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Callsheets

Callsheets are weird, aren’t they?

They’re legal-size sheets of paper, covered from top to bottom, on both sides, with ten-point font. It’s just packed with information.

For most people the crew call on the front, and their department’s call on the back, is all they’ll ever look at.

Hair and make-up need to know when each actor is coming in. The director and actors of course want to see what they’re filming the next day. If we’re shooting outside, the weather report affects the grips and maybe sound.

So you see, while every item on that sheet is needed by someone, no one needs all of it. It’s simultaneously wasteful and very efficient.

Weird.

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4 Responses

  1. I still don’t understand why people don’t put the Address to location in the email body as well as the call sheet. I’m sure they do this to make sure you read the damn thing, but in the world of smart phones that can’t click the address in the PDF; I now have to remember the address every morning. Lame.

  2. I’m one of the schmucks who needs to see most of what’s on the call sheet. Since I need to have the location prepped for everyone, I need to know if there are any “pre-calls” (early make-up call which means the MU trailer will be two hours early?). I need to have space for “special equipment” — condors or manlifts showing up? I need to be prepared for picture cars (space for them and security to watch them if they’re being dropped the day before).

    And, yeah, the weather report is important to me too. It tells me when 100 crew members will be trashing a beautiful house, tracking water and mud in and out all day — and there won’t be a damned thing I can do about it. Forewarned is…uh…as good a reason as any to make sure your assistant gets to be on set tomorrow while you’re off prepping anything else.

  3. I’ve only ever encountered a single callsheet that I couldn’t read. The AD apparently didn’t like the normal organization of a callsheet and took it upon herself to design a better one, it’s hard to describe, but even though all the information was on the right sides of the callsheet, the whole crew had issues finding the exact information they needed.

    I love low budget indie shoots. 🙂

  4. The weather report matters for set lighting as well when shooting outdoors. Unless those hot lamps are properly protected, rain can crack their rather expensive lenses. Then there’s the issue of safety — water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Cable connections and distro boxes have to be covered with plastic sheeting, which makes working a total pain in the ass.

    Wrapping hundreds of feet of wet, heavy cable at the end of the day? Oh yeah, that’s big fun. I don’t care what kind or rainsuit you wear — you’re gonna get wet.

    Rain makes a location day much harder and infinitely more miserable. I don’t know any below-the-line crew who doesn’t hate working in the rain.

    But when I’m on stage? Who cares about the weather — let it pour…

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