexperienced, even for amateur filmmakers and the atmosphere always seemed negative towards me. Is there anything I can do to not only improve conditions but bring a level of professionalism to this film?


Humour and a laid-back attitude when dealing with problems are the key ingredients to making a no-budget film-set work. There's no room for egos or attitude, and everyone's personal contribution is just as important to the production of the film.

Make sure you schedule short breaks in your shooting schedule, make sure everyone gets properly fed, and don't work crazy hours. If you can't everything done in 8-10 hours then you schedule another shoot day, even if that means coming back to the same location on another weekend.

If your crew isn't having fun, then they won't care about the film, and won't be very eager to work with you again.

Also make sure that everyone gets properly credited for the work they do in the finished work. Your crew's free time is very valuable, so you better make sure they know that you appreciate their help.

December 22, 2014 at 9:24PM, Edited December 22, 9:24PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Communication is key in the producer role. Actors and crew alike will be happier if you're communicating with them in a way that is professional and courteous. Almost any time someone comments on my producing it relates to how I communicated and how I was courteous towards what the wants and needs of the team.

People like to be appreciated, basically! The producer is the ideal person to show the entire team that they are valuable to the project. No one should be neglected.

December 23, 2014 at 4:10PM

Eric Johnson
Producer | Writer | Director

Since they are inexperienced, you will have to make the shoot happen. That means that you also have to triple as Line Producer and Assistant Director. So sit down with the crew for half an hour after arrival and before shooting and agree the whats and hows of the day. Make the director, the actors and all the others first to understand what is going on, how it will be achieved and why it is important for the film. By doing so, you will form a team spirit (rather than distanced units) and everyone will be working towards the same goal. Also you will make them be responsible in front of the other members, and commit to those decisions. After you do that, you can try and have these decisions written down -- aka to make a short breakdown and shot schedule for the rest of the day, without being too technical, so everybody can follow.

December 23, 2014 at 7:42PM

Stel Kouk

This is very useful and helpful device, you guys. But, I wanted to clear up something. It's not that everyone is negative towards me, it's that I perceive the atmosphere as one. I'm not sure if that came across now that I'm reading the question.

January 1, 2015 at 11:05PM

Daniel Cho
DP, Gaffer, Grip

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