International crewing made easy

International crewing made easy

International crewing made easy

International crewing made easy 760 350 Heidi McLean

Seasoned producers get into a rhythm. Before they even set up a project, they have a decent idea of how long the project will take, how much money they’ll spend, and the team they want on the job. Make that shoot international though, and you’re sure to throw even the most experienced professional off balance. That said, it doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

For the scoop on both what makes international crewing painful and what makes it easier, we picked Crew Connection’s Project Owners’ brains. Our Project Owners have daily contact with both crews and clients looking for crewing services. Together, they’ve had their hands in shoots from Texas to Taiwan. Here are five considerations that can make hiring an international crew a pain along with three tips to make the whole thing that much easier.


Five factors that can make hiring an international crew painful:

  1. Time zone differences: Anytime you work with someone at a different timezone, communication takes a little extra effort. Internationally, that effort can become Herculean. You may be on the exact opposite end of the clock as those you’re working with and still need to be available for meetings or damage control. Odd hours and late-night or early-morning emails are a given. Time differences can even affect post-production. Shipping files on drives are still the most reliable form of transferring footage but leaves plenty of room for error in other ways.
  2. Local laws and regulations: Different countries have different rules so what is a no-brainer in one place may be a no-go in another. Crews don’t want to adopt the responsibility of making sure what you’re asking them to do is in line with local rules. It’s still your job to talk to make sure you’re covered.
  3. Vetting: Anyone can pick up a camera and point it at a scene, but we all know it takes a different level of skill to make sure it’s something you are comfortable representing you and your brand. Demo reels and work examples, which are crucial to your ability to judge the quality, may not be as easy to find on some international crews.
  4. Extra expenses: In addition to travel costs, working internationally means extra expenses in exchange rates, wiring fees, shipping costs, and more. It all adds up. A lot of international crews also require a deposit (or even the full payment) before the shoot begins. Additionally, you may need to hire a bigger crew than you’re used to. What is a one-person job in your experience could be a three-person job abroad.
  5. Extra risk: As a rule, you take on more responsibility and therefore more risk in international shoots. It doesn’t need to be a deterrent in itself, but it’s good to be aware.


Tips to make international crewing easier:

Yes, it really can be a pain, but there are some ways to set yourself up for success.  

  1. Over-communicate: Ask a ton of questions. Talk with crews about rates, equipment, the timeline, which crew members are required to be on set, etc. Talk to the local film commission or equivalent (if applicable) and get all permits and releases before you send money or start filming.
  2. Learn international business etiquette: It takes some effort to learn a few business etiquette basics, but it will save you some trouble later to have an awareness of local business practices and labor laws upfront.
  3. Hire the right partners: A crewing service (like Crew Connection) can make sure you have a qualified crew while also handling all the fees, addressing the time zone differences, and easing the language barriers.


The bottom line

Doing it all on your own can be challenging, but with a little extra work upfront and the right partners in the effort, even international shoots can be as smooth as French silk.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a world of video and post-production 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 professional crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Sign up on, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at

This article was originally posted to Read the original article here.