Using the iPad on set

Vincent Laforet

Yesterday I posted a trailer for the new “Twisted Metal“ Playstation game that we shot in downtown Los Angeles. That shoot also happened to be the first time that I was able to put my iPad 3G to use on set. I have always found iPads to be a helpful tool for creative professionals - especially in film and photography - for sharing images, videos, and other multimedia material with potential clients and collaborators. This shoot marked the first time that I found it served an important role on set for me (albeit a high tech one.)

As is often the case with commercial shoots - storyboards, shot lists, and schedules are constantly changing until the last minute (if not during the shoot itself ;) In this case critical information changed and was e-mailed to everyone just ten minutes before I arrived on set - the clients and creatives made some important changes to the storyboard.

Here’s where that can get tricky: I always like to arrive early to any job - at least 1-2 hours before my “call time.” Doing so helps me to relax and to feel ahead of the curve, it also allows me to chat with people and also to avoid any potential traffic nightmares in LA. The problem with doing this is that I am often out of touch during that time - i.e. away from my computer and printer for a few hours.

If schedules change, I can always deal with that on my iPhone, and the same goes for shot lists. But when storyboards change - that’s another issue entirely. Downloading storyboards in a trailer and printing them can take 10-15 minutes - way too long on set. And that’s where the iPad 3G comes in - I can download the files and view them on screen immediately - plus they are ALWAYS on hand from that point on (no more rolling them up and putting them in my back pants pocket…)

Obviously, as either a Director and/or DP, having access to the latest information is incredibly important - if I don’t have access to the latest, I could potentially make incorrect decision that could waste very valuable time - not to mention thousands of dollars…

Click here to read the article and check out the cool video!

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