If you’re in the video or film production business you’ll know how hard it is to coordinate all of the resources needed for a project and ensure that everyone involved is up to speed. All of the team need to know what’s going on, where they need to be and what they should be doing at any given time. Organising all of that and keeping everyone informed is easier said than done and can almost be a full-time job in itself. The traditional way of doing this is with a call sheet distributed to the cast and crew.
What You Expect
The key to keeping everything on track is to have up to date call sheets giving the details of the day’s shoot. These are much easier to produce thanks to the availability of software and templates to do the job of producing the sheets on your computer. You need to make sure though that the application you’re using meets all of your needs. Here are some key details that you need your call sheet to include:
- Date and call time
- Location details
- Meal breaks and transportation details
- Update information for emergencies or changes in the weather
- Contact details for production office and principal crew members
- Names and roles of crew
- Names of characters and the actors playing them
- Extras requirements
- List of the day’s scenes
- Clothing and equipment requirements
Ideally you also need to be able to upload photos of locations and talent, pinpoint locations via a map where there’s no address and have the ability to share storyboard details anytime you need too.
Collecting and inputting all of the information needed is a major task even if you’re using a computer to help. Making sure that the resulting sheets get distributed to the right people in time is also important. If you can achieve both of these things then you’re one step closer to ensuring your production will run smoothly.
However, the best made plans seldom survive contact with reality and no matter how much effort you’ve put in it won’t be long before you need to make changes. In a fast-changing project the details can change with frightening regularity. Print off new call sheets for everyone each time there’s a variation and you won’t be doing much for the longevity of the forests. You need to be able to send new information to the whole crew or to just those individuals who are affected. Ideally you need to share updates via computer but contacting a crew in the field and expecting them to log in regularly to check for updates may prove to be unrealistic.
All On Message
Ideally then you need something that can send updates to smartphones and tablets so that everyone has the latest information as soon as it becomes available. This way you can ensure that the whole crew remains on message and updates are communicated smoothly and only to those who need them. Given the flexibility to target just those affected by a change you avoid overloading everyone with information that they don’t need.
The technology to do this and bring flexibility to the call sheet process is becoming increasingly available. In an industry that can still be somewhat traditional in its approach though some people will still prefer a piece of paper. That’s something you need to bear in mind and make sure you select a solution that allows you to produce a conventional, printed call sheet for those who require it.
Switching to a smarter system in the form of a call sheet app isn’t going to solve all your production problems but what it can do is help you to make the movie making process run more smoothly. This cuts down the time you spend on admin and gives you more time to concentrate on the creative tasks which, at the end of the day is what it’s all about and makes buying the app a smart investment.
A good quality call sheet app can help you streamline the production process and release more time for creative tasks.