University of York Researcher Re-Imagines Paperless Film Sets with New App



In a digital world, could an app be your production's right-hand, a one-stop-shop - replacing the need for paperwork?

It’s wasteful, often out of date (as it cannot be updated with new information once printed off) and it can’t do anything other than be a call sheet. Don’t get me wrong, call sheets are great, especially on big shoots, but I think we can do better.


For those of us that have worked on film sets and spent many hours on film and / or TV productions building call sheets, shot lists, pre-visualising your scenes and more in meticulous detail, you've probably also found your communications and hard work split across multiple apps, websites and services. It's a frustrating experience that you'll be pleased to hear there's a solution for - if one of our member's predictions will become reality - as he works on digitising film production once and for all.



Tell me more about you and what you're working on.


Hi, I’m Ben, an undergraduate student at the University of York, and I’m researching the possibility of creating an application that would provide a one-stop solution to pre-production and production challenges. My solution is currently taking the form of an app to consolidate all production requirements based on my research and experience.


Who would access your app and how would it work?


Cast and crew would be provided an individual log-in, giving them a personalised experience – showing only the information and documents that are relevant to them – rather than having to sift through countless documents and information to find what is important.

[email is great and the advanced search is wonderful, but when every other wheel keeps turning, even i the heat of productions, all the other emails can become a distraction, so one place to find all production-related information would be extremely beneficial in our world - ed].


Tell us about the features of your app


Turning up to every production often starts with a call-sheet, but why doesn't that information link to what every other department is doing as it happens? In response to this, I've built in a logging solution, a location guide, important contacts, production chat as well as a virtual slate (all done in-app). We're talking modern features, such as making use of embedded features, for example maps, to increase useability and use content from any source on the web that you're already familiar with.


Where can we get your app?


Currently in testing, the app isn't released yet, however, I can give an exclusive preview to anyone willing to support my research and development. I’m looking to speak to creatives with the aim of discovering how useful my app really can be. Your opinions on apps or services you use currently and what would take the concept from great to amazing would be invaluable.

I am also looking to identify any limitations of the app, how it can address your most successful processes, documents and comms that feel like they can't be replaced and why, as well as how to ensure the app can be flexible to everyone's needs on set.


If you have any thoughts or ideas, or are simply intrigued by this idea, I would love to talk to you some more! Please email me on bhp503@york.ac.uk or book a 30 minute slot that suits your commitments here.


I am looking forward to talking to you! 

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