Out Times

Marvin asks:

What is the process of getting “out times” from the working trucks?

One of the more important aspects of the PR is recording the times every member of the crew started and ended their day, along with any meal penalties, NDBs, and stuff like that.

As I’ve explained before, each department is supposed to turn in a daily time sheet at the end of the day. But as Mike Taylor put it recently:

[The set is] a world apart from the quiet routines of those in the production office who sit at a nice clean desk and deal with paperwork all week long.

Now, exactly how nice, clean, and routinized my production office actually is, is a post for another day, but he’s broadly correct. People make mistakes when trying to figure out the 24-hour clock,1 or fill information on the wrong, or just plain forget to turn in the time sheet at the end of a 17 hour day.

So, it becomes the office PA’s job to track down this information. Sometimes you can just call their office, if you’re a multicam show that’s always on stage. But on a single camera show, you’ll have to do some walking.

Go to the various trucks (grip, electric, camera, wardrobe, hair and makeup; you might have others), and ask the appropriate person when they’ll be done for the night, so you can mark it on the PR. For grip and electric, that person is the best boy of the respective department.  Camera, probably the 2nd AC or loader (sometimes the 1st AC; basically, whoever seems friendly). Wardrobe, hair, makeup, props, and set dec: ask the key.

Depending on the type of show you’re on, you might have a few other trucks (i.e. special effects), but again, the key is usually the person to ask.

And even though they didn’t report their own out times correctly, you should be meticulous. We’re talking about people’s livelihoods, here.

And the budget, too, don’t forget about that. You may not realize it, but the accountants have the budget broken down to the day. Every day, they have to check this against the hot costs.2 Since the crew’s pay is a significant portion of any budget, getting accurate in and out times is very important.

No pressure.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Or purposefully put in a later time and hope no one notices.
  2. Expenses that vary from day to day.
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6 Responses

    1. It’s in the upper-right corner, if you’re reading on a desktop. AnonymousProductionAssistant at Gmail dot com.

  1. I’ve only worked on low budget features where, as a PA, i’ve gone around asking each department for their out times, or an estimate. I’m curious on how it works on bigger budget shows. I’ve been trying to find an example of daily time sheet online but i am unable to find it. Does it come from accounting or is it designed (in excel) by the second AD? Would love to see an example if possible.

    1. It SHOULD come from accounting, but most 2nd ADs probably have copies. Email me, and I can send you an example.

  2. When I’ve been an office PA I’ve never gone around and got out times…but all the shows I have office PA’ed haven’t been on a stage either. Usually the set PAs/paperwork PA has done this in my experience.

    I also haven’t worked in LA…only Midwest and East Coast.

    1. It really depends on manpower and time. On TV series, there tends to be more office than set PAs. When they’re out on location, though, we will ask the set PAs to take care of it when they’re available.

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