BX Structure — Crew Size and How We Scale

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MIN READ

At BX, our drive to make better and better videos is what drives our decision-making. Less so what other video production companies are doing or even what’s worked in the past for us. Case in point, we used to have a studio, now we don’t. Has that hindered us? No. We’ve adapted and produced some of our best content ever without it. 

So what does that mean for our crew? It means that scalability is a key way that we add value to our clients like you. But our size changes depending on the day and the shoot and the needs of the particular creative we are working on. 

We have a core team, the experts we assemble for shoots, and a handful of other people we pull in when we need them. Our core team is made up of the people who will be a part of the entire project (more or less) and will be the constants in your life as our client. This team is critical for ensuring the entire project goes off without a hitch and that the creative decisions we make all ladder up to the same vision. 

Then there’s the crew for shoot days. Not every shoot is the same, thus not every team we assemble is the same. Generally, we know we’re gonna need the right people for art direction, operating the camera, lighting, sound, wardrobe, and makeup, but the same DP we use for a humor spot might not have the look we want for an aspirational commercial. That’s why we keep a diverse arsenal of experts in our toolkit.

Why do we do this? Some reasons are obvious. We don’t need a gaffer to make sure our lighting is perfect every single day in the office. That would be weird (albeit beautiful). But there are deeper reasons for structuring our team the way we do. 

For one, cost savings. We have very few salaried employees to keep overhead low, thus keeping our expenses to you lower. Then, because we tailor each crew to the shoot, we have a lot of flexibility in how we crew it, and the size and cost of those productions. For one shoot, lighting may be critical so we’ll invest more in that area, but maybe less so in sound. For another shoot, we’ll keep the set design simple but invest heavily in on-screen talent. It’s all part of the overall strategy of staying highly adaptable. 

Another huge benefit is hiring the right creative talent for the job. We keep a close, but sizable network of Bay Area (and beyond) creatives to be able to hand-pick creative talent for each project. We know their creative styles and strengths so we know who’s perfect for each video. Sometimes, many people would be right for the job, so we hire based on availability, price, and/or how efficient they are. At other times, we have back-to-back shoots and don’t want to wear out the same people. Again, it’s all part of the mix we get to control for your video project. 

At this point maybe you’re wondering what risks we take by structuring our team like this. Obviously the biggest risk might be labor/talent shortages, but honestly, we’ve never struggled there because we have a vast network. Case in point, we created a national commercial in two weeks flat. As in, no one aside from our core team knew about the project on day one, and two weeks later the client had their commercial airing across the U.S. Our secret? Having a trusted network and being the type of company people want to work with. We simply couldn’t call these shots without it. That’s why we invest in the people we work with and make sure we do everything we can to make it worth their effort. Plus (in our humble opinion) we’re fun to work with! And when you can all have a great time making excellent work, everybody wins. 

That’s why we structure ourselves in this highly adaptable way. We really haven’t found many downsides. And in five years, who knows, maybe we’ll switch things up. But if we do, it’ll be because it works better that way and leads to better videos for you.

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