The Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and one of its initiatives is to provide members with fancy new gold credit card style membership cards, replacing the former paper-based version. My reaction, when I heard this, was one of disappointment. Every initiative taken by an organization today has consequences and implications that reverberate across multiple sectors. In this case, the AEA failed to take advantage of a priceless opportunity to enhance member services, increase member engagement, and exhibit a very simple but impactful degree of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
More than 7 years ago, the Census Bureau determined that there were nearly 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the U.S. A stack of all those credit cards would reach more than 70 miles into space — and be almost as tall as 13 Mount Everests. If this number of credit cards were thrown away every three years, the stack of credit cards would reach almost 43 Everests high after a decade. These plastics do not biodegrade in landfills. Not so fancy.
Actor’s Equity is not a lone offender, though. When SAG and AFTRA merged, the new union had an opportunity to revisit its longstanding use of plastic credit card member IDs, but opted to stick with the short term functionality of plastics, long-term sustainability be damned. The Producers Guild and other industry organizations are equally guilty. My frustration would be less justified if there existed few alternatives. However, companies such as Discover Financial services are offering cards made of BioPVC™ and other biodegradable alternatives; well-established technologies such as mobile apps present a plethora of creative and operational opportunities; and other technologies such as NFC offer yet more potential, as their adoption becomes more widespread. So why the lack of innovation or sustainability best practices? Is it an absence of imagination? Aversion to change? Financially motivated obduracy?
As current Chair of my city’s Sustainability Commission, I have benefited from the past four years, learning about the negative consequences of unsustainable practices (both in business and personal life), as well as about the positive implications of Green and other more sustainable commercial and community options, be it through renewable materials sourcing, alternative energy programs, commercial district redesigns, and many other areas. Many initiatives in sustainability offer up more than a single-pronged benefit or solution. It’s not just about environmental conservation, or clean air, or recycling. It’s about positioning ourselves, our businesses, and our communities for a more environmentally, socially, and financially robust future.
Had the AEA decided to explore options for member identification, other than the current plastic card tradition, all sorts of exciting avenues to member engagement and empowerment might have been revealed. Imagine a mobile app (what actor does not have a mobile phone?) that represents not only the individual’s union identification, but also a resource for direct connection to their credit union, membership affiliate discount programs, health insurance tools, personalized pension and 401K insights, dues status (and mobile payment processing), and much more, besides. The cost savings to the AEA and their members alike would be enormous, the raw materials no longer needed (plastics, papers, etc) would be mountainous, and the ability to connect more dynamically with membership would elevate the usefulness, value and – by extension – collective bargaining power of the AEA.
To those who would argue that they would not wish to entrust such data to a mobile device that might lose power, break, be stolen, or otherwise be compromised…I suggest they note that more wallets are stolen and lost than mobile devices. The Baby Boomer generation may not be able to acclimatize themselves to the notion of a cardless society, but I personally am quite excited by the idea of saving money, time, and materials – simply by aggregating the contents of my wallet into a well-protected, institutionally insured, cloud-based ecosystem that poses no more risk to our identities than we currently face today. The promise that lies in such innovation far outweighs the risks, and I can think of no better collective to act upon this promise than Actors themselves. This opportunity seems to have been missed, but I sincerely hope that other organizations might think a little more expansively about each initiative they take, going forward. The smallest tweak might offer far greater rewards (and savings) than they might imagine.
My parents rock.
Here below is an excerpt from a recent news publication:
“Miss Porter’s School, a college preparatory school for girls established in 1843 and located in Farmington, Connecticut, is about to become the new home for a large work of art by famed sculptor Andrew DeVries: Calliope (1¼ life-size torso; see photo).
Harold and Julie de Wolff commissioned Calliope in 1998 for their home in Portugal. Some time ago, they decided to return to the United States and began downsizing for their retirement years. They have generously arranged to donate Calliope to Miss Porter’s School to honor her family members who were graduates of the school (the first was in 1875, Julie graduated from there in 1953).”
Graduates of Miss Porter’s have gone on to prove the inescapable truth that well-educated women in leadership roles are just as capable and accomplished as their male counterparts (and, in many cases, better). I pray that, by the time my daughter grows up, the only differences between the sexes will be those worthy of mutual celebration.
Today was election day in Burbank, California. I walked in to my Polling Station, and was – as usual – crushed in the sweaty masses of nobody who had bothered to come vote. According to the volunteers manning the station, only 15% of residents were registered voters, and less than half had so far turned up (with less than 2 hours before the polls closed). Assuming the final tally might be an ambitious 10% voter turnout, that means my lone vote in a city of just over 100,000 represents 1,000 statistical ballots. When you consider that my wife and two neighboring families do me the honor of trusting my research at each election, and generally vote as I recommend, this means that my voting behavior accounts for a representative voting bloc of 6,000. I should be thrilled at the power I wield, but instead find myself dismayed – once again – at how lethargic and uninvolved Americans are in the process of influencing the communities in which they live.
Elections in the United States of America are like an Annual KKK Minority Recruitment Drive: sparsely attended. Yet most voters do not stay away out of fear or strong disagreement with the values of the candidates. I would understand the current pitiful voter turnout statistics a little more if they were a reflection of citizens driven by a fervent compulsion not to vote. I don’t believe, however, that laziness can be defined as a “fervent compulsion”. A nation with ample time to build Pinterest boards, post photos of food on Twitter, spend hours watching reality TV, and lurk randomly about the Facebook universe has no excuse for not taking the 10-30 minutes it takes to vote (unless, admittedly, you live somewhere like Florida).
I honestly have no data-driven knowledge as to why the USA posts such shameful voter turnout figures: at the Federal, State, and Municipal level. I leave it to others to hypothesize on that matter. If I had my druthers, I would follow Australia’s example, and make voting an obligation of citizenry. It’s a small price to pay, to ensure that our elected officials and proposed programs are elevated or obliterated by a truly representative bloc of the citizens they affect.
In the meantime, I continue to vote…for two reasons. First, I see it as my right and obligation. If I want to participate in this program called citizenship, I must be engaged in the process that governs and guides it. Second, I don’t ever want to be one of those people who complains about “the System”, only to be reminded that I abdicated my right to complain, each time I opted to stay home and watch the latest episode of [insert one of many possible examples of mind-numbing TV drivel], instead of taking the short walk or bicycle ride to my local polling booth.
Everything I’ve voted for in the past six Burbank elections has come to be. That’s how powerful I am with my thousands and thousands of virtual votes. So why do I feel so utterly powerless, as our political system continues to demonstrate a lack of maturity, leadership, gravitas, and vision for which I never voted? When our elected officials represent only 10% of us, they are rarely going to feel empowered to demonstrate the type of leadership we need. No matter what measures, programs, resolutions, or politicians I select, when I enter the polling booth, if I remain in the minority, these issues and figures will do just as the majority of their constituents…in this case, little to nothing.
As Apple Computer seems to lose a little of its luster (perhaps only temporarily), it’s heartening to see products in other market sectors pick up where the late Steve Jobs and the conspicuously silent John Ive left off. Indeed, some products have picked up the baton and taken it even further, when it comes to out-of-the-box user experience. One such example is the impressive Nest Learning Thermostat, which I just installed today. The product works wonderfully, a pleasure enhanced tenfold by the exquisite care taken by the product development team to ensure that my introduction to, installation of, and experience with their creation be nothing short of brilliant.
I kept running back and forth from the living room and the hallway, where I was installing the thermostat – eagerly sharing with my wife each and every childlike discovery: “there’s a cute screwdriver included in the kit!”; “it automatically determines what wires I have, and whether it needs to jumper the connection!”; “they included little sticky labels to identify each of the wires coming out of the wall!”; “the digital display comes on automatically as you walk up to it!”; “we can manage it all from my computer, iPad, or phone!”; and so on.
I did feel a twinge of concern, when I realized that use of this thermostat included communicating when I was home and when I was away. This fact, combined with the requirement to enter my home address and other personal information, makes me wonder what sort of fun high-tech burglars might have, were they able to hack in to the Nest servers, and remotely track the comings and goings of homeowners…
Extant that challenge to my otherwise usually enthusiastic embrace of new paradigms in social transparency, I was thrilled by this obviously well-conceived piece of consumer electronics genius. More often than not, startups are trying to practice alchemy: attempting to fashion something priceless out of nothing, or something very close thereto. When an innovator comes along, recognizing the shortcomings of something so ubiquitous as a thermostat, and leverages advances in networking technology and product design, the result is far more exciting than it ought to be.
Some might say that Tesla Motors has achieved the same result with automotive innovation, while Amazon’s Kindle has shifted the landscape of literary hardware, and ARM and Intel continue to duke it out in the technology battle for supremacy in combined processing power and energy efficiency. Innovation abounds, moving our society forward, not so much by leaps and bounds in to the unknown, but rather (I’d like to think) in an inexorable arc toward improvement, so long as we – the consumer – continue to demand integrity in sourcing, sustainability, and workforce management.
What recent product release do you feel has most startlingly advanced an otherwise mundane or hitherto predictable market?
I was recently messaging with a colleague, discussing the finer points of republishing content posted on a Facebook Page, when we got on to the topic of crediting sources. The conversation got me thinking, and following are some of those thoughts, for what they’re worth:
- Sharing content is cool, giving credit for the source is even cooler.
- Illegally sharing hundreds of films or music tracks online is not cool, no matter how you cut it. Everyone uploads or downloads a song here or there, or surreptitiously catches an episode they missed of their favorite series, but wholesale mass theft of content is just that – stealing.
- Trolling is for idiots.
- Flame wars are for fools.
- Cat pictures should be limited to Furcadia.
- If you’re redistributing a Twitter post that someone else made, it’s called a “retweet”, and there’s a button for that. It is not called a “cut and paste and pretend I thought of it”.
- Don’t tweet, post, or otherwise publish content just to be the first, coolest, or any other attention-grabbing reason. For most of us, High School ended a long time ago. Try limiting yourself to publishing content which you SINCERELY believe will Inspire, Challenge, Educate, or Empower (my version of Tony Hsieh’s very compelling ICEE philosophy for tweeting).
- Empire Avenue, Klout, and Kred are Casual Games. They have no other functional value (with the exception of advertising). Don’t pretend otherwise. This may change one day, but for now it’s all just about as useful as milking a virtual cow. Enjoy the diversion, but don’t make any more out of it than that.
- Your follow count – be it on Twitter, Facebook, Quora, or elsewhere – has no metric value other than to tell you how many people clicked “Follow” or “Like”. Relatively few of them actively read your content, so suck it up and get on with your REAL life.
- Once in a while, something you post will publish at *just* the right moment, and the content will resonate at *just* the right frequency with the community in to which it is launched, sufficient to go viral (for whatever short period and distance it does so). Take a moment to enjoy the moment, and then get on with your REAL life.
Social media is engaging, immersive, sometimes even addictive. However, it is counterproductive when it becomes anything more than a utility. If you manage online communities for a living (or as an important aspect of your identity), then social engagement (a term I coined in 2005) will understandably hold a central place in your daily life. Everyone else, look upon it as you would the telephone or television: a game-changing innovation that serves to bring the world closer together, and facilitate communication, education, information, and commerce. Used in moderation, it represents an extraordinary leap forward in personal expression, global connectivity, and cultural rapprochement. Used to excess, it erodes the intellect, dumbs down the conversation, and reduces us to yabbering consumers of junk, and little more.
Great tools and platforms have been (and continue to be) developed. Let’s use them with a modicum of wisdom and restraint. The promise they hold is immense, but only if we use them responsibly.
The value of news in the digital age runs in inverse proportion to the amount of time since its release.
If a news item is published at 1:00pm PCT, it has half as much value by 2:00pm, as it did when it was first posted, and only a quarter remaining value by 5:00pm. Obviously, a more accurate measurement of shelf life would take in to consideration the online network on which the news was published, the original posting time (early morning posts tend to get wider reach than early afternoon), and several other factors.
Some media companies, such as the New Yorker and Wired magazine, have recently determined that this is largely because they are giving their news away to 3rd-party providers for free, unreasonably diluting the brand value of their offering. Their solution is to terminate those relationships (as they did earlier this week by removing access to their content from such renowned platforms as Flipboard).
Other media companies are laying off reporters in droves, as they desperately try to save their way to prosperity, under the same “bricks, mortar, and paper” model as ever. talk about lunatics running the asylum…
I think there’s a much simpler solution and, as ever, it all comes down to content.
Consumers don’t place the highest valuation on a distribution channel, platform, or app, but rather upon the content itself. Flipboard may well fail, if too many content providers remove access via that platform. The UX is unquestionably appealing, but who cares that the library is pretty, if there’s nothing to read therein? That said, if content providers restrict access to their content too zealously, minimizing consumer ability to share and spread the appeal of that content, they will effectively squander the “early release” value of their content, and vastly diminish its value, by extension.
Before I propose what I consider to be an enormously simple solution, let’s accept and agree upon some basic truths:
- Good news comes from good reporters. Not (bless ‘em) good printers, nor good truck drivers. Journalists such as Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) and Lisa Napoli (@lisanapoli) are demonstrating that direct connection to their “readers” vastly increases the spread of their content.
- The Paywall method of news delivery is a clumsy protectionist system that works only in the absence of better paradigms.
- People will get their news, and entertainment, one way or another. If you stand in their way, they will work around you. If you develop a solution that is a win-win for everyone, they are more than likely going to work with you.
Taking in to account the aforementioned and obvious fact that news has highest value early in its lifecycle, and marrying this with the fact that netizens place high value on content that raises their network visibility, it stands to reason that those wishing to take on the mantle of “influencer” will be prepared to pay for “early access” to compelling media content. If it costs $4.95 to have a big headstart on the rest of the web, when it comes to news and other media, I know many who would gladly pay. The difference between this scenario and the current paywall system is that my solution does not exclude all other netizens from access to the content. After a sufficient time delay, content could be released to the wider public, free of charge. It’s an exercise in transparency and digital openness, with a nod to commercial necessity. If you want to access content in the first hour of its publication, you need to be a subscriber. If you want access within the first 2 hours, you must be either a subscriber, or have access to the link via a subscriber (further elevating the viral power of full subscribers, and cementing their loyalty to your media brand). If you are willing to wait until the end of the day, so be it. The model needs refinement, but the concept is sound.
Take for example Nicholas Kristof’s latest Op-Ed piece, entitled “My Iranian Road Trip”. As is usual with his work, the Twitterverse and Facebook ecosystem have exploded with activity, as this video goes viral, and spreads around the web. The New York times has a paywall up on their site, so only subscribers can see the video. However, because this is the ONLY option offered, someone has kindly reposted (at least until the NYT reports it!) the video, free-of-charge, on YouTube:
The New York Times gets no love nor revenue out of this scenario. Nicholas Kristof gets his story out. The readership share the YouTube link, and ignore the NYT site altogether. Were my solution in effect, nobody would likely be compelled to waste their time extracting the video content from the NYT site, and reposting it, knowing it would be freely available in a matter of hours. Instead they would be focusing on positioning themselves as first line influencers, sharing the NYT site link and thereby their subscriber access with their own network. Subscriptions would rise, content “piracy” would be mitigated, brand value would be strengthened, and the value of viral media would be elevated in a manner consistent with both the ideals of an increasingly transparent society, and the realistic needs of any business. My scenario recognizes the need to shift from a “control” mentality to a “collaborate” one, recognizing that the core value is highest at point of publication and readership (journalist and consumer), and everything in between is either conduit or obstacle.
I’ve been invited to a private event at the Los Angeles Times building tonight, hosted by Muck Rack (@Muckrack) and the LA Times. It’s been labeled as “a casual cocktail event for a few select journalists, PRs and news junkies to talk about journalism in the age of social media”. I’m eager to see what this constituency makes of my “crazy idea”…
Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents said that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, this is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS – 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters. 2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications. 3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph 4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie, ''play,' and 'run.' 5. Define case; illustrate each case. 6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation. 7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic. 2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold? 3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare? 4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000.. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals? 5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton. 6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent. 7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre? 8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent. 9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods? 10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided 2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus 3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War. 4. Show the territorial growth of the United States 5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas 6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion. 7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe? 8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication 2. What are elementary sounds? How classified? 3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals 4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?) 5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule. 6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each. 7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup. 8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last. 9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays. 10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend? 2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ? 3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean? 4. Describe the mountains of North America 5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco 6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. 7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each. 8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude? 9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers. 10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? What it also has done, is spur many netizens to vociferously proclaim the decline of our educational system, by comparison.
Do you believe today’s educational standards are poor, by comparison? Have you considered that there is no requirement for English Literature in the above test? Where are the algebra and geometry? World History? US Government? Foreign Languages? The 1895 8th grade test looks immensely daunting, until one considers that much is not covered. Add to this the fact that none of us would likely pass our contemporary High School tests, without the usual cramming we did “back in the day”, and the criticism of today’s standards in education, based on this test, begin to lose their impact.
There’s no denying that many of our children are not learning as well nor as much as they ought. I believe, however, that instead of pointing the accusatory finger at all that the “system” is apparently failing to accomplish, we would do well to question what we as parents are failing to do, in order to actively engage in the responsibility of enriching the mental, cultural, social, and psychological state of the next generation…
With the recent news that Motorola won a sales and import ban against Microsoft in Germany (effectively removing Microsoft Xbox and Windows 7 products from that market), and is poised to repeat the ban here in the US, the circle is complete.
Video and Audio Compression technologies have been developed by a host of companies over the past decades, and the result is a somewhat murky product development pipeline requiring patent licensing and cross licensing deals, the likes of which would make an LA freeway interchange look like a lonely unpaved road through the dustbowl. Add to this the fact that IP&L (Intellectual Property & Licensing) is the cash cow of many technology giants, and the prevailing practice is to develop patents for everything that can be thus recorded, in the hopes that there may exist licensing revenues somewhere in the future. These are the given circumstances for the present dance featuring Microsoft and Motorola Mobility (now under Google’s wing).
As is often the case, much sabre-rattling has been going on, and clashes in court have ensued. Each side hoped that, when the dust settled, they would emerge with the upper hand. Nobody expected to outright win, but that’s not what IP conflicts are about, when the licensing giants are engaged in battle. It always looks terribly bloody and violent, and enormous (to us) sums of money are dispensed via legal teams. However, these sums are paltry, when compared to the licensing sums at stake. What’s a million or two, when one stands to gain tens and even hundreds of millions?
However, in this particular case, both sides gained and both sides lost, and now it falls to the lawyers and IP negotiators to assess where the bargaining chips have fallen, before progressing with the next stage of battle: the truce.
All In A Day’s Work
Motorola made a valiant effort to push Microsoft back on to its heels, successfully getting the tech giant kinda-sorta booted out of Deutschland (of course, it’s never quite so cut and dried). The company, recently acquired by Google, further strengthened their position when the ITC threatened Microsoft with major market restrictions and penalties in the US.
Now that both camps hold trophies, they could either choose to continue attacking one another, if they believed more trophies were in the offing, or they could begin the next phase of a process all too familiar to large tech companies today: negotiation of a cross-licensing truce.
Instead of negotiating from the outset in good faith, companies today have discovered that negotiation under duress, even if that duress is mutual, tends to deliver greater savings. I’m not sure I believe it anymore, but the trend is to sue until the pot is sweet enough to settle.
As far as the Microsoft/Motorola Mobility clash is concerned, this could be a good time to trade trophies, and settle on a cross-licensing agreement that would allow both companies to get on with the business of selling their products to consumers (albeit at a slightly increased price point, necessary to cover their legal costs). However, now that Google has just purchased Motorola Mobility, the search-and-everything-else giant may opt to bloody its bitter rival a little more, and Motorola Mobility product sales may become collateral damage in the even larger battle between Redmond and Mountain View.
It would all be rather silly, were it not for the millions of dollars, hundreds of jobs, and possible legal precedents at stake…
The following list was compiled by PGA New Media Council member, Susan Zwerman. It’s meant to be a work-in-progress, and comments and suggestions are welcomed:
AccuWeather ver 2.0: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/accuweather-for-iphone/id300048137?mt=8
Gives video forecasts as well as accurate weather information. Can email weather report directly through your iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Action Log: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/action-log/id316992969?mt=8
Action Log is a film and television-logging tool, designed for use on location or in a studio with up to 25 recording devices. At the touch of a button the logging system keeps track of all reel names and time codes for each recorded piece of action. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Align of Sight: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/align-of-sight/id385134018?mt=8
For Precision Photography, Visual Effects, Match-Moving and Location Scouting. Record and log any view vector in space & time and align live camera angles to previously recorded Lines-Of-Sight and specific sun direction. Used as a digital level on a camera. For iPhone or iPad ($14.99)
A Digital Directors viewfinder. For the iPhone (Free)
Artemis Remote for the iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artemis-remote-for-iPad/id372459098?mt=8
Directors Viewfinder and Remote – Use your iPhone 4 camera as a director’s viewfinder to plan out shots, and feed that information over Wi-Fi to your iPad. You can select the lens size, ratio, etc. For iPad. ($4.99)
Aspect Ratio Calculator: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aspect-ratio-calc/id423170814?mt=8
Calculates video aspect ratios and pixel dimensions. Presets are provided for common formats. Results can be copied to the clipboard or emailed. For iPhone and iPad. ($1.99)
Scans and reads business cards and convert to contacts. Can save contact information in Card Holder or iPhone Address Book. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Camera for iPad: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera-for-ipad/id366129244?mt=8
Add a camera to your iPad – wirelessly. Easily connects any two devices to send the camera from one to the other. Simply start Camera for iPad on both devices, and they’ll find each other. Your iPad shows what the iPhone’s camera sees. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Celtx Shots: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/celtx-shots/id467370902?mt=8
Celtx Shots is the first app with both storyboarding and set blocking built-in, so you can create storyboards and block scenes in the field or on the set. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Storyboard Composer: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/storyboard-composer/id325697961?mt=8
Storyboard Composer is a mobile story boarding application. No need to know how to draw. This app allows you to portray your vision to others in an easy controllable format. Designed for Directors, Directors of Photography, Producers, Writers, Animators, Art Directors, film students and anyone who wants to be able to visualize their story. For iPhone or iPad. ($14.99)
Display sunrise and sunset times for your current location, at any point in time. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Documents To Go: (Office Suite) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/documents-to-go-office-suite/id317117961?mt=8
Enables you to read and edit Word and Excel docs from your computer on your iPhone i.e. call sheet. This app can also view PowerPoint, PDF, iWork, Text, and RTF files on both the iPad and iPhone. Need to sync iPhone or iPad with a Desktop application to use. ($9.99)
Documents 2: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/documents-2-free-spreadsheet/id314894105?mt=8
Mobile app that lets you see any type of office document on your iPhone, iPad Also can transfer documents to/from your iPhone via FTP or Wi-Fi, Google, or Email. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Doddle Premium: http://www.doddleme.com/registration/pro-preview/
Create Digital Interactive Call Sheets right on your iPhone. Auto Update Weather and Emergency info for your shoot by just adding a location and date. Get interactive Map locations by adding in set address. If you make a change on your call sheet you can send out an email notifying the crew in your address book of that change. For iPhone and iPad. ($2.99)
Calculates depth of field for photography and provides best f-stop and lens combination. For iPhone. ($1.99)
Dropbox: http://www.dropbox.com/iPhoneapp or http://www.dropbox.com/ipad
Save and restore documents for moving to multiple devices. Bring your files with you wherever you go. Easy to upload photos and videos to Dropbox. For iPhone or iPad. (Free)
Easy Release: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-release-model-release/id360835268?mt=8
Create release forms for talent. There are pre-canned release forms to get you started, simply fill in the blanks, save the form as a template. Hand this form to your talent so they can sign with their finger. Email the PDF to them and yourself. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Movie Slate: http://www.movie-slate.com/
All-in-one digital slate, clapperboard, shot log, and notepad are used for film, TV, documentaries, music videos, and interviews. It records both for the iPhone and iPad all of a shot’s production, GPS location, and time code data and is stored to the MovieSlate’s shot log history. This report can then be exported and viewed on your web browser. iPhone 3GS or later and iPad ($24.99)
Evernote is an easy-to-use list maker that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. This app lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
A weather application that uses latest technology to show the current temperature of any location. This app gives you detailed weather information of unlimited cities worldwide with an easy-to-use user interface. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
FDX Reader: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fdx-reader/id437362569?mt=8
Reader for Final Draft scripts for the iPhone and iPad. Final Draft uses a file format called .FDX. If you’ve ever attempted to open one of these files on iOS, you get raw XML. With FDX you get a screenplay nicely formatted. For iPhone and iPad. ($7.99)
FiLMiC Pro: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/filmic-pro/id436577167?mt=8
This app gives you more control over iPhone movie recording. It turns your iPhone into a fullfeatured HD video camera. For iPhone and iPad. ($3.99)
Works like a real small flashlight. This app helps you see when it’s night exterior inside or outside. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Final Draft Reader: http://www.finaldraft.com/products/mobile/reader/
It precisely displays production scripts, including colored production pages exactly as they appear on your desktop – perfectly paginated. You can make script notes directly on your iPad. For iPad only. ($19.99)
For both the iPhone and iPad. Internet access to web, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. Creates a personalized magazine out from shared files. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Genius Scan: PDF Scanner http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id377672876?mt=8
Genius Scan turns your iPhone into a pocket scanner. It enables you to quickly scan documents on the go and email the scans as JPEG or PDF. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
GoodReader for iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goodreader-for-iPhone/id306277111?mt=8
PDF reader with advanced reading. You can read virtually anything, anywhere: books, movies, maps, and pictures. The ability to mark-up PDFs opens up new doors to GoodReader users who can now use typewriter text boxes, sticky notes, lines, arrows, and freehand drawings on top of a PDF file. This version is free for iPhone. For iPad, get “GoodReader for iPad.” ($4.99)
GPS by TeleNav: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gps-by-telenav/id414817704?mt=8
3D maps with live traffic flow, turn-by-turn directions with manual re-routing, local search, and cheap gas price finder. Now with Facebook integration & enhanced map discovery. For iPhone 3GS, 4, 3G and iPad and iPad 2. (Free)
Group Email: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/groups/id407855546?mt=8
Create and manage groups of contacts . Email a group of contacts as well as attach images to your group emails. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Group Text: (textPlus free texting & group text): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/textplus-free-texting-+-group/id314487667?mt=8
Can use this app for free texting. . For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Helios Sun Position Calculator: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/helios-sun-position-calculator/id311648870?mt=8
This application graphically predicts the path of the sun from dusk to dawn, on any given day, in any given place. Good for Cinematographers and Still Photographers working in natural light. For iPhone and iPad. ($29.99)
iAnnotate PDF: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iannotate-pdf/id363998953?mt=8
This app has a fully searchable library to organize, find, and read your documents. It is used for taking notes on lecture slides, annotating important business documents, revising screenplays, and grading papers. For iPad only. ($9.99)
Specifically for IMDB access on the web. Internet industry database – large connection of movie, TV and celebrity info. For iPhone and iPad (Free)
Great way to do simple edits on the go. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
Save and access web pages to read later when you are without Internet connection. For iPhone and iPad ($4.99)
Simple slate and easy to use as a portable digital clapper board. Digital Slate for Red Camera. For iPhone and iPad. ($2.99)
Now with tons of effects, this app records videos for older iPhones as well. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
A simple light meter. For iPhone and iPad (Free)
Automated Video Playback – LiVE PLAY is a streaming playback tool designed to enhance existing VTR setups on the set. With LiVE PLAY, iPads can be used as monitor for serving an unlimited amount of clips and are completely secure. It lets users view, share, and comment on clips from their LiVE PLAY-equipped iPads. For iPad. ($34.99)
MapQuest 4 Mobile: http://www.macworld.com/appguide/app.html?id=113106&expand=true
FREE voice-guided, turn-by-turn, GPS navigation for iPhone. Your phone speaks to you, telling you when to make a turn. Easily search with a single click while on the go. Stay on schedule by checking live traffic en route. If you take a wrong turn, MapQuest re-routes you automatically. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
This calculator computes the equivalent lens focal length to produce the same field of view between two cameras with different aperture/sensor sizes. It will do a “Match Lens” calculation, and produce the closest equivalent angle of view lens, in millimeters, for both vertical and horizontal frames. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Movie Magic Scheduling To Go for the iPad http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/movie-magic-scheduling-to-go/id428072812?mt=8
It only works with a file that is created in Movie Magic Scheduling 5 and can make changes with the touch of a screen. Movie Magic Scheduling To Go provides a mobile companion solution to the desktop version of Movie Magic Scheduling 5 for use on the iPad. It allows you to make changes to your existing schedule in a simple touch screen interface. For iPad. ($29.99)
Movie Slate http://www.movie-slate.com/
With each closing of the clapper, MovieSlate automatically creates a shot log with your production, timecode, notes, and even the GPS location of your shots. For iPad and iPhone. ($24.99)
Regular MyRadar is free and fast and easy to use. It displays animated weather radar around your current location, allowing you to quickly see weather patterns coming your way. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Notes to Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notes-to-store/id364740608?mt=8
Create notebooks of unlimited pages, type text, import photos, draw on photos or sketch. For iPad. ($1.99)
This is a personal task management app. Keep it all up-to-date and take your to-dos to-in sync your devices. Categorize your tasks by the tool, resource, or location required to accomplish them. For iPhone ($19.99) and for iPad. ($39.99)
Your iPad touch screen is your canvas. It provides stencils full of objects for you to drag and drop, and it can magically organize diagrams so your ideas come to life. For iPad. ($49.99)
Orchestra to-do: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/orchestra-to-do/id459356540?mt=8
This app is a list maker. If everyone has it, you can send out and update to-do lists wirelessly. Good for inter-department app. Automatically syncs between the iPhone and the web for home/work, and can also create tasks with your voice. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
PanaScout –Lite: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/panascout-lite/id371341478?mt=8
For crews scouting locations. This app shows the Cinematographer’s viewpoint from a professional cinema camera. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
This is more advanced than the Lite version, with zoom issue resolved. It allows you to upload your stills to Final Cut. 360 Panorama – take location stills and stitch them together. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
pCAM Film+Digital Calculator: http://www.davideubank.com/Good_Focus/pCAM_Film+Digital_Calculator.html
Many features for Cinematographers, Camera Operators & Assistants, VFX Supervisors, Script Supervisors and Still Photographers. Calculates Depth of Field, Splits-Aperture Finder, Field of View (Picture Sizes), Focal Length, Exposure, and Running Time Length. For iPhone and iPad. ($29.99)
PDF Expert: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-expert-fill-forms annotate/id393316844?mt=8
It lets you read and annotate PDF documents, highlight text, make notes, draw with your finger and save these changes being compatible with Preview and Adobe Acrobat. This iPad application can fill in PDF forms. You can get PDF files from desktop computers, email attachments, documents on Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk, GoogleDocs etc. For iPad ($9.99)
PDF Reader: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-reader-iPad-edition/id367816156?mt=8
PDF Reader can read all PDF files. For iPhone ($1.99) and iPad. ($4.99)
Phone Aid: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phone-aid/id293019352?mt=8
Phone Aid contains real-time slideshows with clear, intuitive pictures and voice instructions that guide you through CPR and how to help a choking person when it really happens. You will also get an A-Z First Aid guide where you will find simple, straight forward advice on how to initially handle the most common injuries and illnesses such as, drowning, convulsions, burn injury, snake bite etc. For iPhone and iPad. ($1.99)
This is a panorama creation app that makes it easy to capture and share interactive panoramas of the locations. Photosynth allows you to make a panorama from left to right, as well as up and down, thus enabling you to capture a full “sphere” (3D image of the location). For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
PlainText: Dropbox text editing http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plaintext-dropbox-text-editing/id391254385?mt=8
This app is a simple text edit and allows you to create and organize your documents in folders and sync everything with Dropbox.com. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
The universal app can sync between iPad and iPhone, so you can use your iPhone to remote control the iPad scrolling. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Remote desktop for mobiles. This uses your computer on your iPhone if both are running. Works with both PC and MAC. For iPhone and iPad. ($9.99)
Video editor that can create and edit movies right on the iPhone/iPad and includes a drag-anddrop timeline. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
Writing scripts index card -write up index cards and group, color them accordingly. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
ShotList -Movie Shoot Planning: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shotlist-movie-shoot-planning/id424885833?mt=8
ShotList shows a production stripboard to your mobile device, allowing the planning and tracking of every scene of a shoot as it happens. For iPhone and iPad. ($11.99)
Tests Internet speeds – one tap connection under 30 seconds to find out your upload, download and Ping speeds. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
This is a paint and image app that can create some sophisticated looking artwork with ease. Take a photo or select an image with your device and then doodle on it. Decorate with many overlay images and special stamp brushes. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Storyboards allows you to create your movie’s storyboard without requiring any drawing ability. Hundreds of characters and props are included inside this library. The free version lets you create up to 2 storyboards of 10 drawings. For iPad. (Free)
Sun Chaser: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-chaser/id428454778?mt=8
SunChaser is an app to calculate sun’s setting and rising time with the use of iPhone that detects your location. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Sun Compass: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-compass-for-iPad-ipod/id367001553?mt=8
This compass app determines your direction by calculating the current sun position. Sun predictor, less advanced than Helios. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Sunrise Sunset Pro http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sunrise-sunset-pro/id319184913?mt=8
Displays sunrise/set times, dawn, dusk, solar noon, sun positions throughout the day. For iPhone and iPad. ($1.99)
Sun Seeker: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sun-seeker-3d-augmented-reality/id330247123?mt=8
Provides a flat view compass and an augmented reality camera 3D view showing the solar path, its hour intervals, its winter and summer solstice paths, and rise and set times. Find the sun, even when it is hidden by clouds. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
The Weather Channel®: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-weather-channel-for-ipad/id364252504?mt=8
The Weather Channel for iPad combines interactive imagery with weather report. Full screen, customizable weather maps. M Push alerts for severe weather in your selected location. For iPad only (Free)
Time Card 24 Converter http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time-converter-24-free/id444154009?mt=8
A simple application to help convert clock times into decimal times. For example: 6:42pm to 18.7. This helps in filling out time cards. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
Keeps track of all your to-do lists. For iPhone and iPad. ($.99)
Toodledo is a powerful task and note manager. It will help organize your to-do list and notes. For iPhone and iPad. ($2.99)
Voxer Walkie-Talkie PPT http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voxer-walkie-talkie-ptt/id377304531?mt=8
This is a Walkie Talkie app for smartphones. Send instant audio, text, photo and location messages to your crew. Your crew can listen to your message if their app is turned on and they are on Wi-Fi otherwise it will save like a text message for you to hear later. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
WiFi HD: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wifi-hd-free-wireless-hard/id311170976?mt=8
Turn your iPhone into a wireless, mobile external hard drive. Works over any WiFi connection. You can now share, copy, and backup your files to and from your PC or Mac. For iPhone and iPad. (Free)
WritePad is a text editor that utilizes advanced handwriting recognition input for the English language as well as iPhone keyboard for text entry, and includes spell checker, context analyzer, and standard editing operations such as copy, cut, paste, etc. For iPhone and IPad. ($3.99)
This app allows you to write text files in focus. It uses Dropbox to keep your documents organized. Also has ability to use fonts & colors. For iPhone and iPad. ($4.99)
If you have a suggestion for an app that would be useful to production personnel, or any other feedback, Susan Zwerman will be updating this list regularly, in PDF form. For details, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org