At some point in their career, every working producer faces the daunting task pulling off a shoot without enough time to prepare. While many challenges of a time crunch crisis can only be solved with sweat, using a film crew list template from shoot to shoot ensures you’re always ready to spring into action at a client’s notice.
At a glance, a film crew list is exactly what it sounds like: a simple document where you keep track of professional crew members and the jobs they do. But it can also be much, much more, cataloging your production company’s film crew hierarchy at lightning speed.
In this post, we’re digging into how you can revolutionize a simple form into the last film crew list template you’ll ever need.
Before we dive in, be sure to download our free film crew list template here or by clicking the image below.
Using a film crew list pdf or excel sheet to follow along with this post will help familiarize you with all the basics you need to keep your own film crew roles list on track.
Or, better yet, watch our pre-recorded demo to learn more about how Wrapbook generates a film crew list for your production automatically.
More detailed, more comprehensive, and easier-to-use than any standard film crew list example you’ll find online, Wrapbook neatly organizes your directory for you, each time you run a production.
Now, let’s get into it.
For an individual production, you might look at your film crew list template as a natural partner to your day-to-day call sheets.
It’s essentially just a film crew jobs list, a document whose fundamental goal is to help you stay organized by keeping track of who’s doing what job when, along with a few other pertinent details you might need over the course of your shoot.
In that way, it’s simple, a no-brainer.
However, if you perform due diligence and collect this information over multiple productions, you’ll notice a handy tool beginning to take shape in the form of a detailed, personal directory that can be referred to at a moment’s notice.
The sizes or types of shoot don’t matter. Even a short film crew list or a spec commercial film crew list can contribute. Over time, the details of your separate film crew jobs lists will combine to form one massive film crew rolodex.
It can be a powerful document in the right producer’s hands.
But where’s the best way to begin building out your film crew list template? Easy. The same place you start filling out a call sheet.
The most essential element of any film production crew list template is the exact same identifying information that you’ll find on call sheets everywhere: the crew member’s name, position title, and contact information.
Most film crew list templates will divide individual crew members according to their department. Assistant camerapersons are listed along with the rest of the camera crew, for instance.
But, occasionally, it can get complicated.
It’s important to realize that term “film crew list” isn’t as literal as it sounds. It often refers to far more than just a list of technical crew in film production.
Any film crew list pdf, excel sheet, or other document should also account in some way for all essential but non-crew personnel associated with your production. That includes obvious examples like your cast or equipment vendors, but be careful not to forget less obvious entries for personnel like agents, permitting offices, and any others you can think of.
The point is that your film crew list template shouldn’t just be a film production crew list template. You want to craft a document that includes information for any person or organization you might need to contact over the course of your production company’s lifetime.
From a big picture perspective, it’s also important to realize that individual crew members sometimes work different positions across different productions.
What happens when your usual 2nd AD advances up the film crew chain of command to start taking work as a 1st AD? Or what if your favorite office PA experiences a crisis of faith that transforms them into an art PA? How does that affect your film crew list?
If you’re following along with a film crew list template, you have two options. You can either list the crew member twice, with one entry for each job category, or you can choose a single job category in which to consider them for future gigs.
But be careful.
When successfully managing a crew, any kind of confusion is the enemy. It’s important to pay attention to details and do the extra work to make sure your film crew list pdf or excel sheet is clean, clear, and up-to-date.
Of course, if you’re using Wrapbook, the software does the work for you.
Wrapbook’s features automatically generate a detailed personnel entry for anyone you deal with through the service. Uniquely, these entries simultaneously keep track of crew members within individual productions as well as across every production on which they’ve ever worked with you.
As a result, Wrapbook delivers not only an in-depth film crew list that blends seamlessly into the payroll needs of your individual productions, but also an exhaustive, personalized crew database that’s easily searchable according to past crew members’ names, positions, and even their cities or states.
Beyond basic contact information, your film crew list template should keep track of your crew’s various rates of pay.
Bear in mind that this may entail several different entries for an individual crew member. Many crew positions routinely receive different rates according to the type of work for which they’re being paid. Rates for prep days, shoot days, and wrap days might all be completely different amounts.
And, of course, don’t forget to account for kit fees.
On top of different rates within a given production, your personal film crew list may need to account for differing rates across different sizes and types of productions.
A production designer doing their friend a favor, for instance, might have a much lower rate listed on their friend’s short film crew list than they did on your feature film crew list or someone else’s commercial film crew list. If you produced all three shoots, it would be worth keeping track of all three rates for future reference.
If any cast or crew are in a union, you’ll want to note that next to their rate, as failure to pay union minimums or use a non-union approved payroll company will bar them from working with you.
With Wrapbook, you’ll never again have to go hunting through your e-mails for your favorite gaffer’s phone number.
For every individual production, it’s essential to make sure you have all necessary paperwork from each of your crew members and, more than that, to keep it well organized.
Dedicating a portion of your film crew list to the simple function of noting whether or not a crew member has turned in properly-filled out paperwork is a small pill to swallow that can save you more than few major headaches down the road.
I mean, let’s face it. Film school or no film school, film crew positions almost exclusively attract individuals who want to deal with as little bureaucracy as possible. No producer likes hunting for a crew member’s missing I-9 during wrap, and no crew member likes being hunted for the I-9 they didn’t turn in three jobs ago.
If you look at it that way, film crew lists offer a simple way to keep everyone happy.
Wrapbook goes a step further by automating the entire paperwork process.
Keeping track of every fundamental document you need to officially hire a crew member, the app ingests them directly into an easy-to-use interface for your quick reference. On top of that, once a crew member has filled out start paperwork for you once through Wrapbook, they won’t have to do it again.
However, when you start talking about pay rates and I-9s, it’s important to mention security. As your film crew list grows so will its sensitive information.
No matter what film crew list example you’re following, be aware that pay rates, paperwork, and any personal notes are a sensitive topic for many and it may not be appropriate to list rates on a document that’s too publicly available.
Use discretion in deciding where and how to keep track of your production company’s past hirees. While GoogleDocs are often a convenient alternative to Excel (especially when it comes to collaboration), make sure you have permissions set so only executive producers have access.
Instead of giving your office PA access to your entire film crew list, you can always pull information and send it out.
The “Notes” section of a film crew list template may seem superfluous, but it’s a necessary feature that can make a huge difference if you use and refer to it actively.
For an individual production, the notes section can be useful to track miscellaneous details like food allergies, scheduling gaps, or special requests of any kind. Notes - big or small - can help your production staff remain focused and detail-oriented in a way that everyone can appreciate.
But beyond that, if you keep track of your notes over time, a well-maintained notes section can become a useful tool in developing personal relationships with your crew members.
It may sound silly, but it’s true.
People like to be noticed, and the notes section of your film crew list template can act as a reminder of the details that people will appreciate you remembering.
It could be as simple as you recalling without a prompt that they have a peanut allergy, as specific as you remembering they have a birthday coming up, or as professional as you asking if they were ever able to set up that loan-out company they were talking about last year.
If you’re creative and you care, the notes section can make a world of difference on your film crew list.
Armed with the details above, a film crew list can be a simple but effective tool to keep you and your productions organized.
With a little creativity and extra functionality, however, a film crew list can become an all-in-one crew management tool that frees up your time and brain power to focus on the things that make a producer’s job fun.
Combining the qualities that make it a leading payroll company with easy-to-use, comprehensive management features, Wrapbook revolutionizes your basic film crew list by making it easier to track better crew data over more time and granting direct access to features that make that information useful to you as a producer.
Let’s take a quick look at just a few of the features Wrapbook can add beyond a standard film crew list template.
By automatically creating a detailed profile for each crew member you work with, Wrapbook helps you monitor shifting data that can be difficult to track with a simple film crew list pdf or spreadsheet.
During the onboarding process, for instance, a simple drop-down menu allows a user to note whether a crew member is an employee, contractor, or a loan-out.
Wrapbook’s interface makes it easy to calculate and monitor updated fees and complex rates that too often risk adding unnecessary confusion when the time comes to actualize your budget.
With Wrapbook, the data’s all there, right on the crew member’s profile, clearly noted and accessible to you with only a few clicks of a button.
Over time, the level of detail Wrapbook provides can become a critical advantage.
Dealing with the disparate nature of all the documentation just one crew member requires to be paid correctly and on time is a common source of headaches among production professionals.
Wrapbook eases that headache by bringing all that documentation together.
Wrapbook’s interface allows crew members to enter their information directly at the source, virtually eliminating the need for your production team to handle any of it manually.
With Wrapbook, your film crew list becomes a hub through which you and your crew can connect directly in managing information and paperwork. It enables your crew to take direct control of their tax information, direct payment information, and even their timecards without fear that their data will be lost in the physical production shuffle or fall into the wrong hands.
Most importantly, Wrapbook’s features allow a film crew list to grant your production pristine organization. No standard film crew list template can compete with Wrapbook’s superior record-keeping, in either the short or long term.
A film crew list template is a flexible tool that you can make use of in both simple and complex ways, depending on the needs of your production.
Although the goal is organization, it’s up to the individual producer to decide what kind of organization is right for them.
At Wrapbook, we're all about providing the very best free resources to producers and their crews. However, this post is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Answers do not create a company-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your decisions or rights.
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