Meet Your New Best Friend
About 5 years ago I started freelancing full time. At the beginning I’d do anything and everything video and writing related. I wrote blogs, edited videos for politicians, and even filmed a kid getting his black belt. Haha. For a while there I found a niche in being a production assistant on set. Larger agencies would hire me to just be on set for the day and do grunt work, running cables, getting coffee, watching a camera. These were pretty big shoots with larger corporations like Wal-Mart or Remington. Because the crews were so large, there were a lot of people to communicate with, so every night we’d get a call sheet. If you’ve been on set before, you’ve seen one of these. They’re pretty intense with so much information including call times, weather conditions, and hotel information for crew members from out of town. In case you’ve never seen one before, I found one online for JJ Abram’s Cloverfield.
When I started working full time in the church video world again, I wanted to bring the clarity of a call sheet with me. Too often, because our team’s and shoots are smaller, we just kind of yell out the information into our videographer’s office and hope for the best. Then, we just end up fielding text messages the entire day. “Where’s the place we’re filming again? Did you send me an email about what time we’re supposed to get there? Do you have the lead’s number?” Clarity is necessary.
The truth is, though, a call sheet like the one attached isn’t necessary. For a small shoot it can actually be pretty confusing trying to find the small bit of info you need. What’s our solution? A PRODUCER’S GUIDE! It’s a one-page sheet with an overview of the shoot, contact info, and a schedule. The guide I attached is for a commercial shoot Gary and I did for a construction company in Tulsa. It was a three man shoot, so pretty simple. This sheet, though, kept us all on the same page. No pun intended.
This isn’t a new concept, but sometimes we forget to take the time to communicate all the details. Here’s a way to do it that works for us. I hope it helps. Happy storytelling.