Benefits of Crewing Local Talent for Production

Posted on: Apr 16, 2024

Photo Credit: Trina Barnes // Shutterstock

By Jessica Mathis

While Los Angeles and New York continue to be the primary entertainment hubs, productions are now looking for the advantages of other locations to benefit from incentives in various states. The model of hiring local crew, popularized by traveling reality shows, is being embraced by some. Hiring local crews has numerous benefits that are often underestimated, including fostering a sense of community and tapping into valuable local knowledge.


Hiring local crew reduces travel and lodging fees, which can have a major impact on the budget. Local crew may be more flexible on rates. They typically have relationships with vendors in the area who may be able to help you with special deals for production needs related to gear rentals or art production. I’ve often been able to help local productions with last-minute locations, or art department needs like a classic car at no charge.

Familiarity with the Area

Local film crews have an intimate understanding of the local culture, incentives and filming locations, including hidden gems and logistical nuances that are difficult for outsiders to assess. From securing permits to navigating local regulations, local crew knowledge can streamline the production process and prevent potential headaches. They can help bring a local voice and niche experience about the area that can elevate the story.

Access to Local Talent

By hiring locally, filmmakers can tap into authenticity and diversity for their projects. Local actors in particular may offer a deeper understanding of regional dialects, mannerisms and cultural nuances, enriching the authenticity of the storytelling. Local crew hires may have knowledge of and access to this talent pool.

Incentive and Supporting Local Economy

States are realize they can offer incentives to attract productions to their cities. The incentives usually require a certain percentage of your crew to be local hires. In meeting those requirements, filmmakers will contribute directly to the economic growth of the community they are working in. They inject money into local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and equipment rental companies, thereby stimulating job creation and fostering a thriving ecosystem. Investing in local talent fosters a sense of pride and solidarity within the community, encouraging future collaborations and partnerships.

Cultural Sensitivity and Authenticity

When making a film that revolves around a specific locale, it is crucial to balance storytelling with cultural representation and sensitivity. Local film crews bring an inherent understanding of the community’s customs and traditions. Whether it’s depicting a specific dialect or capturing the subtleties of local cuisine, local hires can contribute to a more authentic, respectful and nuanced portrayal.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Adaptability is a valuable attribute on hectic sets. Local hires can adapt more quickly to last-minute changes or unforeseen challenges due to their familiarity with resources. They can assist in finding alternative shooting locations, replacement cast or crew members or with adjusting their schedules to accommodate weather conditions, which helps to maintain the production’s momentum.

Building Long-Term Relationships

Hiring locals can expand working relationships and collaborations. Filmmakers who invest in local talent build a network where they may receive ongoing support and referrals, as well as access to future projects and opportunities. This can be useful if you ever return to the area, or when local hires refer you to opportunities they become aware of.

Environmental Considerations

Hiring local film crews can help reduce the carbon footprint of productions. Minimizing travel and transportation, plus lower emissions can lessen the environmental impact of their projects. Supporting local businesses also reduces the need for long-distance shipping and logistics, further reducing the ecological footprint.

Camaraderie and Collaboration

There’s a sense of camaraderie and collaboration amongst the local hires who are used to working together. They can often communicate better and operate more efficiently with each other. This sense of community not only makes the production process more enjoyable, it leads to stronger bonds and a team spirit. Since they are used to working together, they more easily come together for problem solving or handling potential conflicts.

Next time you embark on a filmmaking journey, consider the untapped potential of the local film community and the many benefits they may offer.

Jessica Mathis (AKA Divinity Rose) is an award winning screenwriter/performer/producer from Louisville, Kentucky. She is the CEO of She Dreams Content Development and Production, which focuses on female forward projects in comedy, docustyle and genre entertainment.

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