Call sheets: What they are and why you need them ?

Call sheets: What they are and why you need them ?

· Thibault Le Ouay

Working with a team of people may be one of the most tough and complicated aspects of the job, whether you’re shooting for a client or simply making something for your portfolio. Don’t worry; there’s a simple piece of paper that can make your life much simpler; it’s called a Call Sheet, and I’ll explain why you need one.

Call sheets are often used in the film industry to provide information to the actors and crew so that everyone is prepared and on time. This handy little piece of paper may also rescue the day for any photographer in charge of a huge production because, let’s face it, getting people to do what you need them to do when you need them to do it is difficult.

When organising and executing a huge shoot, the photographer often takes on the role of production director, overseeing talent, stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, and assistants to ensure that high-quality work is produced on time. At this stage, the photographer’s ability to transmit a big quantity of information to their team in the simplest way possible becomes critical. This is where call sheets come in.

When I’m making a call sheet for a shoot, I want to make sure that my team has all of the information they need to show up at the appropriate location, on the right day, at the right time, with the proper equipment, and understanding precisely what their responsibilities are. Because everyone is prepared and aware of their tasks, the shoot runs well. It also gives me more flexibility on set since my team may consult the call sheet if they have any doubts regarding the schedule, wrap time, or where the next scene will be shot. Because everything is laid out on the call sheet, my assistant can remain ahead of the game by preparing everything for the next change.

I don’t blame you if you’re thinking a Call Sheet sounds appealing right now. Because you’re presumably looking for call sheets for yourself, I’ll tell you precisely what I put in mine and offer you some pointers on how to make your own.

Contact details

Certain members of the cast and crew may be required to report to various places at various times. This is the most important part of the document.

Name of the company and the title of the shoot

Although it may seem self-evident, don’t forget to include the title of the programme, episode, film, or ad. Include the name of the producing business or any other advertising agency (if applicable). Date and time are self-explanatory; they inform your team when they need to be someplace, but don’t forget to include them. Later on, this will come in handy for paperwork.

Schedule for the day

Another section of the text is devoted to a summary of the shooting schedule. Breakdowns in the scene, food breaks, and corporate relocations are frequently noted here. This is true for all types of productions. Schedules may be included on photoshoot call sheets and even documentary call sheets.

The weather

It’s critical that your staff understands that you’ll be outdoors on a rainy day. This is helpful not only for pleasing talent, but also for your equipment. You have more time to arrange an alternative if you know ahead of time that you may not be able to acquire the photo you need due to weather circumstances. It might even be as easy as a crew member not whining every two seconds about not having brought a raincoat. You’ve covered your bases if you put it on the call sheet.

Important personnel

The significant people, generally those who created the document, will always be included at the top of the page. The producer’s contact information, the production coordinator’s contact information, and the director’s contact information are normally included first.

Walkie talkie channels

This is present on the majority of call sheets, but not all. You may not see this if you’re working on a smaller project. Despite the similarities between film and photography call sheets, photoshoots are often smaller. I’ve been to a lot of shoots that didn’t contain this. Please feel free to use our call sheet templates for photoshoots and films. However, if you have walkie-talkies on site, you should advise the workers of the channels.

Local hospitals

If anything goes wrong on set, there will be no time spent looking for a hospital.

Local parking

Indicate whether parking is allowed on the street or in a specific location.

Personal branding

This is your finished work. Include your website, phone number, and other contact information.

Dietary requirements

If there will be cosmetics or food on set, it’s a good idea to remind individuals to disclose any allergies and dietary requirements so that you can keep them safe. Latex, dairy, and nuts are all typical allergens to avoid.

Preparation checklist

If you want a shoot to go successfully, you’ll need to pay attention to certain details. This is an excellent spot to remind models of what they should bring and what they should avoid (spray tans come to mind).

Additional notes

Always allow room for any additional notes you may have. This information might range from noting additional time for unique equipment to arranging customised shuttle service for a firm relocation. When it comes to creating one, there’s a lot to remember, so we have created a call sheet template to make your life easier. Don’t worry if you forget anything I just said (although I hope you won’t). The template sets everything out for you. Your only responsibility is to enter in your personal details. Remember, the more detailed your call sheet is, the better your odds of a seamless shoot day are.

Use Avogato to build a call sheet that works for you. Each shot will have its own set of variables, and the more you utilise a call sheet, the more you’ll be able to anticipate and account for them so that your crew and talent are prepared. You’ll have a document personalised to your shot that offers your talent and crew a road map to a (mostly) stress-free production if you change and alter your call sheet as required.