BTS: The Call Sheet in Times Square
Yes, I have an obsession with call sheets. My colleagues laugh at me whenever my eyes light up at the sight of a crisp sheet of paper with those glorious squares of organized data. Regardless of how excited anyone feels about it, the whole crew (not to mention the client) benefits from the call sheet.
A recent live event we filmed in Times Square, New York is yet another example of call sheet rocket power. The two day event included multiple speakers, breakout sessions, and multi-speaker panels. Our crew was tasked with capturing very specific content; some sessions we captured video image only, while other sessions required full audio and visual recording. For every chunk of time, our 3-person crew needed to know where they should be, when they needed to be there, and what they were supposed to do. Our tasks varied slightly based on the client’s content needs for each session, and the call sheet kept us on track.
This document began its noteworthy life a month before the event. The information it contained underwent multiple revisions before and even during the event. With client and crew input, we landed on a solid plan of execution with maximum effectiveness of our available personnel and resources. During the shoot, our crew could review this living document on their phones at any time via Google Docs, our preferred platform for sharing documents with ongoing changes and updates.
Why does it matter? Having a detailed schedule with everyone aware provides a strong framework to change plans without accidentally missing details. We can accommodate changes without cutting corners.
At the end of this job, we came out with all our to-do boxes checked and a happy client. Empowered with the guidelines and information they needed, our hard working crew did great work that we are all proud of. That is the beauty of the call sheet: it provides a framework for success.