Best Covid-era practices for small to mid-sized productions

Best Covid-era practices for small to mid-sized productions 1052 700 Alicia East

While the big productions are adding COVID compliance officers, using complex systems to limit people on set, and quarantining for weeks/months at a time, smaller productions simply don’t have the same options. So what do you do then?

First, a story about why. In 2014, Sarah Jones, a young camera assistant, was struck and killed by a train while working on the set of Midnight Rider. As a small production, they were able to get away with skimping on the safety procedures a larger production would’ve been beholden to. They likely saw the risk as small, but for their part in what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) called an “entirely preventable” death, filmmakers faced criminal charges. The production company and individuals racked up $74,900 fines. Aside from the fines, the fact that they simply skipped standard safety procedures must weigh on those responsible. Sarah Jones’s death highlights the need to take camera crew safety concerns seriously—on movie sets and smaller projects alike.

Accidents do happen and some things are beyond your control, but at least when you’ve taken the precautions within your control, you can sleep well at night, knowing you’ve done your part.

In the COVID-era, the risks are not as obvious as filming on an active railroad and hoping the timing works out. But we have just as much responsibility to keep productions safe. You must see safety measures as necessities rather than luxuries. If you don’t have the funds or resources to keep workers safe, you don’t have a project.

Best COVID-era practices for small to mid-sized productions

Scale down the operation

Much of production has to happen in person, but reducing the number of people on set is doable. For example, Yuki Uemura has producers ask questions remotely either by phone or teleprompter. The latter is especially helpful because it gives the talent a person to look at. 

Despite major advancements in the quality of footage, we’ve spent years fighting the battle to convince people that they can’t simply point their iPhone at something and get the quality they want. Still, a client’s self-filmed interview can protect a lot of people. If a client goes this route, provide them with basic tips (film horizontally in a well-lit location, stabilize the camera on a surface at eye level, etc.) to ensure you get something you won’t mind putting your name on. Similarly, for b-roll, you can produce/direct remotely.

There’s a level of production that DIYers aren’t going to create with their cameras at home, but even primetime shows are scaling back production. Viewers understand and you can still deliver videos you feel proud of. Think of it as the acoustic version of your favorite song.

The cost/return analysis changes when the cost could be someone’s health.

Safety on set

For those who have to be on set, we can still cover the basics such as wearing face masks and gloves (except while being filmed), having plenty of hand sanitizer, taking scheduled hand-washing/equipment-sanitizing breaks, social distancing whenever possible, having individual catering boxes, etc. Most states, including Georgia, have compiled a list of best practices. Whenever possible, shooting outdoors while social distancing is an excellent option since the virus travels through air.


It’s hard to beat a lav mic’s quality, but right now, switching to a boom is preferable. If you must use a lav mic, be sure to sanitize it well between use.

Much of the equipment that makes virtual production and/or social distancing easier on-set is in short supply at the moment. For example, we heard from Allen Rosen that a Black Magic piece “that will allow me to do Zoom, YouTube, or Facebook live from one of our field cameras” has been back-ordered for a month. He also reported that small, remotely-controlled webcams are hard to get right now. Apparently, gear that enhances distance filming is the toilet paper of our industry. 


The fancy editing suites are nice, but you can do a lot on a laptop. The fact that post-production lends itself well to working from home is one of the biggest blessings of our industry during the COVID-19 era. If “The Last Dance” can shift from their fancy-pants editing facilities to at-home production, you probably can, too. 

We’ll likely be turning to post-production even more than usual to simulate crowd shots or otherwise solve problems creatively. 

Turn to animation

Some clients are opting out of in-person shoots altogether and going the animation route instead. While motion capture and creating new characters may be the glamorous side of animation, simple is good, too. Iconography, typography, and adding motion to stills are entry-level ways to bring words and images to life. I never would’ve thought seeing a Conan O’Brien monologue with typography animation alone would be more engaging than watching the man himself. 

Shawna Schultz, of Mass FX Media, said getting comfortable with your pen tool and clone tool in Photoshop can help you create the parallax effect in your editing software–another way to add visual interest to photos. 

You can likely get started with software you already have. Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Animate have helped drop the barriers to entry so you can delve into the basics without an overly-burdensome learning curve. 

What about the cost? 

The extras—from gloves and masks to individual catering and of course, new equipment—are going to mean some additional costs, but if the alternative is to halt everything or to wait indefinitely, those costs are justifiable. Clients may not be surprised by a line item for such precautions. 

The cost to the environment is painful, too. Just as sustainability on set was starting to get some traction, productions have shifted to single-use makeup, individual boxed lunches, disposable masks/gloves, and more. Sorry, Mother Earth. 

Bottom Line

The best practices from the CDC as well as those specifically for video production provide more of a compass. Use that compass as your guide and adjust. Video people are some of the most resourceful on the planet. While we haven’t faced a challenge quite like a global pandemic before, every single crew knows what it’s like to make adjustments on the fly. We are no strangers to curveballs. The show, as they say, must go on. 

What are the most creative ways you’ve found to get around COVID safety challenges?

Whether you need a crew following COVID-19-era best practices or you need to brush up on those practices yourself, Crew Connection is ready help.

closeup of camera lens | Crew Connection

Your Most Important Video Equipment Costs $0. Promise.

Your Most Important Video Equipment Costs $0. Promise. 3308 1861 Alicia East

In 1989, Jeff Widener captured the image of a lone man, shopping bag in hand, facing off with a tank in Tiananmen Square. The language describing Widener’s equipment is about as bulky as the gear itself. He used a “Nikon 400mm F5.6 EDIF internal focus lens with a Nikon teleconverter with a focal length of around 800mm” and “Fuji 100 ISO film.” Whew.

In order for the clip to see the light of day, photographer Jeff Widener pulled the film out of a damaged camera with pliers and hid it in his underwear. In addition to the technical challenges of getting it to the right places, the massive gear brought Widener unwanted attention from a censor-happy government.

He was far from the only person to capture important images during the time. What set his apart? If you’ve seen the clip before, your heart rate might pick up just with the memory.  The man strides in front of a long line of tanks. The tank stops. It turns to the right. The man turns with it, striding in front of its path. The tank turns again, this time to the left. The man again plants himself in front of it, arms at his side. His body language says, “I don’t have your guns. I don’t have your power. All I have are these bags and my body. But here they are. Here I am.”

The tank stops and incredibly, the anonymous man climbs on top. The confrontation continues in the same manner, with the tank operator popping his head out, gunshots going off in the background, and onlookers cheering and reacting. From a technical standpoint, the clip is unremarkable. It’s shaky at first and captured at a great distance with a less-than-ideal angle.

All you get is a grainy image of a lone man facing off against a tank and, by extension, the entire Chinese government. What captures the viewer? The story.

In another square, a quarter century later, tiny cameras gave documentary filmmakers boots-on-the-ground access to Egyptian revolutionaries under another oppressive regime. SD cards have long replaced celluloid and “developing” film requires just a few mouse clicks.

The Square was filmed with DSLRs like the Canon 5D, which made it through airport security because (as director Jehane Noujaim described) they “looked like photography cameras.” The deceivingly-small DSLRs granted the filmmakers near anonymity with their subjects, making it feel like the audience is “experiencing [the revolution] live.” While Noujaim credits modern equipment, she also said, “Just because you can film something—I mean, just because you have a pen doesn’t make you a writer.”

Still, she handed these cameras to amateurs, who often captured unsteady images as they ran or were otherwise engaged in the action unfolding around them. What gave these filmmakers their edge? The storytelling.

So what’s the most important tool, already?

Sorry, you can’t buy it online. The most important piece of equipment you can have is your storytelling. You can use it no matter what camera you have and even when you can’t capture any new images at all (as in this stunningly-edited Nike commercial we keep talking about).

The Square and Tank Man are different in more ways than they are alike. Equipment and the unique challenges of an era or situation will continue to change. Compelling storytelling is timeless.

Ready to tell your story?

Crew Connection connects video production crews with clients around the globe.



kids using vr - Crew Connection

Part Time Evil’s Chen Zhang on AR and VR

Part Time Evil’s Chen Zhang on AR and VR 400 266 Dani Lyman

Just like the rest of the world, I have been recently becoming more and more interested in AR and VR and how it is continually shaping the here and now as well as the future. Regular basic stuff. I’m curious about how we, as consumers (and just generally as humans for that matter), interact with reality, video, marketing and tactile objects in relation to one another. And, how we have created an environment in which we can now shape/limit/expand the mind’s ability to intake reality, video, marketing and tactile objects.

I decided to speak to an expert on the subject and get a sense of what the AR/VR production world is up to these days from a source I truly trust. Chen Zhang is the COO of Part Time Evil, a superior ‘immersive story studio that creates AR, VR and mobile experiences.’ Crew Connection has had the pleasure of working with Part Time Evil and can attest to the excellence of their work. Check out my super interesting and very helpful interview with Chen Zhang below where she shares the ins and outs of AR/VR, advice for the next generation, and tips on how to make this all relevant to our lives below.

Crew Connection: What is your background and how did you get into this line of work?

Chen Zhang: I’ve always worked in emerging technology, whether it was at digital and design consultancies like Gensler, Razorfish, and frog Design, or at tech companies like Under Armour and HomeAway. My undergrad degree is a dual degree in economics and marketing, which is what gave me my start in digital marketing, which evolved to digital products and experiences. It’s really exciting to me to find ways to deliver true value to consumers and users via new technologies and experiences. That is a challenge and requires creativity and a deep understanding of user needs and the tech landscape to be able to design products and experiences that are new, and yet feel seamless and friendly. I like that challenge.

CC: What does your average day look like?

CZ: No two days are ever alike. For example, today, I started the morning with a few hours of status meetings on ongoing projects. We check in on the latest designs, 3D models, and development efforts, provide feedback, and then discuss next steps. Then Matt Udvari, Part Time Evil’s CEO, and I met with a video team to discuss the trailer for our VR film. After that, he and I discussed a roadmap and revenue models for our Aquifer face motion capture product. In the afternoon, I caught up on some business development communications and then finished an agenda and presentation for a workshop I am facilitating with the global leadership team for one of our clients. I mean, whew! I love it though.

CC: What are your favorite applications of AR and VR?

CZ: AR and VR are both often lumped together, but they are actually very different experiences that deliver different value to users. VR is totally immersive. It takes you out of your world and puts you in an entirely new one. Because of that, I think it’s ideal for entertainment and gaming, which is already the primary use case for VR. Shared entertainment experiences like sports and concerts are also great. Oculus Go is already on this with their co-viewing app Venues that allows you to attend an event with your friends. VR is also really powerful for any experience where you need to empathize with someone (or something) else’s world which is very important in training, education, and even mental health. The biggest hurdle for VR right now is the difficulty in setting up.

AR on the other hand, adds objects to your current world. At the risk of sounding simplistic, my favorite consumer AR experience that not many people talk about as being “AR” is Snapchat. It takes your face or your view and adds something valuable to it and makes it better, more enjoyable and more useful. People love it, it’s easy to use. From a user experience standpoint, it checks all the boxes. There are a ton of great apps that provide utility, like the measuring AR app and the Ikea app to place and view furniture. There is also lots of great movement in medical and industrial industries with smart glasses and AR glasses that allow employees and medical professionals to have critical information at a glance.

CC: Are you seeing more women in AR/VR as an emerging industry?

CZ: It is relatively male dominated, but there are a lot of women who are making big moves in the industry. For example, Joanne Popper, the global head of VR for HP has a great public presence. There’s Amy Peck, founder of EndeavorVR. And there is a great organization called Women in XR fund that was created to help the industry distribute capital more fairly. There is much progress to be made and I think the industry will only benefit from a more diverse group of contributors and industry leaders.

CC: What advice do you have for students considering a career in this field?

CZ: There are so many ways to get into this field, either as a project manager, artist, developer, product manager, or a million other angles. Use AR & VR experiences and develop a point of view about what you like, don’t like, and what the future may bring. Pursue what makes you excited about going to work every day.

CC: What are a few ways clients can use AR, VR, 3D modeling, etc. in their video projects, corporate interviews or marketing campaigns?

CZ: I could talk all day about this, but I’ll limit myself to a few good examples. For marketing, AR can be as simple as a branded lens or filter experience on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or have more functionality as a mobile app. Magic Leap, HoloLens experiences can be really impactful for event marketing. VR is another one that is great for event marketing. There are a ton of successful immersive 360 video or fully interactive real-time VR experiences that can really deliver an unforgettable experience at a booth or event. 3D storytelling in general is just a great tool for videos and marketing campaigns. You could tell a product story via a 3D animated video or bring in 3D models and animations into a 2D video to increase impact.

CC: Can you walk us through the process from meeting with a client to project completion and what the most important things are to note along the way?

CZ: Our general process for projects is 1) emphasize, 2) concept, 3) create and build, 4) test, 5) deploy and learn, 6) expand. We start all projects with understanding the landscape – who are the users? What do they need? What is the business need? What is the ROI that we are targeting? What are the operational needs? What hardware? Then we concept several ideas and create some concept art so the client understands what we are proposing. Once a concept is selected and refined, we start to build! Whether it’s detailed design, modeling, animating, development, we have a collaborative agile process that our team follows. Then we test on device and deploy the experience. If this is a pilot program, then we tweak the program and experience based on our learnings and plan a full launch.

CC: Is there anything else you feel is important for our readers to understand?

CZ: We’re not your typical 3D animation or AR/VR development shop. Yes, we’re designers, technologists, and 3D nerds, but first and foremost we are strategists and storytellers. We think deeply about what consumers want and need (whether or not they can verbalize it), and then try to design something easy and beautiful, and thoughtful that delivers meaningful value to customers and to our client’s businesses.


Check out Part Time Evil’s website to see some of the revolutionary work they’ve been doing here.

llama by the mountains - Crew Connection

4 Exotic Locations to Shoot Your Next Project

4 Exotic Locations to Shoot Your Next Project 6000 4000 Dani Lyman

When it comes to shooting abroad, nothing beats working with a local crew who understands the ins and outs of shooting in their own backyard. From Japan to the Outback, hiring a local Director of Photography not only can provide insight to running a local production, but can provide beautiful and authentic shots that up production quality and set your video apart from the rest.

The below video is an excellent example of cinematic B-Roll shot abroad. Instead of just capturing the typical famous locations, this DP went right to the heart of the city and was able to convey an authentic and impactful version of the culture. Beautiful and stunning, this piece captures what it feels like to be in this city and among its people.

While the DP has the ability to create the texture and tone of your video project, there are some behind the scenes positions that are incredibly important when shooting abroad. A must have crew member is definitely the Fixer. The Fixer is an invaluable local who helps with anything from transportation, hotel accommodations and meals, to acquiring local permits, scheduling and navigating the city. You can call them Production Coordinators and Producers rolled into one.

Additionally, it’s always helpful to hire a translator, a few camera assistants and production assistants to keep your shoot moving as smoothly as possible.

Crew Connection has talented, expert crews across the world who can provide original and gripping content for any type of video project. For your next shoot, consider hiring a local crew in one of these exotic locales:

Hong Kong











elephant and woman - Crew Connection

The Woman Behind the Invisible Lens

The Woman Behind the Invisible Lens 700 466 Dani Lyman


“I feel empowered when I’m holding a camera,” Susu Hauser, adventurer, world-traveler, filmmaker, TV industry veteran, wife and cinematographer says with a gleam of pride in her eye. And she should feel proud. As one of the few female camera operators in the docu-reality TV world she’s a groundbreaking trailblazer paving the way for more women to emerge in this extremely male dominated field.

Despite her long list of credits and her massive accomplishments around the world (working Deadliest Catch in Alaska to trekking Ethiopia with a camera) she is often still treated as the sidekick or “little woman” next to men in her industry. Susu doesn’t complain about it. She doesn’t play the victim or pout, instead she straps on her hiking boots, slings a camera over her shoulder and proceeds to her next adventure, proving with every impressive credit that the camera knows no gender. If you’re good, you’re good. And she’s good.

These are her thoughts in her own words about her journey as a woman behind the camera.

Empowerment through Cinematography

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – a wise person once said, and it couldn’t be more true of my craft. As a female cinematographer, I feel an adrenaline rush with every new environment I delve into, every walk of life I engage with, and every new adventure I embark on. The camera has been my tool to live life to the fullest  – whether I am coasting down 10,000 ft in a Piper cub with the engine cut out, or trouncing through the “emerald triangle” of Northern California in full camo, I have challenged my physical and mental body to greet the unknown. There is fear, freedom and empowerment that comes with all this.

Life Behind the Camera

I wrote an essay in highschool about my desire to be a National Geographic photographer “when I grew up”. Never did I think that 10 years later, I would be doing just that…

I have since been fortunate enough to have kissed the Blarney stone, visited the lost city of Pompeii, enjoyed the thermal baths of Budapest, swam from island to island in the Adriatic sea, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, sky dove over Fox Glacier in New Zealand, polished my Thai cooking in Chiang Mai, watched the sun rise over the temples of Angkor Wat, kayaked the Mekong… (and the list goes on…). With every new excursion and adventure, I have honed my photography skills. So you can see, travel, adventure, and photography are my lifeblood. I have a thirst for diverse cultures and exotic lands. Cinematography has enabled me to marry all these passions, and I am beyond grateful for that.

A Woman’s Rise up a Male Ladder

Truthfully, my rise up the ladder in this industry was slow, steady and incremental. On the one hand, it was a bummer seeing my male counterparts wiz by me in the job positions and titles when I knew we had the same work ethic, talent and drive… It seemed as though there was a tendency to shy away from putting females in the field unless they were fulfilling positions as coordinators, managers, and associate producers.

On the other hand, I gained experience in every job title leading me to eventually running my own production company with my husband, The Invisible Lens. These rungs on the ladder included – Post and production PA, Field and Post Coordinator, Production Manager, Associate Producer, Assistant Camera, Producer, and Camera Operator.

Advice for Women Up and Comers

Be persistent. I ventured out with countless male camera operators before getting my hands on the camera. Observe them, soak them for knowledge, be indispensable, and if they are confident enough within their own craft they will help you learn the ropes.  It’s one thing to get an education from a film school, it’s an entirely other thing to be gaining practical knowledge in the field.

Know your thresholds, be safe, and speak up when things don’t feel right.

A Message to the Industry

My message to the industry on behalf of us few female camera operators is – do not underestimate us. I may be only 5’5’’(on a good day!), but I can trounce through the woods with a Sony F800 on my shoulder just like the rest of them. – And I may even be smiling while I do it.


To experience Susu’s work and learn about her upcoming documentary to empower women through the Fair Trade Market please visit


worldwide video crews - Crew Connection

Featured Crew: Urban Samurai Creative

Featured Crew: Urban Samurai Creative 3764 2663 Heidi McLean

Our worldwide video crews are topnotch. We know because we personally vet each one before adding them to our online database of international crews. Not only are they the cream of the crop in their trades, but according to our clients, they are also just plain delightful to work with. This month’s featured crew is Urban Samurai Creative and we interviewed Yuki Uemura, the company’s founder and principal. One of Uemura’s standout traits is that his business and marketing backgrounds complement his mad skills behind the camera.

We love working with Yuki Uemura for the same reasons our clients do. He is incredibly talented, genuinely gregarious, and a superbly hard worker who is always willing to go that extra mile. He also has tons of resources to make the best possible projects. Most importantly: Clients really love working with him.


Crew Connection: What’s your story?

Yuki Uemura: I wanted to do film in school but my parents wouldn’t pay for my education that way so I ended up with a business marketing degree. Interestingly enough, it’s served me well in my film pursuits as well (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

When I was about to graduate, I applied for a marketing internship but something got mixed up and I ended up in the creative department. I told my boss that even though I didn’t know anything about camera or audio, I could connect the creative side to the business side so they could get more sales. It was around 2007just as the market was going downhillso they were interested. My boss told me to learn the camera by the end of the day and the editing software they used (AVID) by the end of the week. So I reviewed the manual for the camera and shadowed the editor for the rest of the week. By the end of that time, my boss said I was basically in the same place as the other graduates. And with that, my career in the industry began.

I joined Hammertime (an MC Hammer reality show) as a PA but when the DP saw me doing camera stuff, he switched me to AC the very next day. From there, I went to grip, then to audio, and then to the camera. I spent four years traveling across the country (all 50 states!) and working in various jobs (like DP and audio supervisor) with NatGeo, Travel Channel, CBS, Oxygen, Anthony Bourdain, Katie Couric, and so many more.

My heart is in the San Francisco Bay area though, so in 2013, I started marketing, meeting people, and getting local jobs. Now I work with some of the major companies in the areaFacebook, Google, Apple, Intuit, etc.    


CC: What sets you apart?

YU: So this is where that business marketing degree comes in handy. I learned to talk to people on the business side as well as the broadcasting side of things and I learned to bring a story to life. My marketing experience gave me an understanding for branding that I take into all my jobs. Some DPs only care about how good the footage looks, but if your audience can’t connect with what they’re seeing, what does it matter how beautiful it is? I ask clients what they want to translate to the audience and then do my best to capture that in the filming, too.

In addition to branding, I focus on customer service. For example, I once showed up on a set in the San Francisco Bay area to work and within the first two hours, they said, “What are you doing tomorrow? Could you go to Utah for three days?”

I said yes. We wrapped at 10:00 that night and I went home, packed up, and left for the airport at 5:00 the next morning. I’ll do my best to do whatever a client needs.

As part of both branding and customer service, I focus on communicating with all my clients in advance to get as much info as possible. I believe that pre-production is a very important part of doing a job well. It helps us to understand the vision our client is going for so we can all be on the same page and achieve great video.


CC: What are you most proud of?

YU: Working as an audio supervisor on Anthony Bourdain’s show was a highlight because I watch the show all the time.

I’m also proud of the work we do with Intuit on short, cinematic documentaries on small business stories. They brought me in as DP, audio mixer, gaffer, and grip. We followed a music composer and a painter as a part of their #MorePower2You campaign. It’s been fun.


CC: What gear do you use most often?

YU: I shoot with the Sony FS7, Canon C300, Sony F5, F55, Black Magic as well as the old broadcast cameras like the Sony F900 and the 5D MK II. That last one is a dinosaur that some people still want to use because they like the style (and budget!).


CC: What are some of your favorite tools and why?

YU: I like to use a dana dolly because it creates a slow movement combined with a slow motion that is so popular right now. I think slow movements help bring the story to life rather than distracting like quick movements sometimes can. This slider allows very slow push-ins and sliding motions to get people into the scene. It creates a unique mood, which is especially nice for documentaries.

I feel audio is very important. If you can’t hear it, you can’t tell the story. I use a Sound Device 788t, Lectrosonic SMQV and 411s, Sanken COS 11 Lav, and Sanken CS3E boom. It may seem weird coming from a DP, but we make sure on every shoot that audio is pristine. Early in my career an Executive Producer told me, “When your camera work is screwed up, people say it’s artistic. When you can’t hear the audio, you don’t have a show.”


The bottom line

Yuki Uemura is a class act and has the experience, customer loyalty, and awards to show for it. Click here to book Yuki Uemura for your next video production project.


Yuki Uemura, DP (and more):

Click to learn more about Yuki Uemura and Urban Samurai Creative.


About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at

contract work | Crew Connection crews

Contract work: Make sure you get paid

Contract work: Make sure you get paid 5616 3744 Heidi McLean

The struggle is real. Contract work often means gambling with each new client and gig. While you might get paid half upfront, you usually work without any guarantee—billing upon completion. That means a lot of uncertainty—especially for small video crews and owners/operators who rely on each project and its corresponding cash flow to pay bills, buy equipment, and stay in operation.

For their part, clients may have a net 90 invoicing policy, a small accounting department, or an unstable financial situation. Often, you’re the one at risk if any of those operations hit a snag. So you get a signed contract, do your best work, and hope your client follows through on their end of the deal.  

The good news is that there is an alternative: You don’t have to rely on a handshake and a roll of the dice.


Three ways Crew Connection brings payment security to contract work

Problem one: Many companies, especially the big ones, have 90-day payment terms, meaning you could wait an extra 60 days to have that cash in hand.

Solution one: Crew Connection guarantees payment for crews in 30 days regardless of the client’s terms.

Problem two: Onboarding paperwork slows down the process of working with new clients. Setting up contracts and payment terms takes valuable time and often, different companies have different expectations for how and when they want to receive invoices.

Solution two: Crews invoice the same way every time (which happens to be very easy, by the way) regardless of who the shoot is for. Crew Connection takes care of the paperwork.

Problem three: Unfortunately, small companies without internal legal teams often get paid last or not at all when there’s a dispute or a client hits financial troubles. Some clients never pay. Who wants to waste time and money pursuing payment for previous work when you have new work to get to?

Solution three: Crews receive money for the project regardless of whether or not Crew Connection ever does.


The bottom line

Crews often bring new clients to us to make sure they get paid quickly even on their first project together. It benefits clients, too. We built our online database to make finding a crew fast and easy for clients and to make getting paid for contract work fast and easy for crews. Beyond that, it makes communication and record-keeping a breeze. It’s a win-win for both parties. We take the gambling out of contractor pay so crews can do great work, get paid quickly, and move on. Save the gambling for Vegas, baby!


About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email

crewing service | crew connection

Crews get more legitimate leads from Crew Connection crewing service

Crews get more legitimate leads from Crew Connection crewing service 5616 3744 Heidi McLean

Crew Connection simplifies prospecting in a big way. It’s the crewing service that makes life easy for both clients and crews. Our crews tell us that one of the biggest perks of using Crew Connection is that they get more legitimate leads (read: leads that turn into projects that turn into cash). Here’s what that means for our crews:


1. High-quality leads come looking for you

Crew Connection alleviates some of our crews’ biggest prospecting issues. As a crew, every potential new client is inherently a gamble. You don’t start the project with the guarantee that they’ll pay on time—or at all. You don’t know if you’ll spend hours on their RFP only to have it go unseen. But Crew Connection guarantees Net 30, takes the grunt work out of submitting proposals, and provides user-friendly sorting options that mean you only get requests for jobs you are a good fit for.


2. Bids turn into projects

When clients get better fits, crews get better leads. Crew Connection’s searching and booking tool make it easy for clients to find the crews that are the right fit for their job. They also know they’re getting the best (that’s you!) so they feel more comfortable booking. One crew told us that they had a “100 percent success rate with leads actualizing.” You read that right—100 percent!


3. Get the best clients and projects without the hassle

One of the biggest challenges for crews and clients alike is communication. Our online database centralizes details and simplifies communications. You can view and manage every detail of a shoot from one central place—gear, budget, and communications included. It’s all simple and centralized, easy, and fast on Crew Connection.


Ready to book more projects? 

Become a crew or update your profile here.


About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign Up on Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email

Multi-day and multi-location video projects| Crew Connection

When you need multi-day and multi-location video projects, you need Crew Connection

When you need multi-day and multi-location video projects, you need Crew Connection 5000 3266 Heidi McLean

Crew Connection simplifies series shoots—both in the US and internationally. Here are two reasons to rely on Crew Connection to organize your multi-day and multi-location video projects:


1. Get the best crews without the hassle

Peace of mind can be hard to come by when you’re working with a new crew, especially when they’re far away. Book multiple shoots in multiple locations and the trouble only compounds. You want to be sure you hire someone who gets you and your vision. Crew Connection partners with only the best crews both in the US and internationally and connects you directly with highly-qualified video production crews. No matter how many shoots you’re booking and in how many locations, you know you’re getting the very best. Let Crew Connection turn crewing into one of the simplest parts of your job.


2. Improve communication

Crew Connection’s online database is more than an excellent searching and booking tool. It’s also a great way to centralize details and simplify communications. One of the biggest challenges of any intricate, multi-layered project is communication. With our database, you can view and manage every detail of a shoot from one central place—gear, budget, and communications included. Want to re-book a crew and find out what you paid for a similar job last time? It’s simple and centralized. Want to book 6 shoots in 6 locations in one sitting? It’s easy and fast on Crew Connection.

The best part is if you simply don’t have time to plan a detailed multi-day and multi-location video project, our staff is available 24/7 to do it for you. Connect with our team of crew coordinators anytime at 303-526-4900, or


The bottom line 

Video productions are rife with opportunities for things to go wrong. Save your time and brainpower for something other than crewing by letting us take care of organizing all your multi-day and multi-location video projects. You already have enough on your plate.

Whether you want to book exclusively online or need some support on the phone line, our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email

Not sure if a crewing service is a good fit for you? Here are five things to look for when deciding whether to hire.


About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at

man peering over countertop | Crew Connection

10 times you might want to let a crewing service handle the details

10 times you might want to let a crewing service handle the details 1280 847 Heidi McLean

As much as you might love spending hours searching for, vetting, negotiating with, and eventually maybe hiring a video production crew—sometimes it pays to let a crewing service do the work for you.


You may want to hire a crewing service when…


1. You’re filming on the other side of the world and you don’t know the difference between a burpee and a rupee.


2. You just remembered you need to present your production plan to the boss tomorrow and you haven’t even started. P.S. It’s midnight.


3. You don’t feel like getting dressed for the office so you’re letting the internet do the work. #thanksinternet 


4. Even the internet fails you and you need to phone a friend.


5. You already work hard. You just also know when to work smarter.


6. You’re filming in an unfamiliar location, don’t know any local video production crews, and have a Netflix marathon to get back to.


7. You’ve rolled the dice on unknown crews one too many times. You need to know the next one is the right one.


8. You need to get back to looking for your missing stapler.


9. You have a case of the Mondays.


10. You have a case of the Fridays. No. More. Braining.


The bottom line 

You already have enough on your plate. By connecting you directly with qualified video production crews, Crew Connection turns crewing into one of the simplest parts of your job. Whether you want to book exclusively online or need some support on the phone line, our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email



About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at