When it comes to making this entire production team run I have a few favorite tools that I use every day. In no way is this a full list of everything I use, but it contains my primary go-to tools that keep me organized and ready to tackle my long to-do lists.
As they say, communication is key. So, I use my smartphone to keep everyone connected and included. It’s the lifeblood of what I do. I quite literally would function at ½ capacity without my smartphone.
I use it to call and confirm crew, locations, props, and to interact with clients. Beyond phone calls, my smartphone keeps my whole office in my pocket. I’m even able to scan and fax with an app.
Many tools I use are accessible via smartphone, meaning I can figuratively be at two places at once. I can check off props on my Google Drive app (I’ll get to that in a second) and take photos on a location scout.
In general, I’m able to do about 80% of my work via smartphone. It’s not always the best tool. But, if I need to be out of office it’s great to be able to stay connected to my spreadsheets and lists.
My favorite thing about Google Drive is the share settings.
- Google Keep for shareable lists
- Google Docs for shareable meeting minutes and scripts, and
- Google Sheets to keep all the little pieces of information in an organized and easily searchable format.
Google Drive is a tool that I use every day in one form or another. It has easy to use mobile apps and even a revision history, which I think is very helpful.
Set Hero App
Set Hero App is a new favorite of mine. I used to make countless call sheets in one of my Google Sheets templates. Then, Jordan Nowlin suggested we try a website called Set Hero App.
The site lets you import crew, talent, and schedules to make a comprehensive call sheet. It also looks up the sunrise, sunset, and weather data for you, which is a small thing, but made me happy. Set Hero App is a new service, and it is improving every day.
I’ll be extremely excited if they make it possible to add crew members and use them for multiple projects. For now, uploading a crew spreadsheet takes very little time, and I’m happy doing it.
Wipster is a helpful tool for any project in post-production. Trey Gregory even wrote a blog post about it last August (Wipster and the Future of the Video Review Process).
Wipster makes it easy for clients to leave notes directly on a video. Our editors can then make the necessary changes.
Once we have the final version, it’s easy to download straight from the Wipster app. This makes communication and collaboration way faster and easier.
Purse or Producer Bag
I am not jokingly called Mary Poppins for nothing. I am known for having a huge purse at all times. This purse at any given moment will likely have:
- Blank releases – These often come in handy.
- Simple Medications or first-aid, including:
- Allergy meds
- Any of my prescriptions that I may need to take on set
- Band-aids, tampons, chapstick, etc. (I need to prepare for it all)
- Sunscreen stick – weather happens
- A poncho – wet weather happens
- Pens – No one EVER seems to have a pen. (Except me, of course)
- A clipboard – You may not have a solid surface to write on… unless you bring a clipboard.
- Business cards
Along with my typical assortment of lady products. If I got my hands on “bigger on the inside” technology, I’d definitely use it on my purse.
With all the tools above, I’m able to do my job efficiently and preparedly. If the planning of a shoot is organized and streamlined, the whole shoot runs more smoothly. If shoots run smoothly everyone on the team has a better day, and who doesn’t want to make everyone’s day?