On a set, it’s important to know who is on the film crew and which actors you have. The Cast and Crew Roster is one of the many pieces of paperwork that can improve the organization of a set and reduce stress. For other ways production paperwork can make you more prepared for filming, check out the rest of the series. To see the previous article in this series, check out Release Forms.

What is a Cast and Crew Roster?

The Cast and Crew Roster is a list of everyone who will be involved in a cast or crew position. This may change throughout the filming process. In pre-production, it will include anyone involved in the planning process. During production, your production crew, actors, and extras will join this list. Post-production will bring in a whole new group of people. It may be smart for bigger crews to have a list for each portion. For smaller productions, it may be a rather small list.

Why is the Cast and Crew Roster important?

The Cast and Crew Roster gives the producers a list of everyone involved in the production process as well as contact details and crew positions. On a film school short film set, this may seem like a bit of paperwork that can be left out, but I recommend doing it no matter how useless it may seem. It keeps all contact details in one place, and it also creates good habits for moving on to bigger sets.

Who is affected by the Cast and Crew Roster?

For the most part, the only people who will see the Cast and Crew Roster will be the Producer and their team. However, they may send it to other department heads.

While you may never see this on a set, it’s incredibly important for communication. It allows for quick and easy distribution of information.

What should be included in a Cast and Crew Roster?

The main things to include in a Cast and Crew Roster are first and last names, phone numbers, emails, and crew position or character names. I recommend making a list for cast and a separate list for crew. Other things can be included as you see a need. If you are providing snacks and meals, you may consider adding information for allergies or dietary needs.

For the cast, this can be on the roster or in a separate document. List the cast out in order of importance of the character. Your leads should be listed first, then supporting roles, and minor roles. Do not include extras. Assign each of those characters a number. These numbers will come up in the call sheet.

While the Cast and Crew Roster may seem less important on the set of a film school student, it’s a small way to make a set chaotic. Take it from someone who has made the mistake, don’t disregard something as simple as this. It will make the life of independent filmmakers so much easier.

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  • Connor Sassmannshausen is a screenwriter, video producer, and social media organizer with the Initiative Production Company. She loves watching movies, nerdy t-shirts, travelling and taking broken things apart (but not necessarily putting them back together).

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