There’s around 150 to 200 people on any given film or television production. It’s a safe bet they’re not all Facebook friends. So, it’s up to the production office to create various lists with names and contact info.
This begins, as with most things, with the start work packet. Along with the I9’s and payroll forms, there’s usually a “crew info sheet.” The production coordinator usually has a template for this, but if she doesn’t, you may have to create one. It asks for very basic info: real name; credited name; phone number; email; physical address; emergency contact (name & number).
The office PAs will transcribe the contact information into the crew list. Again, the coordinator or APOC probably has a template they like, but if not, you’ll have to create one. If you don’t know exactly what it should look like, there are myriad templates available online.
The front page should definitely include certain key information: the production office address and phone number; the studio/network/production company addresses and phone numbers; phone numbers for each department that has their own line. Generally, the departments are in separate buildings, but I don’t like to waste space with their addresses unless they’re on an entirely different lot.1
Once you get that broad information out of the way, the crew list should be divided by department. Usually, you’ll put the writer/producers first, because they like to feel important. They generally don’t like to have their personal information out there, so you’re really just giving people their name and title.
The names are listed in order of seniority, from executive producer down to staff writer, with the exception of assistants. Personal assistants should be placed directly after the person they’re assisting.
The next department should be the production office, because we’re the ones most people need to call. Again, names arranged by seniority, from line producer to production assistant.
After that, the departments should be arranged in alphabetical order, starting with the AD’s (who are the next most often called department). Even though you wrote the departments’ office numbers on the front page, be sure to include those numbers in these sections, as well. Saves people time flipping back and forth.
The studio/network will also often provide a directory for their key people. Be sure to attach this to the back of the crew list.
Many people will refer to the crew list as a “contact list.” This makes sense, since it’s a list of contacts. However, some older coordinators will insist that the “contact list” is the list of vendors.
This is fucking stupid.
A crew member will come into the office, see “contact list” on a wall pocket, pull the list out, and say, “Hey, this is the vendor list.” Every. Single. Time.
To avoid confusion, always refer to the crew list as “the crew list” and the vendor list as “the vendor list.” Don’t say “contact list.”
Speaking of vendor lists, this is also the office PA’s job. All the contact information for the the production office and studio, etc, should still be on the vendor list. Again, it makes things easy for people, who call a vendor for an item, then call the production office to arrange a pickup.
Vendor lists should be arranged by department, just like the crew list. There’s no real “seniority” for the vendors within a given department, so just list them alphabetically.
Get in touch with each department, and ask who should be included on the vendor list. Don’t ask them for the contact info; you have the internet, and they have better things to do than look that shit up. Be sure to include the actual, physical address of the place (both office PAs and teamsters will need that), as well as the specific contact person, if there is one.
I haven’t even started talking about cast lists, but this blog post is already too long, so I’ll write about that on another day.
- This most often applies to the writers room, but I’ve seen it with post, the art department, and visual effects, as well.↩