“I’M ALREADY GIVING INTRODUCTIONS TO USE THE APP”
In the third season of the successful ZDF series “Schuld” (Guilt), Moritz Bleibtreu is once again in court with unusual cases as the brilliant criminal defence lawyer Friedrich Kronberg. Script Supervisor Minu Shareghi used LockitScript and was also able to convince Production Manager Janett Didik of the app. We were on site and had a conversation with both about the production.
Hello Janett, hello Minu, nice that you both found time for a talk.
Janett: Thanks for having us.
Minu, you’ve been working as a script supervisor since 2001 and you’ve been working with pen and paper for most of your professional life. When did you first use LockitScript?
Minu: The first time I used LockitScript was in 2017 during the shooting of “Dogs of Berlin”. That was a Netflix series, of which the first season was to be produced. At that time, the production was very much supporting the idea that everything should be state-of-the-art. At first, I was skeptical. I told the production team: “You have to tell me specifically how this works and how I can work with it, otherwise I’ll stick to pen and paper.”
But then you finally tried it. How did you experience the switch from traditional script supervision to LockitScript?
Minu: I have to say that I still had problems with the switch in the first week. But it wasn’t just because of LockitScript. The iPad Pro was also new territory for me, and I had to get used to it first. In addition, it was a very challenging series production with up to 80 settings per day. So, I bit my way through the first week and then suddenly it all fell into place. Of course, there were still finer points to improve, but it went really well. The director of the project was also completely thrilled that I was suddenly standing there with this tablet and only working digitally.
Janett, how was that for you? How do you feel about using a script software solution on set and where do you see the advantages?
Janett: For me it was actually a first. I thought it was great that all the departments that wanted to work with it were able to do so and that it automatically creates a common foundation. Even departments like make-up and costume can have access if they want and see immediately when a scene has been deleted. And the daily reports and editor’s reports are simply a great time saver and that’s what production is all about.
When the script supervisors work this way and add the data quickly and efficiently, it’s just a push of a button and I can control everything, which works very quickly.
What were the challenges in this project for you?
Janett: The series was very complex from a production point of view. One reason for this was that it wasn’t a classic series where the motives and actors stayed the same. In the “Schuld” episodes, the lawyer Friedrich Kronberg acts as the connecting element, but the place, time and plot are very different in each case. As a result, each episode has its own cast and motives, which has massively increased the production volume. So the main thing for the production is to keep going!
Minu: I found the basic principle of the book the series is based on very demanding from a continuity point of view, because there are different time levels and many flashbacks. One jumps from the past into the present and then again into another period of the past. To always be aware of what is playing when was not always easy and that’s where LockitScript was a great help.
What has changed for you by using Lockit Script?
Minu: For me it is a big improvement to be able to save time after a hard day of shooting instead of sitting at the daily reports. We have a Script Supervisor regulars’ table in Hamburg, where long-standing colleagues meet. Recently, I talked to a colleague who also uses LockitScript about how much it changes the day-to-day shooting.
If you work digitally, it’s easier to keep track of things. You feel much more involved with the content and can communicate better with the director.
Are there any other improvements you would like to see in LockitScript?
Minu: Sometimes you have to correct something in a previous shooting day and then forget to jump back to the current day. I would like to see a warning or notification that points that out.
Janett: What really bothered me sometimes was that you couldn’t change certain things on your own. I always have to wait for the daily report and could only change it when the data was complete – but not before. Because I couldn’t change it in the program, I had to wait for the spreadsheet, which shifts when certain things are not yet entered, like working hours for example. Then I couldn’t work in the spreadsheet yet, because the shape is not yet as it will be spit out in the final version. If the working times were not entered, the tables were simply invisible.
Minu, you’ve been a script supervisor for quite a while now and you’ve made the transition from traditional to digital working. Has anything else changed for you in your work?
Minu: Funnily enough, digital work also changes the impression on set. When you work with a tablet, it simply shows that our profession has arrived in the present just like the rest of today’s film set. When I’m shooting, I’m regularly asked about it, and other departments are also very interested which program I work with.
Will you continue working with LockitScript in the future?
Minu: I would appreciate that very much. I do a little training for colleagues myself, because I think LockitScript makes work so much easier that I just want to recommend it to others. If more script supervisors work digitally in the future, it will be easier to convince the productions that this makes our work much easier.
Janett: I would definitely use it again if a Script Supervisor wanted to work with it.
Minu and Janett, thanks for the interview.
Season 3 is available on DVD, Blu-ray and on Amazon Prime.