As an office PA, one of your jobs is to email the call sheet to the cast and crew. This is not a difficult or complicated task, but it is an important one. In fact, you cannot make a mistake on any part of it, or it could screw up the entire production.
So, it makes sense they give this extremely important job to the lowest paid person in the office.
Check and Double Check
This might sound obvious, but the first thing to do when you receive the call sheet from the AD is read it.
Make sure everything is correct and consistent, to the best of your knowledge. If you find anything wrong, anything at all, call the AD immediately. If there’s a mistake, he’ll thank you for catching it. If you were mistaken, then he’ll at least be grateful that someone is watching his back.
If you’re shooting on location, the same goes for the map from the locations department. Maybe even more so. I don’t want to say locations is more prone to mistakes than the AD’s, but…
Write the Email
Technically, the call sheet contains all the information the crew needs, but it’s definitely worth including much of it in the call sheet email, anyway. Some people will be getting the message on their phone, and reading a PDF on a small screen isn’t easy.
Some shows, and even some studios, have a very specific template for their call sheets. If that’s the case for your show, follow the template, obviously.
If there isn’t a template, here’s the one I use. In the subject line, write:
SHOW TITLE – Ep ###, Call Sheet for Day # of #, DD/MM/YY, #:##AM Crew Call
Obviously, if you’re on a movie, there’s no episode number. If it’s a prelim call sheet, add “Prelim” in there. Same thing, if it’s a 2nd unit or insert unit.
As detailed as that is, the email itself is pretty simple:
Attached is the call sheet for DD/DD. Crew call is #:##AM.
If you’re shooting on location, you should also include the address to crew parking.
In fact, type the address into Google Maps and create a link, too. Not everyone uses Google Maps, but enough people do that this will be extremely useful. Again, lots of people are getting this message on their phone. You’ve just saved them several awkward copy-and-paste attempts, skipping straight to the turn-by-turn directions.
Attach the Call Sheet
Again, you’d think this would be self-evident in a post about the call sheet email, but… you have to email the call sheet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a call sheet email, followed two minutes later by one saying, “Oops! Here’s the call sheet!”
I’d prefer not to tell you how many times I’ve sent that.
Here’s a fun trick: go into your Gmail settings, and look for Undo Send. Enable it, and set it to 30 seconds. That gives you a full half-minute to realize you hit send before attaching the pdf. Beyond that, God help you…