When you want to make a movie, one of the most important things is to create call sheets for all the relevant people working on the production. The task of creating these call sheets is usually given to the assistant director and although a call sheet format may be available among the film production software options, some assistant directors prefer to create their own. Regardless of whether you use a pre-formatted call sheet or produce your own design, it is important that they contain all the relevant information that all the different production staff members’ need.
It is usually best to create one call sheet first and then amend it according to who it is to be given to. As well as of course having the production name and date clearly marked on the sheet, all the timings should also be clearly marked to ensure that everyone knows exactly when different scenes are going to be shot. These call sheets are not just given to the actors and cameramen, they also need to be given to everyone else involved in the production such as caterers and drivers. The sall sheet should include any meal times and where that meal will be available. It will have to include any shuttle bus details such as pick-up points and times. The sheet should indicate which scene is to be filmed so that the costume department can have the correct costumes available.
As the weather conditions can sometimes affect filming, it is usual for a forecast of the weather to be included on the call sheet so that people can be prepared. Contact numbers for all the key staff should be included on call sheets to facilitate quick and easy communications. Accidents can of course sometimes occur and so is beneficial if details of the nearest medical facilities are included in the sheets.
A separate call sheet is needed for each department for each day of filming and in order to prepare fully, it is usual to give today, a call sheet for tomorrow however, tomorrow’s call sheet may have some minor changes.
Make up, costume, scenery, meals and transport are all dependent on the information that they are given on the call sheets and so that information must be accurate and up to date. Although some of the pre-formatted daily call sheets would have all of this information on them, many assistant directors may feel that other information is also necessary and so create their own sheets.
Communications are of course very important in case of any changes that have to take place in the proposed schedule and for that reason, many of the team may use walkie-talkies. If they do, call sign, frequencies and other talk protocols should be added to the daily call sheets to avoid confusion and ease communications throughout the team.
From this you can see that the role of an assistant director is very important as the director relies on everyone being in the right place at the right time and any delays can cause unnecessary expenses.