Steve Follows is an established data researcher in the film industry. Between 1994-2013 he discovered the average top US-grossing Hollywood films had 588 people in the crew. Full details of his research can be found here.
Films in the lowest budget bracket (under £150,000) credited an average of just 32 people. The actual number of people who worked on the film is likely to be slightly lower, as it’s not uncommon for one person to take on multiple roles.
It’s highly unlikely that you’re producing a video with a budget of £150,000 or that you will be able to hire, or collaborate with, a large number of people. It is commonly a small team or an individual who takes on the full responsibility of creating workplace videos.
You can create a video with you smartphone without any crew. As you maybe taking on multiple roles it’s worth considering key crew members responsibilities, why their role is essential and how these skills can be adapted to fit your project. Understanding the below 9 roles can help create a professional workplace video by having:
- A project manager,
- A good script meeting a business need,
- Someone to focus on the videos visual communication,
- Someone to plan each shooting day,
- A visual brand which flows into other medias,
- A camera specialist,
- Good lighting,
- Clear audio,
- A final video which is professionally edited to meet the business need.
key crew members
A Producer works on the project from its inception to its release. They plan the different aspects required to produce a video such as; the script, directing, editing, funding and distribution.
Think of the film Producer like a Project Manager who oversees the entire video.
The Screenwriter creates the idea, develops the story and writes the script. During this process they will detail environments, action and any characters.
In the workplace the script is likely to be developed from a business need. A Screenwriter will write a project brief and develop a script meeting this need.
The videos overall look and feel is the Directors responsibility. They have ultimate control over bringing the script to life, will work with actors, set the location. A Director will choose the shot composition to make the video as powerful as possible by using clear visual communication.
The importance of this role often gets missed when creating a video for the workplace and no direction is given to the team members who are supporting the project. Without a Director the final video may lack the engagement it requires to meet the business need.
An Assistant Director doesn’t direct the film, they are responsible for the day-to-day management of the production and will create a shooting schedule. The Assistant Director will keep track of the crew, background actors and arrange the logistics on set.
Daily call sheets are created by Assistant Directors and can be adapted for the workplace to organise the shoot, track the progress of the video and ensure all the footage required is captured. See Planning to film a training video for things to consider when arranging filming days.
Following the Directors vision an Art Director will create the look and feel of the video by looking at the set and prop design. They can also be responsible for the videos ‘brand’ and consider how the media campaign will follow the overall creative vision of the director.
This role can be neglected in workplace videos, resulting in videos being shot in fire escapes or in areas of the business which aren’t suitable for the script. It is always worth thinking about how the video will be represented and publicised in other medias such as the organisations intranet or newsletter.
Director of Photography (DOP)
A Director of Photography creates the look and feel of the video by selecting the right camera, lenses, camera angles and movement. This role takes responsibility of all camera and lighting crew on set and makes all technical decisions to get the correct lighting for the video.
Most organisations will only have one camera available to them, it’s advisable to understand how this camera works in all lighting conditions so you can get the best looking video. Considering the tasks undertaken by the DOP such as camera angles and movement can make workplace videos look more professional.
Working under the DOP a Gaffer finds ways to get the correct lighting on set. They can add diffusors and filters to control the light or use reflectors to move light and reduce its intensity.
Reflecting light from the principle lighting, utilising desk lamps or using a specific light in workplace videos can make it easier for the viewer to see the action, for example close-up ‘How to’ videos.
Audiences are very aware of the sound in videos and the Sound Mixers role is to capture the highest quality audio. They will select and place microphones to record all sound required ranging from audio to background noise.
TechSmith’s Video Viewer Habits, Trends, And Statistics You Need To Know research asked respondents to submit great examples of instructional and informational videos. The most common element of these videos was clear audio quality. It is essential to capture the best audio possible and advisable to invest in an external microphone. Like with your camera equipment, experiment and understand how this works.
With the support of the Director, an Editor will select and use the best footage and audio captured. They will collate all the media files and assemble them together bringing the script to life further. An editor may also add graphics over the footage, such as a titles, logos or captions.
When creating a workplace video you don’t have to capture footage in a sequential order. Editing apps are available to download free of charge and allow you to merge footage together easily.