Manage personal data with safety
Manage personal data with safety. Source: Composition from illustrations

Manage Cast & Crew personal data with safety (and sensitivity)


Personal data is important. It’s private, it’s valuable, it’s … personal. We all want companies to keep our data safe and use it for the right purposes. We also want a clean, transparent, easy process to share our personal details. And we are righteous to demand it all.

But what happens when it’s us who are in charge of collecting other people’s data? When facing a film or a tv series, we are going to need to ask for hundreds or thousands of addresses, emails, bank accounts, passport numbers, maybe even food allergies… and, as much as we need it for production purposes, we’d like to guarantee the privacy of their data to the Cast & Crew members, along with providing a clear, smooth process for filling out the information.


1. Decide the personal data you want to be filled out

You actually need just a few details of an actor or a DOP to write their Deal Memo and sign a contract.

But you can also choose to be really specific, depending on how your production is oriented. If you are, i.e., planning to have quite a number of travels by plane, you can ask the team members about their preferences on “window or aisle” before buying all their tickets.

Some years ago it was odd to hear somebody was gluten intolerant, but luckily we have made room for people’s singularities that need to be taken care of, so you can include in your form information regarding each person’s food allergies to be sure your catering supplies are appropriate, for example.

The production gifts are always fun, but guessing your colleagues’ t-shirt size is quite a boring task. Why don’t ask them about it upfront to make sure you’re not giving away another extra-large present that will end up as pyjamas?

This doesn’t mean that more information makes a better data collection and less information a worse one. It totally depends on what you need for your project. Foreseeing your needs will make the right data form!

You can design it with an Excel sheet or discover Willco’s data confirmation form, that has several fields that you can customise, omit or set as compulsory, so you will be sure you get all the information you have asked for.

2. Provide the best way for the Cast & Crew members to give their details

It used to be by telephone, then by email and now people are using their mobiles to exchange information almost all the time.

You can call or email your Cast & Crew members and ask them for their personal data. Then copy it and fill out your production form. This has always worked and it will keep working, but it’s not free of mistakes. That number that was written down incorrectly while speaking on the phone in a noisy office or that bank account that was copy-pasted in somebody else’s row in the sheet!! We know those things don’t happen to you until they do…

Providing an online form to fill out personal information has some advantages:

People can fill it out themselves and this is the final information you will get in your database: directly from the team members, without any intermediate step that can alter the content of the fields.

They can fill it easily and quickly from any device. A lunch break on set, using their mobile phone will do it! We are tired of answering emails or filling out Word documents. Online forms are best adapted to new devices because they go straight to the point, optimising the little time people in film industry usually have.

It complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) so you don’t need to send an extra email for this.

Willco’s Data confirmation form

3. Comply with the GDPR

You may nod off just by listening to its acronyms or feel happy about the advantages you can take from it. But if you work in a production company, you definitely need to integrate these rules into your data collection workflow.

So be aware: you’ll need to send a brief letter explaining the GDPR practice in your company or simply include it in the online form and get your employees’ acceptance for your Data Protection measurements by checking the GDPR box.

Users want to be protected, well informed and have easy access to their rights regarding their data. Just like you, when you are the user.

4. Send in bulk

When you have a serious number of actors, stunts, drivers, props, make-up artists and so on, you need a bulk action to face a serious amount of data.

You can send one hundred requests of personal data by email, but be aware you will need to attend each email and copy-paste the answers in your sheet. Maybe even reply and expect a new answer before getting the information requested.

If you choose a data confirmation form like Willco’s, you will send just one email with a link to the webform and wait for the members to complete it, then you will have it loaded straight in your database. It’s incredibly efficient, unidirectional and clear for everyone!

You can customise the email that users will get and put all your communication skills into it to make the process as much relatable as you want.

Customised email to ask for data details


Now you have it in your database: thousands of forms of your Cast & Crew members from your high-end production or maybe dozens of forms of your small independent movie.

Each form is a profile, a portrait without drawing of each person in your project. Dialogues and gestures and bodies and locations can tell a lot of a character, but so a personal data form can do of a person.

As a production company, it’s our goal to guarantee the safety of this information, of this profile, but also its availability for the production team and the Payroll company.

Information is your work tool. Use it wisely.