Lead by example…..

I am getting an alarming number of people in the studio this year that have no time, understanding of the importance of, or interest in the writing of a basic call sheet. Well allow me to – without any note of patronising anyone – expand on why it is just as important that everyone gets on board and understands the need for a call sheet with any size of shoot.

Different people like different levels of information, I require lots of information prior too, during and after any shoot here at the studio. A royal pain in the arse, maybe. Important to secure and preserve all aspects of safety on the studio floor, absolutely. In short, a Call Sheet should be no less than 2 pages long for every day you are shooting, ignoring this simple request raises real issues in your ability to understand that a call sheet and risk assessment is just as important as an equipment list and making sure all the relevant kit and/or wardrobe gets delivered to the correct address.

So rather than rant on and on (as I do from time to time) about the importance of entering into any shoot into any studio with a call sheet, I offer you all a pro-forma to copy and paste onto any number of A4 sheets or email.

“What’s the point?” “I know who is here and that’s all I have to say on the matter”, “I am far too busy”. “I have been working in this business for 14 years and never been asked by a studio for a call sheet”…

All quotes from recent “anonymous” clients.

Thankfully I managed to get my point across to some, but not all.  I also hear with great disappointment that all graduate students leaving the nation’s Universities this year will yet again be left without the basic tools to enter any studio environment, so I implore, please copy this – free – document and have a copy of it on your Phone/laptop ready for printing and emailing out to any studio or location shoot you may be employed to work on in future and when your boss asks you where you got that from, just say you heard it from me.

Remember, you must have this in the building and copy of it must go to the studio owner prior to arrival. Worst case scenario, you have not told them that you have 22 people in today who are having their photograph taken with your celebrity asset for a Rotary Fund Raiser this Christmas, the place goes up in smoke and fearsome flame and the owner of the studio has only the people he/she saw on arrival that morning. Who would be to blame and who would have to go up in front of a Judge for Manslaughter?

Certainly not I.

Call Sheets are an invaluable method of reference for keeping tabs on who you worked with this time last year and on what jobs.

You have no excuses.

Take a look at the pro-forma I have drafted for the studio website, its a pdf, so I expect to see many more detailed shoot schedules and call sheets in the future. It is your responsibility as the principle on any shoot to have this sent to all relevant people linked to your shoot, it speeds up progress of the shoot and slows down the chances of any horrible surprises on the chosen dates.

Call Sheet [Pro-forma]



Author: Ian F Simpson

Company Director, Land Rover custodian, Coppicer of trees, Bee Keeper, Pie eater