What is a Call Sheet?

A call sheet is a vital document in film production. Learn why it's important to film productions, what it looks like, and common terminology used on set.

Fırat Bayram Bakır
November 9, 2023

Table of Contents

Text LinkText Link

When it comes to film productions or photoshoots, there are many things that need to be organized to ensure a smooth and successful shoot day. One of the most important documents in the industry is the call sheet. In this article, we'll dive into what a call sheet is, why it's so important, and what information it includes.

Imagine it like this, In the absence of the key person who is running the entire production, anyone who has the call sheet should be able to film without their presence.

If you already know this, you might as well go read something something else.

Why Are Call Sheets So Important?

A call sheet is a document that outlines all of the necessary information for a shoot day. It's used by the production coordinator or assistant director to communicate important details to the cast and crew. A call sheet is often referred to as the most important document on set, as it provides pertinent information for the entire day's shoot. Without it, chaos can ensue, and time and money can be wasted.

What does a call sheet look like?

A call sheet is typically a one-page document that's distributed to the cast and crew the day before or the morning of the shoot. It contains important information about daily shooting schedule such as the shoot day's schedule, call times, crew information, nearest hospital, key times, and weather forecast. Additionally, a call sheet may include a scene breakdown and a cast list.

Common Call Sheet Terminology

The call sheet includes several key terms that may be unfamiliar to those outside the industry. Here are some of the most common:

Call time

The time at which everyone is expected to arrive on set. You do want everyone to be on time. A set is a cash-burning machine. Each minute something is not on time, you are burning resources.

Location Address

The place where filming will take place. This must be clearly shown on the call sheets. A daily shooting schedule needs google maps links, screenshots, and crew call addresses.

Cast members or speakers

A list of actors or speakers who will be on set that day. If you are filming a corporate shoot, have your speaker or production company's key info on the call sheet.

Crew members

A list of all crew members who will be working on set that day.

Call sheet notes

Any important information or reminders that need to be communicated to the cast and crew.

Meal times

The times when meals will be served on set.

Parking information

Details about where people can park their vehicles. How will they access, where will they go, and which route they will take? Be as detailed as possible. Street parking for example might require you to arrive earlier.

Safety information

Any safety guidelines or protocols that need to be followed on set. Department heads must be informed if there is a special occasion. Just email, call, and send a WhatsApp message. Hell, shout on walkie-talkie channels about safety.

Production contact information

Names and contact information of key personnel on the production team.

Production schedule

A detailed shooting schedule of the shoot, including the start and end times for each day.

Call Sheet Templates

To create a call sheet, many production companies use call sheet templates that can be customized to their specific needs. A call sheet example is a pre-designed document that includes all of the necessary information, so all the production coordinator needs to do is fill in the blanks. There are several call sheet templates available online, or a production company may create its own.

Here's an example of what a call sheet might look like:

First Page

  • Production Company's Name
  • Date of Shoot
  • Call Time

Second Page

  • Shooting Schedule
  • Cast and Crew member contact information
  • Nearest Hospital
  • Meal Breaks
  • Special Equipment
  • Scene Breakdowns
  • Questions (If it is an interview shoot)

The entire document will often include phone numbers for key crew members, parking instructions special equipment used, and additional notes.

In conclusion, a call sheet is the most important document on set. It provides the necessary information for a successful shoot day and helps keep everyone on the same page. By using a daily call sheet and including all information, a production coordinator can ensure a smooth and successful shoot day.

For those who want to go absolutely into detail in the call sheet, see below the information we gathered for you.

The Importance of Call Sheet Accuracy

One of the most important aspects of creating a call sheet is ensuring that all of the information is accurate. A small mistake on a call sheet can have significant consequences, such as speakers arriving late or crew members not having the proper equipment. To avoid these issues, it's essential to triple-check all of the information on the call sheet before distributing it to the cast and every crew member.

Accuracy is particularly critical when it comes to call times. If a crew member arrives late due to an incorrect call time, it can significantly delay the entire production schedule. It's also important to include the correct location and parking information, as this can affect how quickly people are able to arrive on set.

The Importance of Clear Communication on Call Sheets

Clear communication is key when it comes to creating a successful call sheet. The call sheet should be easy to read and understand, with clear headings and concise information. If there are any abbreviations or industry-specific terms used on the call sheet, it's important to provide a glossary or explanation so that everyone understands what is being communicated.

It's also essential to ensure that the call sheet is distributed to the cast and crew in a timely manner. Ideally, the call sheet should be sent out two days before the shoot day. This gives everyone time to review the information and ask the assistant director any questions they may have.

Call Sheet Distribution Methods

There are several ways to distribute call sheets. One of the most common methods is to email the call sheet to everyone on the list. This is a quick and easy way to distribute the call sheet, but it can also be easy for people to overlook the email or forget to check their inbox.

Another option is to have the production coordinator to print out the call sheet and distribute it in person on the set. This ensures that everyone has a hard copy of the call sheet and can refer to it throughout the day. However, this method can be time-consuming and costly, particularly for larger productions.

Some productions also use specialized call sheet software to distribute and manage their own call sheet sheets. This software can help automate the process of creating and distributing call sheets, as well as tracking responses and confirming attendance. This method can be particularly useful for larger productions with many cast and crew members.

Call Sheet Best Practices

To create an effective call sheet, it's important to follow some best practices. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use a call sheet template: Using a pre-designed call sheet template can help ensure that all of the necessary information is included and that the call sheet is easy to read.
  2. Include all pertinent information: Make sure to include all important information on the call sheet, including call times, locations, and meal breaks.
  3. Be clear and concise: Use clear headings and concise language to make the call sheet easy to read and understand.
  4. Use a reliable weather forecasting service: Including accurate weather forecasts on the call sheet can help prevent delays and cancellations due to bad weather.
  5. Triple-check for accuracy: Before distributing the call sheet, triple-check all of the information to ensure that it's accurate and up-to-date.
  6. Distribute the call sheet in a timely manner: Make sure to distribute the call sheet the day before or early on the day of the shoot, to give everyone time to review the information.

Notes Section

  • The assistant directors or the producer who is preparing the document can also include post-production dates to align everyone on the importance of the delivery date.
  • Film call sheets can also include a fun quote to start the day with a smile.
  • Photoshoot call sheets can be a little different but the goal is the same.
  • If there is a film and photo shoot on the same day, it is recommended to go with one call sheet to merge both photoshoot call sheets and the film call sheets.
  • Call sheets are important. Use it.


How do I create a call sheet in Excel?

There are multiple templates you can use to get the base of it and break it to make it useful to your use case.

How do you make a good call sheet?

Short, concise, and accurate.

How do you make a simple call sheet?

Do not add more than what is necessary. Go for the absolute minimum but keep everyone informed.

Ready To Get Started?

Drop us a message and we will reply to you ASAP!

Contact Us