What is a Call sheet?
A Call Sheet is distributed to all crew members prior to each day of filming. It lets everyone on set know what time they must be on set or location each day. The call sheet is created by the 2nd Assistant Director and is handed out in printed copies at the end of each shooting day. These days it is also common for call sheets to be emailed to all cast and crew in digital format.
It is called the Call Sheet as it lets everyone know their call time – the time when individuals are expected to start work each day
At the top of the Call Sheet the Call time is written. The times for breakfast, lunch and expected wrap time is also placed.
What is a call sheet besides the call time
The Call sheet is packed full of information to help the shooting day go smoother.
At the top of a Call sheet the phone numbers of people you may need to contact are listed. This usually includes the Line producer, Production manager, production coordinator, the entire AD department and all of the location department. On a smaller film set the directors and the producer number may be included.
A weather report
A brief weather report is also included. As well as the sunrise and sunset times. This is important information for all departments. It lets the camera, lighting, art, make up and costume department daily prep. It also lets everyone dress appropriately for the days work.
Health and Safety information
The address of the nearest hospital. The contact details of the first aider on set, the locations of the first aid kit. Additional information if stunts are being shot.
The scenes to be shot
A list of scenes that are going to be shot for this day of filming. This will be formatted by listing the scene number, if the scene is INT (interior) or EXT (exterior), a brief one sentence outline of the action being shot, whether these are being shot in D/N (day or night), how many screenplay pages each scene covers (Traditional each page of a screenplay is split into 8ths), the Cast needed and any set/location notes.
The main casts call time
A list of all cast needed for the day’s shoot and what time they are expected to be on set. This will included – the actor's name, their character name, what time to arrive on set, what time to be in hair makeup and costume, what time to be ready for filming.
Supporting artists and stand ins
The time everyone is expected to report to hair and makeup, location and when to be ready for filming.
List of all crew
A list of all crew. This will include contact numbers, individual call times (if different) and any additional notes/requirements that departments may need to know of. An example of this may be a Steadicam op will be joining the camera dept. for the day or notes on a costume change. The caterer will also be listed and how many heads they will be feeding that day.
A list of locations, directions and maps (taken from google maps) may also be attached.
A list of scenes and locations expected to be shot for the next day may also be included.
What is a call sheet. The call sheet is there to help make the shooting day go smoother. Often the main content is all on one page, with an extra page for crew details and any extras such as maps attached. On bigger sets everyone is handed a call sheet at the end of each day, a new call sheet (that may have changes) at the start of each day and also be emailed over a copy in PDF format each night. On smaller shoots emailing over a copy of a premade call sheet each evening prior to filming will be good enough.
I hope this article explains what is a call sheet any questions ask below I have made a call sheet template that can be downloaded for use on indie or major shoots. Just edit and add what you need to it depending on your production