Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Editor

Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Editor

Article excerpt

To an outsider the sight of a Hollywood crew on location often conjures up notions of featherbedding since at first glance so many people seem to be standing around doing nothing. Similarly independent or foreign filmmakers who are accustomed to working with crews of 10 or 12 people may be appalled by what seems to be the monumental waste of resources in shooting with a crew of 80 or ioo-especially if they hear that a production manager's scheduling decisions assume a cost of $50 to $ioo a minute just to have the crew on location.

Producers who feel called upon to explain the rising costs of production will often cite union staffing requirements as a major factor, though it may well be that the producer's own fee has a much greater impact on the budget than any requirement to have a greensman or stand-by painter. The cost effectiveness of a large Hollywood crew and the factors determining the total cost of a production are very complex matters to say the least. No single element can be analyzed in isolation from all of the other factors involved. There is presumably a point at which it becomes cost effective to add a specialized crew member rather than risk having to wait while someone prepares to do a job, but a vicious circle sets in once you start adding crew members. …

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