If you've been looking for a digital call sheet solution, the revamped StudioBinder 2.0 might be your solution.
Since last year StudioBinder has been a simple way to get your call sheets done online. Now StudioBinder 2.0 puts the emphasis on more robust contact management and file storage for filmmakers and agencies. StudioBinder feels best for small projects where people aren't getting paid much, are hard to keep track of, or where a little extra accountability can't hurt. For more established productions, I would hope you can assume people are reading your call sheets. Find out what's new below and get access to a special 20% discount for No Film School readers.
StudioBinder 2.0 at a glance
- More contact organization tools
- File / asset Storage
- Easy call sheet generation
- Track who reads your call sheets
- Automatically generated weather
- Send unlimited call sheets
Premium features (ranging from $15-$85/month)
- Scout, Rehearsal & Meeting call sheet types (just changes the header label)
- File storage (up to 100gb)
- More than 1 active project at a time
- Unlimited favorite contacts lists
- Private messages to individual people
- PDFs / File Attachments
- No .csv contact import (other than copy/paste bulk addresses)
- No manual override on weather
- Custom logo on your call sheets will cost you $85/month
Though this is fairly common practice with email services, a concern I have is that the call sheets are sent from StudioBinder and not your personal email address, increasing the chance it could get caught in a spam filter (StudioBinder says this hasn't been a problem). To address this they say they are looking to build a feature that allows the call sheets to come directly from your email. StudioBinder says that if you have an Enterprise account there is custom work that can be done to have them come directly from your domain.
My other concern is with automatically generated weather, which can often be egregiously wrong depending on where you're getting your information. (I always check weather.gov.) As with any automated process, it's not always wise to rely on it without getting a second opinion. Also, at $85/month to remove the StudioBinder watermark and add your own personal branding makes it unusable for my needs, as I generally dislike any documentation that doesn't feel like it's coming from my production company.
Ultimately it doesn't necessarily beat the gold standard PDF attachment call sheet that we're all used to, but it's another tool in the toolkit for filmmakers organizing their shoots with some convenient features for promoting accountability. Now that they've relaunched, StudioBinder is working on new features for agencies and and enterprise companies, so stay tuned for even more functionality in the near future. For those of you who want to try it, use code NOFILMSCHOOL when signing up and you will receive 20% off for 3-months for any plan. (Limited to 100 people, expires on February 17th, 2016.)
Check-Out: Microphones - Best Deals this week
With any & every B&H purchase You will automatically be entered into the Monthly Gift Card Raffle.
"A concern I have is that the call sheets are sent from StudioBinder and not your personal email address, increasing the chance it could get caught in a spam filter (though StudioBinder says this hasn't been a problem)."
THIS WAS A MAJOR POBLEM FOR US!!!!!! The first 2 days of production "no one received" the call sheet. They did. But didn't know it. Or it was in fact in SPAM. That is the first of many issues I ran into. If I could go back in time - I would have paid someone half of our entire budget to do what Studio Binder was supposed to help me with on this Ultra Low Budget short. It was a nightmare from beginning to end. AND... on day 3, the entire layout of the software changed without notice. I had to apologize everyday to cast / crew for the call sheet. Everything from random cast / crew orders in the pdf version to incorrect call times, etc. I would love to sit with the SB guys and go over all of the tiny little things that would need to be changed to make this thing amazing. Seems like it never went through real world testing and was only ever used by the designers who only did what they thought people would do. Rant done. I want to love this. I really do.
February 16, 2016 at 6:44PM
Shant here, one of the co-founders of StudioBinder. We're sorry that you experienced this, it must have been shortly after rolling out the new version. All of those issues you experienced have already been stamped out.
Regarding the emails, DMARC policies prevent most applications from sending out emails in the user’s email address, otherwise providers like Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and many others may flag it as “hijacked” and bounce it. To guarantee deliverability we send emails from our domain, and now make the senders full name visible so your cast will recognize it when received.
Would love to learn more of your experience and what you would like to see next in the platform, feel free to reach out: shant at studiobinder dot com.
February 16, 2016 at 8:08PM, Edited February 16, 9:06PM
Thanks Shant - will contact soon!
February 16, 2016 at 10:41PM
There is a new website that just came out called Easy Call Sheets (www.easycallsheets.com) where if you go into your profile settings and set a company name, when you send out your call sheets, it will still send it from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org but the name associated with the sent email will show up as whatever company name you put in your profile.
February 19, 2016 at 2:22PM
$85/month just to add your logo is wayyyy too steep. In fact that would have been ok if it was just a one time thing. When you're doing personal projects and call sheets come with a watermark, it's excusable. But when you have paying clients, this can look almost like using a low-end camera (It shouldn't matter, but they do). Otherwise the software looks pretty cool.
February 16, 2016 at 9:34PM
Actually it looks like the article is kind of misleading. According to the pricing page the highest plan gets you unlimited projects, double the file storage, pre-production call sheets, and custom logo (https://studiobinder.com/pricing).
February 16, 2016 at 10:49PM
Yes, the highest plan is $85.
February 16, 2016 at 11:02PM
Shant here, from StudioBinder. The Professional plan offers more than just branding. The plan is catered towards production companies and agencies that shoot video content in high-volume and includes everything from the Starter and Indie plan, along with: unlimited Projects, unlimited Favorites Lists, Multi-type Call Sheets, and up to 100GB file storage for production documents and media. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our Plans.
February 16, 2016 at 11:05PM, Edited February 16, 11:19PM
I run a small production house. I'll definitely give this a try.
February 18, 2016 at 6:58AM, Edited February 18, 6:58AM
There's a new website that just came out called Easy Call Sheets (www.easycallsheets.com) where if you pretty much get unlimited everything and some custom branding (when it comes to sending out emails) and it's only $10 a month with a 14-day trial.
February 19, 2016 at 2:27PM
I mean this was a cool idea last year when I first read about it here, I even signed up to be on the waiting list. But why would I pay for this now, when Celtx has a full pre-production tool suite for the same price? Last year I would have totally jumped on this, now I'm like why bother?
February 17, 2016 at 6:28AM
I won't pay for any cloud based tool. Celtx included.
February 17, 2016 at 7:03AM
Hey Jeff. Shant from StudioBinder here. We're fans of Celtx too, but we're actually quite different.
Celtx focuses more on scripting, budgeting, stripboarding, shotlisting, and other high-level pre-production tools.
StudioBinder makes sense after development and pre-pro, as you start hiring talent/crew and head into production. So we focus more on contact management, personalized, mobile-friendly call sheet emails and PDFs, tracking when call sheets are viewed and opened (so you don't need to stress about receipt anymore), and backing up all the production paperwork in one place for easy retrieval.
We're trying to bring more peace-of-mind to the hectic production phase. In that sense we complement Celtx's development and pre-production toolset well.
February 17, 2016 at 10:57AM
Really do appreciate the fact that you responded to this. It's really good to know that you are paying attention to the needs of your base. I can see where you are coming from when it comes to complementing Celtx's toolset. I'd really love an "audition" feature. I'm in the middle of casting for a short film and it would be a god send to have a system in place to track applicants, store headshots, rate auditions and send sides to.
February 17, 2016 at 1:01PM
That's an interesting idea, Jeff. Although StudioBinder was not made with auditions in mind, we do allow users to send out pre-production call sheets (kind of a new concept, I know) for scheduling production meetings, tech scouts, rehearsals, and yes, even auditions potentially.
So between sending out audition call sheets for call backs, and using our file manager to backup/share sides, headshots, (etc), I could see a way for you to achieve this goal now.
Again, not exactly what we do natively, but it's something we'd be open to exploring further. :)
February 17, 2016 at 7:21PM, Edited February 17, 7:22PM
We use a well scripted Excel template. Never failed.
February 17, 2016 at 7:02AM
Easy Call Sheets
Are there other options / services people have use for these new-school callsheets?
I use excel, though I am interested in adding convenience and functionality.
There are a few deal-breakers though, IMHO:
- Callsheet must come from the email of production personnel. This whole trash / spam thing causes me anxiety.
- The service can't be cloud-based. There must be off-line functionality. On remote, we have enough problems with connectivity. I can't see struggling through a cloud-based callsheet when I can work offline in excel, and distro when there is solid service.
February 23, 2016 at 6:39AM