How Call Sheets are Approved on Features and Television Shows

How Call Sheets are Approved on Features and Television | StudioBinder

Call sheet protocols vary depending on the scale and type of production (documentary, narrative, still, commercial, live etc.). In this article we outline how call sheets are approved on features and television projects.

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1

How Call Sheets are Approved

During pre-production, create an episode one liner, episode schedule and a shooting schedule. These documents are usually generated by Movie Magic by the 2nd AD while in prep, and include all the scenes to be shot and special instructions for all departments.

2

Create preliminary schedule

Distribute the episode one liner, episode schedule and shooting schedule to all departments.

3

Review schedule with other departments

The Extras breakdown is then created by 1st AD and transcribed into the call sheet by the 2nd AD. Also include two (2) days of the advance schedule from the one liner.

4 Red

Enter call times and meal breaks

Preliminary call times are added to the two page call sheet (talent on front / crew on back). Meal penalties and crews’ hours (10hr/12hr/14hr) will be taken into account to avoid OT and extra charges. 2nd AD will make a sketch of actor call times for 1st AD to approve/modify.

5 Red

Production unit proofs the call sheet

Break down all scenes into time estimates (i.e. 5 scenes total for today; 1st scene (2.4hrs) 2nd scene (3.5) 3rd scene (1.4hrs) etc.). This breakdown allows the 2nd AD to figure out when the actors should be brought in for hair/make-up and wardrobe.

6

Get call sheet approval from director

1st AD will review the 2nd AD’s proposed call times and then modify as needed. All distributed information is transcribed by the 2nd at discretion of the 1st AD.

7

Production unit sends call sheet to cast and crew

Once the call sheet is finalized by the AD department, the call sheet for the next day will be distributed to the PM, LP and Director at 9-10a the day before shoot to provide enough time for review/approval.

8

P.U confirms call sheet was received

Feedback returns from the production unit and others (Director, DP). Once all have weighed-in the final details, the day can be ‘locked’ and approved for distribution. This process in television often includes actual signatures from the above stated positions on the call sheet as proof of approval.

9 Red

P.U confirms call sheet was received

The final approved call sheet is then distributed by the 2nd AD via email and physical handouts to crew on-set.

10

P.U confirms call sheet was received

Often overlooked by novice filmmakers. It is imperative the production unit follows up with all cast and crew to ensure the call sheet was received. The production schedule could be totally jeopardized should cast or crew member not show up to set on time.

Generally the production unit emails, texts, and calls every recipient of the call sheet to ensure receipt. Alternatively, free film production software like StudioBinder streamlines this process by automatically tracking when a call sheet is viewed and confirmed by a recipient. That way you only follow up with those you should (and avoid buging those you shouldn’t).

Collaborate better with software

Call Sheet Software - Share call sheet with collaborators - StudioBinder Video Film and TV Production Management Software

We live in a digital era, so using online software like StudioBinder make everyone’s life easier.

With StudioBinder, you can create and share a call sheet with “collaborators” such as your production team or clients. Collaborators view the prelim call sheet, add comments, and approve it. No need to email, print, sign off, scan, etc. Approvals are timestamped online for clear record-keeping.

Best of all, StudioBinder is free to get started. Learn more about StudioBinder’s approval system.

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Wrapping Up

Understanding the protocols of professional productions, and what to watch out for can help you avoid common mistakes as you define your own process for getting the job done. We know creating, sending and confirming call sheets can be a time consuming process which is why we built StudioBinder.

STUDIOBINDER

Film production software
made modern.

• Organize talent and crew details

• Create shooting schedules & breakdowns

• Create, send & track personalized call sheets

Darya Danesh

Darya Danesh

Cofounder and Content Director at StudioBinder
Focused on the intersection between Entertainment and Technology. Grew up in Silicon Valley, now resides in Silicon Beach. Also an animal lover, avid reader and futurist.
Darya Danesh