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Be clear about what you expect from your crew

Know as much as possible about the number of days and the hours you are expecting to work

Be clear up front on what the crew member's daily rate is and what you've got in your budget. Get it out of the way first and then the relationship will go more smoothly. Discuss day rate, whether it's for 10 hours or 12, any overtime rates, mileage, travel days, kit costs and if you can get a buyout or package deal for a big series. And let them know if this is a firm booking, pencil or just a fact-finding call.

Also ask about their cancellation policy.

In today's competetive market with tighter budgets you're likely to find a range of different rates for what is apparently the same service or piece of kit. Just remember the old saying: you get what you pay for! Cheapest is often not best value and can sometimes work out more expensive in the long run. 

Always check exactly what is included and what is not.

However, there are some very good people offering very good deals and if you can genuinely save money then all well and good.