Choosing the right team and gear is a critical first step when hiring an outside video crew. So knowing about the different types of teams and approaches to filming will help you determine whether you are booking the right crew for your project. In this video, author Amy DeLouise explains the difference between ENG and EFP crews.
- Choosing the right team with the right gear is a critical first step when planning to hire an outside video crew. Not all crews are identical, so knowing about the different types of teams and approaches to filming will help you determine whether you're booking the right crew for your project. In the industry, we tend to refer to crews based on what type of shoot they are covering. Sometimes the terms ENG and EFP are used. ENG stands for electronic news gathering and, as the name implies, comes out of the news format. So shoots are booked for fast, real time content acquisition, not for stylistic composition or creative approach. EFP refers to electronic field production or sometimes people say electronic film production. These teams don't get smaller than three people and can be as large as 20 to deliver planned scenes and sequences, such as for training films, outreach or marketing campaigns. Whether or not you use these acronyms doesn't really matter, you and the production company you contact are going to need to determine the right size of crew for your job. Some projects can be covered by small teams. Teams as small as one person, what we call a one woman or one man band. This person has to operate both the camera and the sound, which means they either need to have a mic mounted on the top of the camera or they use a wireless microphone, or a wired microphone feeding directly into the camera. Sometimes a small crew is two people, a Camera Operator and a Sound Engineer. Sometimes we add a Grip or a Producer Interviewer to that team. The setups are still fast and designed for speed and not elegance. I'll give you an example. Here's a shot of me being interviewed by an ENG crew on the show floor of a big industry conference. So as you can see, there's a person right behind the camera and there's somebody holding that microphone and that's pretty much it, but there is a guy interviewing me that you can see on the other side of the camera. I will say that occasionally I have been able to accomplish EFP style shoots with only a two person crew, but that is only as long as we have a schedule that's a bit slower and we don't have a lot of scenes to cover. So I'll give you an example. This is a picture of a recent shoot I produced for a non-profit fundraising video and you can see that there's just two women, one shooting and one doing sound and then I'm there producing obviously and conducting interviews that you're not seeing in this particular picture. But more typically, EFP shoots have more crew and more equipment to accomplish the goals of the story, which might include studio or field locations, on camera talent, whether that's real people or paid actors, and there might be some specialized gear depending on the subject or the lighting requirements in the locations. Like you can see in these pictures. One thing that we did here in the studio and then another thing that we did out on location. In some cases the same crew members could deliver an ENG shoot or an EFP shoot, but they would really need to know what you're trying to accomplish and they would bring different equipment and basically have different expectations about what they will deliver to you as an end product. So at the start of your project, you want to state your goals from the outset. Is this a project where you just want to record what's happening in real time like a news story unfolding? Or are you looking to create some more artistic end product with a particular look and style? Are there elements to your production which can happen very quickly, like a brief message to camera that doesn't require a teleprompter? Or maybe there's some lengthY speeches or seated interviews or other elements like a reenactment for a training film that are going to take some time to light and prepare? Define your goals so that you know what type of crew to book for your project.
- Choosing your team
- Choosing your equipment
- Getting everyone on the same page
- Preparing for your shoot
- Managing your shoot
- Key elements on your shoot that will affect your edit