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James Steven Beverly

Laptop for continuity?

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Has anyone or does anyone know if someone has tried using a laptop for scripty and continuity? I was thinking about this earlier today and thought with a laptop and a digital camera, it might be a lot more efficient to keep things straighter for the script supervisor, of course they would have to be a proficient typist. I don't know if it would work better or not, intriguing idea though. B)

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Kind of like every good idea I get - someone else already did it ten years ago.

 

"Script Supervisors across the nation are going digital with ScriptE. This script supervising and continuity program takes you from importing your script from Final Draft through a scene-by-scene breakdown, logging shots with time code, lining the script, and capturing stills from a live video feed to printing and emailing clean, professional production reports."

 

http://www.scriptesystems.com/

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Yes, they've been doing that for a while now.

 

On the other hand, I have this idea to help Scripty work more efficiently with the Second AC and the Sound Mixer.... using something like the iPad and wireless/Bluetooth, the Script Supervisor could input the current scene information into her own notes and it would automatically update the "slate" (the iPad device with sticks attached) and also feed the same information to the Sound Mixer. No more asking, "What's on the slate?"

 

Then, software in the AC's "slate" would track all of the activity and generate camera reports and the inventory report throughout the day. Then, a printer in the darkroom would just print them out.

 

Same for Sound.

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Yes, they've been doing that for a while now.

 

On the other hand, I have this idea to help Scripty work more efficiently with the Second AC and the Sound Mixer.... using something like the iPad and wireless/Bluetooth, the Script Supervisor could input the current scene information into her own notes and it would automatically update the "slate" (the iPad device with sticks attached) and also feed the same information to the Sound Mixer. No more asking, "What's on the slate?"

 

Then, software in the AC's "slate" would track all of the activity and generate camera reports and the inventory report throughout the day. Then, a printer in the darkroom would just print them out.

 

Same for Sound.

 

And you wouldn't have any concerns about the reliability of such a system?

 

It seems that in the age of "good enough," the notion of rock solid reliability and the need for everything to work when you have 50 people on the set has begun to take a back seat to "cool" factors rather than simply getting the job done. The day that I can use WiFi effortlessly and with 100% reliability, and the day I can use Bluetooth equally as reliably are the days I would consider setups such as the one you're proposing. Until then, I'm more likely to stick to handwritten slates and script supervisors' notes that are written on paper - because they work, all the time.

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And you wouldn't have any concerns about the reliability of such a system?

 

It seems that in the age of "good enough," the notion of rock solid reliability and the need for everything to work when you have 50 people on the set has begun to take a back seat to "cool" factors rather than simply getting the job done. The day that I can use WiFi effortlessly and with 100% reliability, and the day I can use Bluetooth equally as reliably are the days I would consider setups such as the one you're proposing. Until then, I'm more likely to stick to handwritten slates and script supervisors' notes that are written on paper - because they work, all the time.

 

 

Of course there are going to be questions and issues with anything electronic. But my Rite-on/Wipe-off marker used to run out of ink on occasion too. :)

 

I really do understand what you're saying and I'm not in any way suggesting that my "iPad" suggestion is something that could or should be used. I'm just suggesting that with technology evolving, it is possible and could alleviate more than a few mistakes throughout the day and make the entire paperwork process more efficient. Could/should the Camera/Script/Sound/Post-Production departments take this sort of thing on? Does the process work well enough as it is? Would a new "iPad" system improve things enough to make the effort worthwhile?

 

I don't have adequate answers for any of those questions at the moment. :)

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It's bound to happen eventually. But I don't think it'll come from freelancers taking risks with their credibility. More likely a TV company, perhaps with a series, where the long-term workflow benefits make sense. Like some years back when the BBC pioneered Avid systems pooling resources in newsrooms.

Edited by Karel Bata

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