Read your call sheet!

A few nights ago I received a text: “Call time 10AM at the PO”. Ok, I haven’t seen a call sheet yet, but I can work with that. 10 it is.

3 hours later the call sheet came in. Luckily I woke up in the middle of the night and checked it, because call time was actually 9:30, so my normal 15-minutes early would have been 15-minutes late.

Often emails are sent with a “Call time is X time tomorrow!” but my call time is half an hour earlier… And often the PAs are in even earlier than that.

Some call sheets even have a header at the top. Cameras call time: X. Often mine matches. Sometimes for days on end. Then there will be a day that it doesn’t… So you’d best check your time. Plan to be early, and if there are discrepancies (only 15 minutes to load out?!) make a call, and get it moved up. I’ll gladly show up early, but if its just bad scheduling that makes me have to, I’d best get paid for it.

Other things you should watch: weather. Ever see them plan a b-roll day when it’s raining? Those aren’t fun. It’s also smart to know about extra gear, where you’re headed, or what time lunch is. Who might you not know who is on the call sheet? As a day player, that’s especially important – I’m with a different crew every day, and it’s super helpful to know the name of the DP, other ACs, EPs, Audio, and especially talent. The more you look over on your call sheet, the more prepared you can be to do your job right and get called back the next day.

About Randy Lee
Shooter. Editor. Colorist. Filmmaker. Coffee Addict. Workaholic.
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