Regardless of whether you work on a small set or a large one, you need to communicate well with all the members of the crew. By that, I mean explaining very clearly to the head of departments what you want and need from them (Head of the department will be dealing with the rest of the crew members. If this is a small production, you will probably only have heads of departments. So you will communicate with everyone directly). If you are not satisfied with what is delivered or with someone’s work, be straight with that person and say it; otherwise, it might complicate things later on.
When you are the producer, you need to be very strict when it comes to budgeting for specific departments. If you have no money, just say it, don’t promise if you can’t deliver. Very often if there is less money, the more creative crew members become.
As a director try to be as precise with your ideas as possible, discuss them and always listen to suggestions, even if you are not going to use them. Try to review and decide on specific subjects before principal photography starts.
It is always good to create a friendly atmosphere on the set but make sure that your crew doesn’t feel too comfortable. If they do, they may start to take advantage; it’s vital to strike a balance. You can be nice, but you still need people to work. Don’t get personal with the crew; it will create many unnecessary problems for you. Very often when you are “friends” with the crew, you can’t expect anything from them because they will get upset or will try to argue with you. Working on a set is stressful enough; you don’t need any more problems than you already have. The director/producer is the boss, and this is the way everyone should treat you, not like a friend. You might be friends outside of the set but on set it’s all about work and communication. Also, if you need to tell someone off, never do it in public, unless you want to make an example of someone. If the problem persists, try to solve it peacefully, if this approach isn’t possible, be professional and part on good terms with this person, it is not worth getting stressed out over.
The most important part of a good working relationship with your crew is to communicate your ideas well. Don’t try to tell anyone how to do their jobs; you hired them because they were supposed to know what they were doing.
Finally, before you start working with anyone, sign a contract. Without the contracts don’t even begin shooting (I know what I am talking about when it comes to signing contracts. If you don’t sign, you usually are in big troubles ).