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Call Sheets and Production Logistics

Lesson 14 from: FAST CLASS: Lighting, Logistics, and Strategies for a Life in Photography

Joe McNally

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Lesson Info

14. Call Sheets and Production Logistics

Lesson Info

Call Sheets and Production Logistics

despite the scale of production, still have to improvise. This is prior, um, to Callie's time at the studio. Okay, Uh, I had Teoh shoot the entire United States trampoline ing team for a four page gatefold for Sports Illustrated. And I did not get the team until I was ready to shoot. And it was a week of preparation, so you have to improvise. This is just a silly little thing I'm throwing in here. That's kind of fun. This is an airport hangar in Texas. Okay, we're putting our lights up in here. We've got a man lifter back in here, but to test my lighting every day, I would go toe Ah, flower shop. And this lady loved me because she had this tiny little flower shop. And every day I would go in and get nine helium balloons because I worked with the coach and I judged how far up the trampoline ISS would bounce off the trampoline. And I floated balloons up there so I could put my highlights on him and figure out where my lights were going to go. And that's the actual production shot. And th...

at comes out of camera, you know, So anyway, photography's amazing. You find out what you were good at as a kid. Now helps you make a living. Climbing things. Many years ago, I climbed the antenna on the north tower of the World Trade Center. Okay, Um, I did it. Um, I'll be honest about this. I kind of did it out of spite. In a way, I was I'm a very competitive person. And there was one other photographer who had gotten up there, and I was determined to get up there. I won't go into the details, but I did get up there. Um um, easy picture to make, uh, tough picture. Teoh, get to right. This is the light on top of the Empire State Building. I climbed it four times. So anyway, there's Tom again. That's 100 5 stories up on the Empire State Building. And then I did this okay. At the top of the Burj Khalifa, and it kind of went everywhere. Okay, Was viral just buzzed? It was It became the most viewed picture ever shot in my career stemming from this The absent company stage the social Media campaign and asked on ask people to solicit their ideas to have me go shoot their idea for the absent ad campaign. A kind of participatory social media thing which we're all now familiar with because we live in the world of social media. And so, naturally, one of the ideas was have Joeckel climb something. So, um shocking. Yeah. So here I am again with Tom, who is my climbing guru. He's taught me how to do all this, and Callie actually shot this picture. You did right? And to get up into this antenna here we go over to live. Well, this is an example of a call sheet. So there's a call sheet that I put out for every shoot larger. Small. This doesn't look like there's a lot of information on it. This is one of the, uh, less involved information heavy call sheets, But but again, it's an example of where crew has to meet what they're called time is ah, you know, address. What's happening next? Logistics air kind of laid out some. Sometimes you have a shoot that on the day of its a very organic process, so you can't really lay out from minute to minute everything that's gonna happen. Um but essentially, Teoh even get to do The shoot on that tower was a tower in Boston. It was such a complicated feet. But then the doors open to a more complicated process, which was the permissions and the permitting. And the insurance that was required for Joe to do this climb was like we had to have $ million. Now, we have a great insurance policy, but it's not $8 million. That's not your norm. So I called our insurance broker and asked him, Ok, what can we do? How do we increase that? Because otherwise we're not gonna get to shoot at this building. And he explained how to get that done. It's You pay more, you increasing. Mr. Okay, Got it. I have a folder of all the emails surrounding this project. And honestly, as with many projects, but this one was so, uh, the bureaucracy involved, um I know 200. I mean, it just it was ridiculous back and forth and this one and signed off on that and must get approval for this and on and on. And thankfully, Callie is physically adept because we're going up the tower here, and he shot. He had to shoot me. Shooting Tom. That was the nature of the campaign was called The shot of the shot finish strong. And that's the final. And Kallis, Little photo credit is up there and there's Tom and there's me kind of leveraging my horizon line with my ropes. But now, going from that to a much safer, more mundane perch. Okay, going from up there to hear New York City, sort of like three stories up on the fire escape. Small flash inside tungsten balance outside a moody picture denoting the struggle of a young dancer in New York City. She's eating ramen noodles on the fire escape my lights air inside, but and this is the type of thing you could do with your neighbor's kid, you know, you absolutely could. But that fire escape was attached to a loft, and I'll let Lin try to explain this. Yeah, so it's like, OK, here we go again. He needs a fire escape in the sea. There's tons of them, but not all with the angle that he wanted. Not all that. We're gonna be accessible. We also needed to be able to stage from inside. We're not gonna just hang out, stage everything on a fire escape. So we needed an interior toe. Also shoot in. And you just basically have our our base camp central set up in there relatively small production in the sense that we had Joe myself here, make a person. Callie. Ah, war job on the talent. Um, so it was like a relatively small crew, but then I needed to find this location. So I rely heavily on location scouts. Um, unless we absolutely, no like, Oh, that would be a great restaurant or or outdoor park or something. But mostly I call location scouts, and they do an amazing job, and they have these libraries of images, and you could just go and view them and and say, Yes, I'd like to see this more than what happened with the this loft space was Callie and I went to actually do a physical scout to actually see the space, you know, up close, and make sure that everything was fine. So we saw the space. It all worked out well. We sent Joe the images. He thought that they would work really well. And this is you know, that's the law. That old battered corner there is the loft and toe access that Lynn had to go through all of this. Okay, It's a complicated world out there when you take a camera in hand. I never thought it would get to this place right when I was a kid, and I just was like, Hey, let's go shoot some pictures The first climb ever made in New York City was up the Queensboro Bridge and I I shoot off the cuff. A great deal. Last week I was in Kentucky. I went. I mentioned yesterday, went by myself with some small flash, and I set up in the shed and I did a little studio on a series of portrait's and it was all done just on a handshake, and Lynn wasn't a part of that at all. So we we we ranged from large to small. The the thing to remember is, is what I again I mentioned yesterday. I enjoy time behind the camera. I don't like to be stagnant, so, yeah, there are stretches of time where I don't shoot where it were in pre production or there's work to be done at the studio or witnessed not getting a lot of phone calls or there isn't anything on the radar at that particular moment and moments like that. Callie, what do you do? We are pulling archive work as well. We're getting back to the basics in the studio were cleaning out the garage. There's another assistant that comes and works in our studio, Linda and, um George, I think I might have mentioned her yesterday. Complete organizational buff. You know, definitely this side of me that I don't have. Um But we're just getting things prepped for what's coming next, cause the last thing you want to do is have everything in the studio fall in limbo while you're off shooting so large and small. All of those details go into it. And we are constantly, uh, thinking of ideas and then wrapping up from ideas that we've just shot, Um, something that an example of something that got bigger rather than smaller. Okay, this is a small flash job. This is SB 5000 specifically dedicated to marketing the SP 5000 Flash fun job to shoot. I came up with the idea of noir. Not a new idea. Obviously they've been making the war of movies for a long time. But no war movie genre is very closely associated with the quality of light and the style of character. And so they said yes, go ahead. Well, I went to Lin and I said, Well, we need ah, seedy motel, kind of an era kind of vintage e sort of motel. I'm sure you can find that in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey or Massachusetts. No, not at the time of year. We wanted to shoot. Let's put it that way and not where it looked like the kind of place that we wouldn't even really want to walk into. It was we actually had to create pictures there. So, um, again, lots of phone calls and networking later, let us Teoh this amazing place in New Mexico and, um, same budget I would have worked with anyway, So I still just tried to find a way to make it work. And we were able Teoh. So we cast the talent out of New York. We had worked with Leticia, the model, the female model. We had not worked with Ryan before our male model, but he was fantastic. They were both amazing. It was It was just really a terrific thing that got put together. I used casting networks for this. Yeah, which is to me, a very great resource, because it's it's one stop shopping. So it's a directory. I just fill out a form online about what I'm looking for. It's not just a form. It's actually very involved for him, but I feel all that out. They put it out there to the their entire network. So any models or other kinds of talent and agencies look at this feed that comes into their, ah, you know, stream. And then if they have anyone they feel is good for it, they'll submit. Um, so, um, we already knew we wanted to work with Leticia cause she was sort of like a given We having worked with her before, she was perfect for this. What Lynn does, which is wonderful. She'll get like an Arrow 305 100 submissions for the character that we called him The Man in the Shadows. It's a new our mystery that he's stalking her, you know, follows her into Mexico, and she's this elegant lady. And this this picture was shot in the blue bar in the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, and we had a work early in the day there and get that done. So they call it The Blue Bar, and it's very vintage, and it's very evocative of the noir film period that you get a lot of murder, mysteries and whatnot out of this is to lights. By the way, this again could not be simpler. It's done with the 24 inch easy box, hot, hot you soft box, the one that you saw in play yesterday that's overhead of me. A camera. And then there's a little cone of light, a little snoot with a grid on it, just popping a little bit of Phil at her, and that's it Done deal. Everything else is available. Blue Bar light and I had the camera on a tripod. I'm blending in all of that. The soft box overhead has a fabric grid on it so it doesn't spread and start to pollute the light around the blue nature of the light around pretty simply done, actually absurdly simple, really, in lots of ways to lights T t l. And it was fantastic. You know, just, like done. I'm not talking about fantastic in the picture, fantastic for me as an experience at the camera, because I was able to manipulate the picture into his own that I liked, and I basically just sitting at the camera, dictating values to the lights.

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