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How to Form a Production Team

by Lisa Mooney

Filmmaking is an exciting field for young entrepreneurs who want to work within a team of individuals dedicated to a particular vision. The aspiring maker of movies needs key persons to join together to complete the work involved in creating cinema. Forming a production team requires an extensive knowledge of the business, a concrete business plan, a hiring strategy and discernment in choosing the right individual for each role. Keep in mind the goal of creating the films you want to share with the world, as you put together a dynamic production team.




1. Enroll in a specialized program to learn about the creation and business of making films. Research the schools with film programs in your community. Many four-year universities offer degrees in filmmaking. Alternatively, you can attend shorter training programs on the basics of filmmaking. Learn all you can prior to actually forming a production team.
2. Determine your basic needs for the team you want to form. Start small with the goal of teaming with a few key individuals. According to the Media Awareness Network, production teams often consist of producers, writers, directors, camera persons, gaffers, the grip, sound and picture editors. Consider whether positions such as producing and writing, or camera person and picture editor, can be combined.
3. Create a business plan that details your vision for the production team. You need a solid plan if you want to attract investors or secure a loan to aid you in getting films made. Remember, you will need funds for hiring, equipment use, marketing and miscellaneous items and services. Learn how to draft your plan with help from the government’s Small Business Administration.
4. Obtain funding for your future production team, so you will be able to start making films once it is in place. Consider a small business loan from the government or a bank. Look into the possibility of obtaining a grant, or contact established business leaders with investor proposals. Or determine whether you have sufficient personal funds to use in this endeavor.
5.Advertise your desire to form a production team in trade magazines, online classifieds and at film schools. Instruct potential applicants to bring their resumes and portfolios with them when they interview with you. Explain your vision of the types of films you will make and how the team will work, when talking with candidates. Be upfront regarding how, when and how much team members will be paid. Choose individuals you fit well with and believe can add to the team in terms of abilities, talent and ideas.
6 Gather your fledgling team together for an organizational meeting. Present your ideas for the first film to be made, create a time line, define individual roles with each member, and allow them to express their ideas, concerns and questions.


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