What Is A Call Sheet For Filmmaking?
A call sheet is a term used for the daily schedule of a film shoot. The call sheet is usually created by the assistant director (AD). He or she will take the shot list and shooting schedule and generate the call sheet to inform cast and crew where and what time they should be on set for a day of filming.
The call sheet will always have specific pieces of information. The first is a number in order followed up by the cast member and start time. The lead will be listed as number 1. If there is more than one location, it will include the location. They will also include information such as the director, producers, film etc. Some call sheets will have additional information such as special instructions for the crew such as needed items.
For most films, the call sheet will be provided by the assistant director to each individual prior to filming. For example, if you are an actor the AD will email you a call sheet for each day.
A few tips for generating and sharing a call sheet on a film shoot for the indie filmmaker.
- Create it early enough to allow people to schedule their time. If you can send it a week in advance, great. If not, provide it a day or two in advance.
- When emailing it out, confirm with the recipient they have received it. This can be simply done through text or phone, or by having them reply. This will save time and hassle on the day of filming if someone doesn’t show up because it went to their junk items folder.
- Be considerate of people’s time. This is especially important in no-budget film shoots, where people are working for low wages or volunteering their time. Don’t tell a supporting actor they need to be on set at 7:00 am if they will not be shooting until 2:00 in the afternoon.
- Have someone double-check the schedule. If there is a PA or even the director, have them double check it to make sure any errors weren’t made before sending it out, then having the retract and change it.
If you are looking for a sample call sheet, you can do an internet search to find one. There are numerous examples available for download.