Whether you are starting to grow your crew base from scratch or looking to fill in gaps that exist in particular skills sets or positions, it is the workforce that makes a film or television show a reality. These are not just jobs they are careers, and they are not just careers, they are identities for most who work in the business lifelong. Caring for the crew — their skills, their growth, their safety and their living wage — is as important as any other aspect of filmmaking and film commission work.
For those film commissions whose area does not have a crew base but frequently deal with incoming crews from other locales, the well-being of visiting crew should be a major priority for you. The kindness and consideration you show the crew will come back to you in a multitude of ways. Not the least of which is the good word on the street, in the industry (which travels like wildfire) that your region is a great place to work.
As for supporting local filmmakers, this is an entire course in itself. There are as many ways to engage with your filmmakers as there are films. Making films, even short films, is a tough job. Getting distribution is even tougher. Making money, tougher still. But in every corner of the world, there are those that were born to be filmmakers, that have important stories to tell, and that will break new ground in cinema. As film commissioners, we should be ever vigilant in our search for that talent that will lead the next generation of filmmakers. Seek out those organizations in your region that foster storytellers, unite the production community or diverse sections of the community, and offer a forum for individuals to discuss and share experiences. Don’t overlook film festivals as a source for learning about and making connections with these local organizations.