Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Victoria Lucia

Call sheets: How to Make One, What's On It, & Call Sheet Templates

When it comes to making movies, there is a crucial but often overlooked tool that helps bring creative ideas to life- the call sheet. This boring and ordinary-looking document does so much more than you might expect!

The film call sheet is responsible for coordinating the cast, crew, and logistics involved in a production schedule, making sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Interested in learning more? Keep reading because today, I’m talking about call sheets and everything you need to know!

Call sheets Explained

How to Make One, What's On It, & Call Sheet Templates

What is a call sheet?

A call sheet is a detailed document sent to the cast and crew outlining their location for the upcoming shoot day during video production. Additionally, it provides information on the shooting schedule for the day, weather conditions, parking regulations, and any other important details they need to know. This document is fundamental to the smooth running of a production.

What does a call sheet look like?

While call sheet appearances may vary slightly from production to production, they tend to all cover the same information. Boords has a great selection of free call sheet templates! Download your own to better understand what different call sheets might look like.

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What goes into a call sheet?

Here are some of the common components that make up a call sheet!

  • Production Title

    First things first, and it might seem obvious, but every call sheet should include the project name. The production company’s name is likely to also be near the project title.

  • Date and Time

    Call sheets always include the date and day of shooting, and crew call time to inform the crew of their scheduled arrival time and location.

  • Important Personnel

    Key personnel working on a project are often listed at the top of a call sheet, along with their contact info. This crew list may include the director, the production coordinator, and the producers.

  • Daily Schedule

    Call sheets have a section dedicated just to the shooting schedule. It highlights the scene breakdowns, meal breaks, and production moves. This is a common practice across all types of productions.

  • Parking Regulations

    If parking is a concern or issue, be sure to include details about where crew members should and shouldn’t park.

  • Weather

    If a production needs to film outside, it’s a good idea to keep the crew informed about the weather forecast. By anticipating the weather, you can prepare for any potential obstacles, dress accordingly, and have backup plans in place. This isn’t only beneficial for keeping your crew happy but also for protecting your equipment.

  • Crew/Cast Contact Info & Location

    If certain cast and crew members need individual call times to report to different locations at certain times, it’ll likely be noted in the main body of the call sheet.

  • Walkie Channels

    While most call sheets include this information, it may not be present in all of them; this especially might be the case on smaller productions. If you have walkie-talkies on set, then it's important to be sure to inform the crew of what channel they should be set at.

  • Extra Info

    I suggest leaving some space on a call sheet to jot down any additional notes that might come up. These notes could include anything from allocating extra time for specialized equipment to arranging special shuttle transportation.

Other call sheet questions

Who goes first on a call sheet?

The call sheet for a film production typically lists the people who need to be on set at the earliest time at the top. This includes key crew members like the director of photography, directors, and lead actors. The order is based on the shooting schedule and the specific needs of the day's production. This ensures that crucial team members are present and ready to begin filming.

Who makes the call sheets for a film?

In the film industry, call sheets are made by the production office, mainly by the assistant director’s team. The 1st assistant director or their team is responsible for gathering and arranging all essential details, including the shooting schedule, locations, cast and crew information, and other logistical considerations. They work closely with department heads, the director, and other important production team members to guarantee the timely distribution of accurate and comprehensive call sheets to the cast and crew.

Who sends out the call sheet?

After the production office creates and finalizes the call, the production coordinator or assistants will distribute it to the entire cast and crew to ensure everyone has the necessary information for the upcoming shoot day.

There you have it, that’s everything on daily call sheets! Hopefully, this blog was able to express the importance of the document. Call sheets weave together all the different aspects of a film production into an organized document that all cast and crew members can refer to. Call sheets are intricate and provide valuable insights, serving as evidence of the organized chaos that is filmmaking. They’re the backbone of any organized and smooth-running shoot.

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