Hiring the right production service support is critical to the success of any project. In some cases a production service company is required, in other cases hiring a film fixer is a better approach.
Production Service Companies
Larger projects such as TV commercials or feature films will likely require a service company approach. A good service producer will have plenty of experience and contacts to ensure a successful and cost-conscious shoot. Areas of production support that a service company will handle include:
• Budgeting and cost reconciliation, scheduling, and clever creative solutions for the specifics of your shoot.
• Advising on and arranging any visas and film permits required by visiting crews.
• Arranging location permits from small b-roll shoots through to larger shoots that required exclusive use of public space that involve traffic control, street closures or large setups.
• Service companies will have strong location teams with detailed knowledge of location options and best times to shoot.
• Service companies Arranging full casting services and callbacks. Having good relationships with talent agencies so they can find the perfect talent for your shoot and be able to negotiate buyouts and day rates that fit the budget.
• Being able to arrange the right mix of crews for the specific needs of a shoot.
• Having long standing relationships and preferred rates with other reliable film industry vendors such as customs brokers, props houses, film equipment rental, studios, post production houses, transport companies, security teams, and hotels.
• Beyond productions support, a good service producer will know their country well and have a sense of what individual clients are looking for, thereby being able to go the extra mile in terms of services so the clients will want to come back again and again.
A smaller project, with a lower budget and lighter production footprint, is usually better off with an experienced, reliable fixer. Fixer traits include:
• A good fixer is also a good journalist. They will add value to the shoot with strong research skills and an eye for a good story. They will have a deep understanding of the local culture and be able to marry that with the requirements of the visiting team.
• A fixer needs to be well connected to get you into and out of any situation. Shoots requiring a fixer may be in dangerous environments so a good fixer will have strong connections to both local community groups as well as government officials. They will know when it’s best to travel discretely and when it’s best to travel with a larger security outfit.
• Shoots requiring fixers are often fast moving. A good fixer will know what you can get away with and what you can’t.
• A fixer will usually charge a flat day rate or package rates for longer shoots. Unlike a service company, a fixer generally does not charge additional production service fees.
• A fixer will be able to advise on and help arrange the appropriate entry visas and film permits for visiting crews. They will be able to arrange gear importation for crews travelling with their own equipment.
• The most experienced fixer is not always the best fixer for a job. Some fixers fall into the bad habit of offering the same stories, locations and interview subjects, which although making life easier for the fixer, does a disservice to the visiting production who go home with the exact same footage as the projects that came before them.
Hire Production Support
We have film and photography service companies and fixers in every country around the world. All are fully vetted. Referrals are tailored to the specific requirements of each project.
Contact us with your creative brief, production specs, schedule, dates, budget, and any other important information.
We will be able to quickly get back to you with answers, references, cost estimates, and availability of the right production support for your shoot.