We caught up with Patrick Stephens to learn about the transition to paper-less that he made on the production of The Brother.

“As a 1st assistant director on film and television dramas there are things I need to carry with me every day; call sheets, strip orders, schedules, script pages, story-boards and shots lists to name but a few. Before I embraced ‘paper-free’ I used to carry an arch lever folder with me containing these documents and many more.

On my iPad I started using Movie Magic To Go for the schedule and Final Draft for the script. This was helpful but I still needed something to write on through the filming day. Although you can use apps like GoodReader or iBooks to convert, upload and read paperwork for tablet use, the breakthrough for me came with iAnnotate. This app allows you to have multiple PDFs open at the same time and permits you to add annotation. Any PDF can be added to iAnnotate as well as photographs directly from the iPad camera, these can be scribbled over too.

The first paper-free pre-production meeting was rather nerve racking: armed only with my laptop and iPad the Line Producer was rather surprised that I had not brought a folder with me. Three weeks later, the same Line Producer copied my digital set-up and asked me for a list of apps he should purchase.

The first day filming was the biggest experiment as I was accustomed to having my fully annotated paper script on hand. I had purchased an iPad stylus to assist with the transition but I was unaccustomed to carrying nothing but a slim iPad mini. It was incredibly useful to have everything at the touch of a button and the director soon expected me to have absolutely everything to hand. Filming in heavy rain, with rain effects or around water proved difficult but I have now purchased a case rendering the devise water-proof. I have just wrapped on my fifth ‘paper-free’ production and would not go back; it’s been an awesome transition.”

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