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Producer’s Corner: Safety Tips for New Cast/Crew to Film


Hello everyone!

So you’re new to film and you don’t know where to go or what to do.  I’m here to make this as simple and safe for WASHINGTON STATE filmmakers but you can apply this to your own State and look for film groups there.  These are basic items to help protect you and get you off and running with your film career.

1.   The first thing you want to do is join all of the below groups (links) and network – get to know filmmakers all over the State.

2.   Sit back a few days to watch conversations and converse with people to know them.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the group and introduce yourself.

3.  If someone wants to hire you from one of the groups, craigslist, personal invite – do a background check on them.  By this, I mean take their name and do a search on them in Google (or other browser).  Same goes for a production company name because there are times when it really is “too good to be true.”  So how does the search look?  Here’s an example:  Philosophia Studios and David S. Hogan

The search will look like this for a studio:
Philosophia Studios | Facebook
 Philosophia Studios, Seattle, WA. 431 likes

Philosophia Studios | Wix.comginalockhart.wix.com/philosophiastudios
Philosophia Studios is a quality multi-media film production, photography and graphics design company.

The search will look like this for a person:
Lisa Skvarla – IMDb
 Lisa Skvarla is known for her work on Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Me (2010), The Collectibles (2012) and When He Comes Back. … Lisa Skvarla on Twitter. Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Me Reenactment.

There should be good/normal websites when looking up the company/person’s name.  If there is something bad/negative written, it will usually come up within the first two search pages.  You can also type in studio/person name and scam.  Like so: John Bungalow scam.  Immediately, there should be something that comes up indicating they are a scammer.

If you still feel odd about a person – you can also use Washington State Courts website to look up a name. Be advised that anyone with a speeding ticket or divorces are in there but it does list restraining orders, etc.

4.  BEFORE you ever sign a contract or work on a film, you should do a search.  This will save you time, nightmares and worry.

5.  When you join the below groups on Facebook, and after you get to know people enough, ask someone if they have heard of “Tinker Bajinker Productions.”  If they have not, contact the Seattle Office of Film & Music or Washington Filmworks (links below for contact info).

6.  TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!! Even if there is no bad information on someone or the company, but your instincts are sending you vibes to back away – do it and now!  Don’t hesitate.

7.   There should never be any auditions at a home – especially if it’s a “private” audition.  For crew, same thing with interviews.  Always, always, always meet at  a public place.  Just because it’s film, doesn’t mean it’s exempt of having creepers as well.  The one thing to remember is that most people have day jobs and you should never feel like you’re being sexually harassed. The only way this can be done is with colleagues who know each other.  If you are a Producer/Director reading this – don’t do this, word gets around.  Trust me.

8.  Read the contracts.  As a new person in film, don’t buy into the work for free and you get an IMDB credit.  That happens only if they submit the film to a film festival and it gets accepted.  Make sure the contract says you get a copy of the film within one month of the final edit.  If they don’t provide a contract for this – do not work with them.  Integrity- either they have it or they don’t.

9.  Drugs and alcohol on set.  Do you think Boeing or Microsoft allows this?  If you see it – you might consider leaving the set immediately.  Safety violations, etc – you don’t want to be attached.

10.  Just remember, with any job you are hired with, you send in a resume and a reference check happens.  Film is (or should be) done the same way.  Being a contracted filmmaker does not make us exempt of City, State and Federal laws.

Have fun!  Work around on all sorts of film groups.


Gina Lockhart


Washinton Film Crew/Cast – Production Notice Only

For film information (Budgets, Contracts, Websites, etc) concerning Washington State film:

Seattle Area Filmmakers fan page:

For posting anything: The Film Matrix – set up by Jeremiah Kaynor

For the Production Peeps private group –
ask a Washington Filmmaker to get in it.

For Visual FX Artists – After Effects Seattle (AESeattle)

For Actors (Producers/Directors welcome too) Seattle Film Makers and Actors – Set up by David S. Hogan https://www.facebook.com/groups/336252909744682/

David S. Hogan’s “Craft” Services – Set up by David S. Hogan

For Editors – Post Production Awareness

Seattle Film and Photo Group

For Whatcom County Filmmakers

Women in Film/Seattle

For Washington State film news: Washington Filmworks

Seattle Office of Film & Music

Washington State House of Representatives:

 For information about our sister cities:

Portland’s version of SAF – Portland Film and Video Networking

Vancouver – Vancouver Film Industry