If the script is the spine of a film, the call sheet is the Bible to get the film made. Video or film production consists of multiple departments working in coordination with a single motive to get the film done smoothly. Filming demands a lot of punctuality due to multiple dates of the talent and crew along with studio bookings, natural light, weather all need to be pitch-perfect and fall in place like a jigsaw puzzle. This can only happen if everyone is on the same page. This page is none other than a call sheet. What is a call sheet in video production? Is it necessary to have one? Let’s find out.
What is a call sheet?
The call sheet is created by the assistant director as a sheet that contains important information about the shoot, including the shooting schedule, individual call times and the film shot list. The call sheet is shared with each individual working on the film set with the aim to be in sync with the rest of the crew. Adhering to deadlines using a call sheet can also minimize losses during production.
Why is a call sheet important in video production?
What is a shoot without a call sheet? Chaos! A call sheet is as important as the script. It gets things moving. Essentially, it has a few basic functions that help in the production of the film.
Keeping the film on schedule
A call sheet tries to maintain the budget of a film by highlighting the schedule that indicates the number of days on a particular location. This is necessary to keep a production within the planned budget as anything more than the planned number of days of a scene can lead to the production going over budget.
Informing about scenes
A call sheet also informs the cast and the crew about the scenes they’re filming that day. This shall keep both the actors and the crew aware and prepped up for the scene. You wouldn’t want the actors to be prepped for scene 5 and the crew to be prepped for scene 9 on the same day.
Organizing the cast and crew
A call sheet makes sure that the cast and crew are in sync about the timing and location. This is done to organize a shoot day so that they arrive on the correct shoot location by the mentioned time.
Listing the required people
If you want to save cost while avoiding your film sets from being overcrowded then you must refer to the call sheet. It mentions the number of people along with names of the individuals who are required on set that day.
How to use a call sheet?
Knowing the call sheet by heart isn’t important but knowing how to use it is essential. There are a few things that should always be included in a call sheet.
The time should be mentioned for crew team to be on sets and start working. Actors have individual call times based on the scenes.
The call sheet contains important point of contacts ranging from the assistant directors to the production manager.
The title of a production along with the name of the company must be included on the front page.
Cast members from primary to extras that need to present on sets for that day.
The crew communicates to each other using walkie talkies for a smooth flow of operations. The call sheet needs to mention the channel number for the departments to be able to communicate to each other.
Want to learn more about working in film production?
There are many other pointers to keep in mind like the date and day, weather, location, crew list that goes in a call sheet. The call sheet will help you maintain a good record as well.
Learn more about the basics of video and film production in Clipchamp's Video Glossary. If you want to find out how to use diffused light on set or what is a green screen spill, we have you covered. When you're ready to edit, just drag, drop and edit your video or film by signing up to Clipchamp.