Want to keep your crew organised during production? Then you’ll need a call sheet.
Basically, it’s a document that outlines the daily shooting schedule. In addition to this, it contains a lot of helpful information from contact numbers and weather reports to the address of the nearest hospital.
Get ready for your next production by downloading our free call sheet template (keep scrolling). Just fill out the template at the end of every filming day and send it to your cast and crew.
What Is A Film Call Sheet?
The call sheet is a one page document that lists the daily shooting schedule. All cast and crew receive a copy at the end of every production day. That way, everyone knows the shooting schedule in advance.
It’s called the call sheet because it contains ‘call times’. These are the times everyone needs to be on set (from camera crew to actors). It will also list breakfast and lunch breaks so is essentially a complete workday schedule for everyone.
As well as call times and a schedule, it also contains additional helpful information. Such as daily weather reports, walkie talkie channels and cast contact numbers.
There is also a section for the 1st AD, director or producer to write notes and reminders. This allows you to personalise your call sheet for each individual production.
Basically, if there is something you want everyone to know about, write it on the call sheet. 👍
Who Makes Them?
The call sheet is the responsibility of the 2nd Assistant Director. The 2nd AD will spend most of their time in the production office monitoring all paperwork. Here they then feedback schedule changes to the 1st AD and create daily production reports, sides and other breakdowns.
It’s also the 2nd AD’s job to make sure everyone reads the call sheet. Sometimes, the 2nd AD will message all crew to confirm they have their call times.
On large film productions, the 2nd AD will delegate the distribution of call sheets to production assistants. The PA will hand them out to all cast and crew at the end of every filming day.
How To Create A Call Sheet?
Before creating one, you will need a production schedule. To make a schedule, first complete a script breakdown. The script breakdown will tell you what you need to gather for each scene, such as actors, props, costumes and locations.
During pre-production, the 1st AD will begin to prepare a shooting schedule. They will organise the schedule around the actors and the location’s availability. However, there are always changes, so the 2nd AD will still update call sheets daily.
There are two main methods for creating a call sheet. First is the more traditional way by using a call sheet template. Fill out the template at the end of every shooting day. You can then email a copy over to everyone or hand it out as paper printouts.
The second method is to use production management software. These allow you to create and amend your schedules. Also, they let you know when someone has opened them. 🕵️
Popular Call Sheet Software
What Goes On A Call Sheet?
There are parts that you can find on every call sheet. Notably, the call times, a schedule of shooting scenes, locations list and contact numbers. Furthermore, you can personalise your call sheet template, e.g. additional health and safety advice for stunt work.
A printed call sheet consists of one page, printed on both sides. If you send yours digitally, save two pages as a PDF. The first page will always contain the most important details and the second page will have an advanced schedule.
Here is a quick breakdown of all the information that should be included.
- Call Sheet Number – The call sheet number and date of production
- Production Title – The name of the film or production company name
- Unit Call Time – A general call time for when the crew need to be on set
- Break Times – A list of break times, breakfast, lunch, snacks and wrap time
- Key Crew – Contact info for the producer, director, ADs, location manager
- Sunrise/Sunset – The sunset and sunrise times for the filming location
- Weather – The day’s brief weather report and high/low temperatures
- Unit Notes – Any daily notes by the 1st AD, Director, Producer, unit manager
- Hospital address – Health and safety contact details, nearest doctor’s address
- Schedule – The schedule with a description of the action and shooting pages
- Cast Calls – Individual cast call times, plus a makeup and costume call time
- Crew List – A list of head of departments names and contact numbers
- Catering – Notes for the catering team and a meal prep headcount
- Transport – Any transport notes, and pick up details for the cast and crew
- Advanced Schedule – An advanced next days shooting schedule
- Walkie Channels – The walkie talkie channels for each department on set
- Maps – Some locations might need a map printout or further travel advice
- Special Notes – Any special notes from the director, producer, 1st AD
Free Call Sheet Template Download
If you’re making a film, be sure to check out our free film production forms.
In short, even the smallest of film sets have call sheets. Believe me, I’ve seen film sets without one fall apart. The call sheet keeps everyone together and is a great way to relay information about the day. Better still, taking the time to fill one out only takes a few minutes!
You can create them in one batch, but you will still need to update them daily. A film production schedule rarely stays as initially planned. So, after every filming day, double-check the next day’s schedule before you hit send. 😉