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Making a Call Sheet

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

Learn how to make a call sheet, a key organizational document that will streamline your digital video film production.

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    If you are trying to coordinate a feature, or serious dramatic short digital video film, you have to coordinate a number of people in a collaborative effort. As the producer you have to make sure the filming goes according to plan, and that everyone arrives and is ready when it is time for the camera to roll. The way that the schedule is communicated in context to the cast and crew is by making a call sheet.

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    Transfer the Shooting Schedule

    After putting together a complete and revised shooting schedule, begin putting together the call sheet for each day of production. Once you have produced the document for each day you need to distribute them to the cast and crew, as well as post them in a location where everyone can seen it. The call sheet does not work as an organizational tool if you don’t make it available to the people on it.

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    Label It

    At the top of the call sheet, label it as such so the people will be able to easily reference it. Put the tentative title of the production and the date for what the call sheet is referencing.

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    Create a table at the top with two columns. One column is for the location and address of where you are shooting and the second is for the number of the scene. This is done so that the scene number is able to match up with the locations.

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    Cast and Crew

    The next table has four columns, where the first one is for the cast or crew member's name and role. The second one is for the make-up call time, which indicates what time they need to be in the make-up area. The second is the set call time, which is what time they actually need to be there. The last column is optional, and is for remarks about what they will be doing that day or a brief description.

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    The third table is for extras, and it is formatted exactly the same as the previous table. Make sure that all of the rows in the table line up so that when you put up the name of the person their make-up and set call times match up.

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    At the bottom put any notes that may affect changes in the schedule. It may be a good idea to put anything that people may need to be aware of in the production, such as using special effects or stunts.

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    Calm the Mania

    The call sheet is just another document that can help settle the chaos that happens on a live digital video film set. The sign of an effective producer is to use tools like this one to maximize the production schedule.