Shift planner


This article describes how to use the Shift planner module: a tool to organize shifts that you can assign to volunteers and crew.


The Shift planner module is only available to festivals with a Premium Filmchief license.

You need a Guest service or Production role to manage shifts and volunteers. For certain preparatory steps, an Administrator role is required.

Getting started

If you haven’t done so already, enable the Shift planner module at the System Settings page.

Building shift schedules for volunteers and crew commonly involves the following steps:

  1. Define time frames

    At Shift planner Time frames. These time frames are used to collect volunteer availability information, so make sure they cover the entire festival period. Usually, two or three time frames per festival day are defined.
  2. Define functions

    See System Manage label sets and look for the Functions (for volunteers/crew) label set.
  3. Volunteer application forms

    Open an Application form for volunteers to collect personal details, work experience, interests and availability of this year’s pool of volunteers. A default form is available; please contact us to customize it to your needs. Once the applications from people interested in volunteering are coming in, you will see an overview of their availability at the Overview page. The Crew & volunteers page offers an overview of each applicant’s experience and interests. You can find all details of a volunteer on their Accreditation details page.
  4. Create shift locations

    Shifts usually run on various locations, other than the screening locations. You can create so-called shift locations at the Shift planner Shift locations page, but if you want to create shifts on existing locations, then go to Tables Shifts and mark set the Location type of those locations as Shift location.
  5. Create shifts

    Create shifts at the Shift planner Shifts page. Each shift must have a time frame and a function, which will later on be matched with your volunteers’ availability and interests. If you need two or more people on a job, then one shift is created for each person needed.
  6. Auto-assign shifts to volunteers

    On the Shift planner Shifts page, you will find a button “Auto-assign shifts”. When you click on this button, Filmchief will try to find the best possible match between available shifts and volunteers, taking into account what functions they’re interested in and their indicated availability. Each auto-assigned shift gets a "Auto-assigned" Status. You can run this tool as many times as you like – previous auto-assignments are overwriten unless you change the Status to "Unconfirmed", "Confirmed" or "Definitive".
  7. Manual fine-tuning

    At any time, you can make manual changes to the shift schedule. For example, if someone cancels a shift, you can replace them with someone else who is available at that time by clicking on the pencil icon next to their name.
  8. Personal schedules

    Once all shifts are definitive, you can use Mailroom to send each volunteer their personal work schedule. Definitive shifts are also displayed on their personal timeline.

Additional options

Using separate forms for volunteer applications and their availability

If you open the Application form for volunteers early on in the year, people usually don’t know their availability yet. For this reason, you may choose to make the availability time frames on this form optional (or remove them altogether), and send out another form (the Volunteer availability form) at a later time instead.

Maximum number of shifts

You can define a maximum number of shifts for each volunteer at their accreditation page. The auto-assignment function will take this limit into account.


When working with large groups of volunteers, it may be helpful to organize shifts and volunteers in groups. Please contact us for more information about this possibility.

Future plans

At this point, the Shift planner module offers no graphical way to visualize the schedule. We are aware that this would be a valuable improvement, and intend to accomplish this in 2020.

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