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With a handful of inexpensive apps and services that work with the iPad, you can create a very effective production toolkit. This course reveals the workflow that author and lynda.com content producer Nick Brazzi uses to plan and run shoots for low-budget productions and "no-budget" web series using iPad apps, cloud-based services, and optional desktop software. Find out how Google Drive, Dropbox, and specialty apps like Shot Lister, MovieSlate, Teleprompt+, and Easy Release can help you run a tighter ship and bring your production in on schedule and under budget.
- Setting up file storage and organization with Dropbox and Google Drive
- Dividing the script into scene and shot numbers
- Creating shot lists and a shoot-day schedule
- Creating call sheets to organize the cast and crew
- Using a physical slate or a slate app
- Using an iPad as a teleprompter
- Logging shots
- Compiling shot lists for editing
- Collecting signed model release forms with Easy Release
Skill Level Appropriate for all
At this point, you should be familiar with the basics of watching the schedule, and filling out the shot log during the shoot on paper. Now let's see how you can use the Shot Lister app on the iPad to make this whole process run even smoother. In this movie, we'll start by seeing how to run the schedule for the day using the Shot Lister app. You can log information about your shots for the editor in the app as well, but we'll save that for a separate movie. First, we're going to need all our important documents on hand. Fortunately, you can have all of these on the iPad at the same time.
So I need my call sheets and a copy of the script. Well, if I've got those on Google Drive, I can load them up, just by opening up the Google Drive app, and you can see I've already got the script loaded here. I just need to make sure that I set them for offline viewing, so that I can access those on the iPad, even when I'm not connected to the internet. The same thing is true if I need a full page of storyboards. I can access these on Google Drive or Dropbox, as long as they're set for offline viewing. So that leaves the shot list and the shot log, and we're going to use the Shot Lister app to do both of these.
Like I said, we're going to cover the shot log in another movie. So I already have my shot list in the Shot Lister app. I've also set up my shoot day, which is a schedule of all of the shots arranged and scheduled for today's shoot. So let's go through the scenario of what it's like to manage a shoot day, starting with the process of monitoring the schedule and marking off shots as they're completed. To do that, let's put the clock up on the screen, and talk through the events of the day, starting with our call time at 9 a.m.
When I created this shot list in Shot Lister, I set my call time as 9 a.m. So if I open up Shot Lister and go into the shoot day view, any time after 9 a.m., I'll see that we are in the active shooting mode. You can tell this because there's now a green bar up at the top of the screen. And there's also an empty check box next to the current shot or note right here. What's great here is that I can change the order of my shots and notes, even during the shoot day.
So for example, my first note here is a reminder about an establishing shot of seagulls that we need to shoot. I don't want this note to count against my schedule, so I'm just going to move it down to a later point in the day. So I just hit the little pencil icon, and I grab that note by the handle on the right, and I drag it all the way down to the bottom of my list. There we go. Drag it all the way to the bottom, and I'll hit Done, and I'll just scroll back up to the top of my list. But I am going to keep that as a reminder, to make sure that if I see seagulls flying over the surf, we can stop and get that establishing shot.
So, the next thing on my list is the block of time set aside for the setup. And you can see that I have allotted 90 minutes for setup. That's so the crew can set up cameras and lights. Now, I can change that time allocation, even on uring the shoot day. All I would need to do is touch here where it says 90, and I can adjust this slider to set whatever time I want, and then press Save. On the left side of this setup note on the shot list, you're going to see an empty check box with a tiny sliver of a green line. As time goes on, since I have 90 minutes for this item on my schedule, the tiny sliver of green will grow to fill the entire check box.
When that whole check box is filled with green, then it's much clearer to see that that's a check box. So as that box fills up with green, it's going to let me know how much time I left for that shot. So that's the interface we're working with. I want to see how things change as we work through the day. So let's jump forward in time to 10:20. At this point we're all set up and ready to shoot shot 9B, slightly ahead of schedule. I can see that over the last hour and a half, the green bar has been filling that box next to the setup mode.
So now that we're done with setup, I can go ahead and hit that check box, which marks that setup note as done. You'll notice that the number next to the setup note now says 80. That's how many minutes we actually used for this item. I like to keep a print out of the original planned schedule, or a PDF copy saved on Google Drive or Dropbox. Since the Shot Lister app dynamically updates times based on the actual events of the day, it's nice to compare that to the original planned schedule, to see how close we are ahead or behind schedule.
Also note, next to each shot on my list over on the left side, all of the times have moved up by ten minutes. This reflects the fact that we finished that first setup ten minutes early. This is another thing that you may want to compare to the original schedule throughout the day. This dynamic updating on this schedule is really handy. If somebody asks you, what time are we shooting the sandcastle inserts, you could answer with the time on your original plan, or you could answer with a much more accurate projected time, based on the dynamic shot list that you've been updating throughout the day.
Anyway, we're on to shot 9B. So let's jump forward in time to 11:15. So let's say we just finished shooting shot 9B. So I'm going to go ahead and check off that shot as done, just by hitting the check box right there. I see that 1B on my shot list is exactly the same shot as 9B, we talked about this earlier in the course, so I'm actually going to go ahead and check off that shot as well. At this point, I want to make sure that I'm taking notes on each take for the editor. Now we're going to be getting into writing notes in the next movie, so for now let's keep talking about watching the schedule.
All right, so far so good. We finished 9B 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Now, we're ready to move on to shot 9F. This shot is also scheduled to take 30 minutes. But, what happens if we take 40 minutes to shoot it? To see what happens there, let's jump ahead in time again, to 11:55. So now, the box next to shot 9F is fully filled with green. That means we've already used the allotted time. Also, the time on the right side says 41 minutes.
A quick glance at the original planned schedule, tells me that that's about 10 minutes longer than we had originally planned. But we finished early on some of the previous shots, so I'm not too worried. Let's check that shot off as done. Our next shot is shot 9G. Now, we need to finish this shot by 12:26, to stick to the dynamically updated schedule. But a quick look at our original schedule, which I have saved in Dropbox, tells me that I would need to finish this shot by 12 o'clock to stick to the original schedule.
So let's flip back to the Shot Lister app. What happens if this shot runs long, and we keep slipping behind schedule? Without marking the shot as done, let's jump ahead in time again to 12:40. Everything is still pretty much fine here, but I know that we are behind schedule because the green box next to shot 9G is fully filled up, and we haven't finished the shot yet. And the total time on the right side, right now says 46 minutes, which I know is longer than what we had scheduled for this shot.
Now, what if this shot became a real problem and it ran very long? Again, without finishing this shot, let's jump ahead in time to 1:35. Now, when I look at my shot list, I can see that all of the green boxes have turned red. This is because we're now so behind schedule that my dynamically updated schedule will not conclude until after our wrap time. Earlier in the course, when I created the schedule, I set my wrap time to one and a half hours after we were scheduled to shoot our last shot.
This gave me a buffer of an extra hour and a half, in case we ran over schedule. But now since my shot list is in the red, I know that I am in danger of not being able to finish the shoot before our wrap time. Now this is the time for some serious creative problem-solving, or I need to talk to my cast and crew, to see if they can stay and work late. If working late is not an option, what sorts of things can you do to deal with being behind schedule? Well, as you work through the day, if you run into problems, you have the luxury of changing your shot list as you go.
So, for example you can reorder shots if necessary. I can always go to the little pencil icon, and I can change the order of shots by dragging them up or down on the schedule. And of course I can hit Done when I'm finished. You can also change the estimated shoot time of upcoming shots. So all that we need to do for that, is to go into the Shot Time next to one of my shots, move the slider down, and then hit Save. If you do that, then you'll know to give the crew smaller windows of time for those shots when you get to them.
Now, it's also worth noting that all of the red boxes have turned green. That's because we're now scheduled to finish before our wrap time once again. At some point, you may find that the only way to stay on schedule is to remove a shot entirely. So to do that, you hit the little pencil icon, and then you hit the Delete button on the left side of a shot, and you confirm it be hitting Delete over here on the right. You can choose to delete the shot from the entire list, or you can just remove it from the shoot day. If you remove it from the shoot day, you're going to need to reschedule it on a different shoot day.
So I'll go ahead and do that. I'll remove it from the shoot day, and I'll hit Done. So that's another way of getting back on track. And once you see all of those red boxes turn back into green, you're probably going to notice your stress level ratcheting back just a little bit. So that's your system for running the shoot day using the Shot Lister app. Make sure when your shots are done, that you mark them off, and you keep an eye on the schedule. Now we're also going to talk about how to take detailed notes for the editor, and how to mark circle takes in the same app.
But that's all covered in a separate movie. For now, take a minute to make sure you're really comfortable with running the schedule.