If you’ve ever been on set, you know how crucial the call sheet is for everyone involved.
As a shoot draws nearer, crew and agents alike are all over producers for this coveted guide. Everyone wants the goods for their call time (to plan for sleep), location (to plan for distance and travel), and all other details (to plan an outfit and general vibe) as they head into the big day.
Call sheets are the best baseline for communication, organization, safety, and details for the
whole crew. While you might have your call sheet system locked down, you might be here looking for a bit of guidance.
If that’s the case, LÜK Network is here to help with this review of some of the best call sheet templates and how to make a call sheet for a shoot.
Table of Contents
What to Include on Your Call Sheet
1. Production Title
When naming your project, it’s best to choose a descriptive, keyword-rich, and consistent name for the shoot. Striking the balance between descriptive and concise is the best way to stay organized and easily find your project in the future.
2. Date, Day of, & Call Time
It’s crucial that the call sheet lists clearly and correctly when the shoot will be. Folks will refer to the call sheet leading up to and following the shoot for various reasons.
Accuracy is key!
3. Location & Weather
Location and weather must be listed for obvious reasons as well. People need to plan how they dress, when they leave, and get a bearing on all related details for their day ahead.
4. Shooting Schedule (with Meal Times)
People will refer to call sheets for the shooting schedule as you work through your day. Reasons to include this on your call sheet include, but are not limited to:
- Time management: A shooting schedule helps the cast and crew plan their time and ensure they are prepared for the shots and scenes that will be filmed that day. It helps everyone stay on track and ensures that the production stays on schedule.
- Coordination: A shooting schedule helps coordinate the various departments involved in the production, including the camera department, lighting department, and sound department. By outlining the order and timing of shots, each department can prepare for its part in production and ensure everything runs smoothly.
- Efficiency: A shooting schedule helps the production run efficiently by ensuring that the cast and crew are prepared and ready for each shot or scene. This reduces downtime and ensures that everyone is focused and productive throughout the day. Not to mention, it makes for fewer questions directed to production when each team has access to the plan.
- Communication: Including the shooting schedule on the call sheet ensures that everyone on the production team is aware of the plan for the day. This helps avoid confusion or miscommunication and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Maybe the most important part! Including all names and relevant information is crucial for a handful of reasons.
- Contact information: The call sheet includes contact information for all members of the production team, including their name, position, and phone number. This allows members of the team to easily contact each other if there are any changes or updates to the schedule, or if anyone happens to be running late.
- Role identification: Including every name and their role on the call sheet helps ensure that everyone on the team knows who is responsible for what. This helps avoid confusion and ensures that everyone is clear on their tasks and responsibilities.
- Safety: Including every name on the call sheet is important for safety reasons. In the event of an emergency, it is important to have an accurate and up-to-date record of all individuals on set.
- Legal reasons: In some cases, it may be necessary to have a record of who was present on set for legal reasons. Including every name on the call sheet helps ensure that there is a clear record of who was on set at any given time.
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6. Crew List
It’s important to include names, roles, and contact information for the crew for all the same reasons listed above. Be it role identification, phone numbers, or simple organization, you need to know the players involved in the day ahead.
7. Contact Information
Including contact information for all folks on a shoot allows members of the team to easily contact each other. It’s nice to have it all in one cohesive, tidy place leading up to the shoot, or to refer back to in the future
8. Lodging & Travel Details
Including lodging and travel details are crucial to ensure your team is well-prepared, arrives on time, and is comfortable and ready to work. It is an important logistical and communication tool to keep in one easily referable place.
It’s also important to include parking information to be sure everyone’s vehicles are parked safely and efficiently. This extra detail can help avoid confusion and ensure that everyone knows where to park and does so as quickly as possible.
9. Extra Notes
In addition to all the aforementioned details, call sheets are a great place to include any other important communication for your crew. This can include:
- Sunrise and Sunset Times: This is helpful for planning for getting the most out of the light.
- Props and Wardrobe: Including information about any props or wardrobe items that will be used during the shoot can help ensure that everyone is ready and available on set.
- Special Instructions: If there are any special instructions or considerations for the shoot, such as using specific camera equipment or working around a particular lighting setup, these can be included on the call sheet to ensure that everyone is aware of them.
- Safety Information: If there are any safety concerns or precautions that need to be taken during the shoot, such as working with hazardous materials or in challenging terrain, these should be included on the call sheet to ensure that everyone is aware of the risks and knows how to stay safe.
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Best Call Sheet Templates
With a thick to-do list, you may find it tedious to organize and format every last detail into a presentable call sheet. It’s a lot! Thankfully, there are templates readily available to lend a hand.
Boords is a web-based platform that provides a simple, intuitive interface and allows teams to collaborate and streamline their production workflows. You can create a call sheet using Boords’ “Export” feature – select the “Call Sheet” option, choose your formatting preferences, and export the call sheet as a PDF.
2. Google Sheets
Google Sheets is another great web-based platform to use for making call sheets. You can fully customize your document, setting up columns for each of the categories you want to include (such as date, call time, location, cast, crew, and notes) and then entering the relevant information for each category. You can also use Google Sheets to format your call sheet, share it with your cast and crew, and update it as needed.
3. Microsoft Excel & Word
Both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word allow you to create tables and format them in a way that is similar to how you would create a call sheet in Google Sheets. You can fully customize your document, setting up columns for each of the categories you want to include (such as date, call time, location, cast, crew, and notes) and then entering the relevant information for each category.
Simply save it as a PDF and send it off as needed.
4. Set Hero
SetHero is a web-based software that helps production teams manage and coordinate their projects. It includes a call sheet tool that allows you to create and distribute call sheets to your cast and crew. Conveniently, once you have created your call sheet in SetHero, you can easily distribute it to your cast and crew via email or the SetHero app.
SetHero also allows you to track who has received and confirmed their call time, as well as any changes or updates to the call sheet. This can help streamline communication and ensure all shoot details are handled in one comprehensive place.
Similar to SetHero, StudioBinder is a production management software that offers tools to help with scheduling, script breakdowns, shot lists, call sheets, and more. For Call Sheets, once you have filled out a template with all the necessary details, you can preview and share call sheets with your cast and crew via email or by downloading a PDF version.
StudioBinder also allows you to track who has received and confirmed their call time, as well as any changes or updates to the call sheet. It’s another great producer tool to keep your details in one place.
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Best Tips for Using Your Call Sheet Templates
Customize For Production Type
While you may have your call sheet layout down pat, it can be fun or useful to customize each for a particular shoot. You can do so by adding or removing sections, changing the layout or design, and adding additional information specific to the shoot.
Back Up Your Call Sheets
There are several ways to back up a call sheet and the best method will depend on your specific needs and preferences. By taking the time to back up your call sheet, you can ensure that you always have access to the information you need, even in the event of an unexpected issue.
Typically saving your call sheet in a cloud-based drive is the safest, although emailing yourself a copy works, too.
Proofread Your Call Sheet
For obvious reasons, you want your call sheet to be as accurate as possible for everyone involved. Take a glance and be sure it’s all squared away before sending off.
Send in PDF Format
Sending a call sheet in PDF format is best practice for a handful of reasons:
- Compatibility: PDFs are easily opened on a variety of devices and operating systems, ensuring that everyone on the production team can access the call sheet regardless of their technology setup.
- Formatting: PDFs preserve the formatting of the original document, which is important for ensuring that the call sheet is easy to read and understand. This can include details like fonts, colors, and layout.
- Security: PDFs can be password-protected or encrypted to ensure that the information contained in the call sheet is secure and confidential.
- Editing Prevention: PDFs can be created with editing restrictions that prevent unauthorized changes to the document. This can help ensure that the call sheet remains accurate and up-to-date throughout the production process.
- Archiving: PDFs can be easily saved and archived for future reference, which can be useful for keeping track of production details and ensuring that all necessary information is available in case of any questions or issues that may arise.
Use LÜK Network
Producing a photo or video shoot is a major undertaking that calls for a dynamic array of tasks and skills. Effective organization and delegation to skilled team members are the only way to get the job done. In this way, for casting in particular, LÜK is your very best friend.
Whether you’re looking for fresh faces, setting up cattle call go-sees, coordinating talent details, or simply trying to keep it all organized, we’ve got your back. There’s a tool and a pro available at the ready for just about any casting question or lift you might have.
Streamline Your Production with LÜK Network
As you ramp up for your next shoot and cobble a call sheet together, leaning on production tools can be a godsend in the time-saving department. While there are dozens of stellar tools for call sheet and shot list generation, there’s really just one for big-picture casting solutions…(It’s LÜK!)
If you’re trying to outsource busy work, save time, and reduce your back and forth when that call sheet is finally ready, you can lean on LÜK. We’re a casting cure-all and would be thrilled to lend a hand.