No pen, no paper, just iPad: LockitScript on the set of Deutschland 86
The sequel to the successful series Deutschland 86 is jam-packed with action – and LockitScript is never too far away
There has been a lot of excited anticipation for the continuation of the series Deutschland 83 that was released recently. Again, Staff Sergeant Rauch has to step up to save the GDR from doom; for his mission, he must leave his home turf: the story takes place in Germany and South Africa which was a challenge not only for the actors but also for script supervision and the Post Production Department. To organize daily logs, continuity, and clips, the production turned to using the LockitScript app and LockitNetwork Production Service which enable metadata transfer to post production as well as customized reports.
From newbie to confident user
Laura Ritter has been working as script supervisor for 15 years; she works frequently on American productions. “Deutschland 86 was my first real project with LockitScript,” she tells us. Before her colleague, script supervisor Claudia Trost, introduced her to LockitScript, she had been working with pen, paper and a stop watch. And then came Deutschland 86, and with it a lot of challenges: two teams, two simultaneous shoots in Germany and South Africa, two script supervisors, one project.
Not only did her colleague in South Africa already use LockitScript, Editor Boris Gromatzki was a strong advocate for using LockitScript, which is why the decision to use the app for the complete season was made immediately. “It worked perfectly and I have been using LockitScript ever since,” Laura says. “Actually, I only take the iPad and a chair with me.”
Organized to perfection – despite two shooting plans
As filming started first with the team in South Africa, parts of the episodes had already been shot when the team in Germany started shooting. To tackle this, the existing project was mirrored for the German production, and the German shooting schedule was then implemented. This proved to be challenging as two different teams had to work on one project with two separate shooting schedules with partially overlapping shoots. Thanks to the LockitScript production support this was easy to fix.
Other than that, nothing really changed for Script Supervisor Laura when it came to her everyday work routine. Quite the opposite: Once the shoot started after rehearsal and a meeting, Laura only had to check if she was working in the right shooting day and if the camera cards were correct. The new alert that notifies you when you are not working in the actual shooting day proved to be very useful to avoid any mishaps. The traffic light system in the app made it easy to see on which shot the South African team was currently working. This helped Laura to adjust her slate numbering.
Benefits for the whole post production
Laura especially loves the option to save presets for takes. This enables her to save her most common notes and quickly add them later instead of typing them manually every time. The LockitNetwork Production Service provided another bonus: the service team was able to remove any errors and answer any questions that Laura had as LockitScript newbie.
“The greatest thing about LockitScript is that you feed the machine with all kinds of data throughout the day; in the evening, you receive reports and logs at the push of a button.” Laura is happy that making reports has become a quick task. Facing Page or Editor’s Log – you get full flexibility with LockitScript and the Production Service. Especially with complex projects like Deutschland 86, where shots intended for up to seven episodes are taken each shooting day, having the reports ready this fast means saving up to 1.5 hours every day.
Boris, the Editor, is also very satisfied with the reports: “Finally we receive Editor’s Logs that we can actually read, and all the important metadata is present.” He also emphasizes how the app can implement edited running times: “This way, everyone has the same overview – you don’t have to make additional spreadsheets that need to be sent.” Instead, the editor and editing assistant can add or check information via the Lockit Webtools.
Editing Assistant Silke Zirnité was also glad that her job got easier. When preparing shot material, she saved a lot of time required in the past to transfer shot description, scene synopsis or notes. “Nowadays, it takes me just a few minutes to check the metadata.” With this task out of the way, she can focus more on preparing clips and sound for editing. Silke’s favorite LockitScript functionality is the extrapolation that shows how long a take can be.
Even though Boris does not work directly with the app, he says the overall value LockitScript delivers to editing is clean digital reports. “It really is exciting to see what possibilities you have with metadata.” Being able to match clips with takes automatically is the biggest plus for Laura. “Camera logs become much clearer making them easier to work with in editing.”
For the future, all three have a few feature requests. Laura would like the ability to export Facing Pages or Editor’s Logs as one PDF file in chronological order of the screenplay. “American productions want to receive a completely annotated script with all logs and reports included at the end of each shooting day,” she says. “It would be convenient to create the whole thing in one file.” She would also like additional flexibility when numbering the slate, especially considering complex international projects. Silke has requested added flexibility as well. “Especially when it comes to shooting series – it is important to be create logs for single episodes instead for the whole project.” Boris is looking for a way to mark audio tracks so that he can immediately see what was recorded. Other than that, all of them are convinced of LockitScript’s advantages – Especially Boris, who considers himself an ambassador for LockitScript on set. “I always urge productions to use this tool because it gives us a much better overview.”
Tips for soon-to-be LockitScript Users
For other script supervisors who are still reluctant to go paperless on set, Laura has an important tip: “Start with a smaller project; a short film, additional days or second unit days to try out tools like LockitScript.” That way new users do not have to worry as much about maintaining the continuity of a whole feature-length movie, and they can test it without taking any big risks. “I do recommend talking to the LockitScript team, though. They are always able to help.” Laura now has full confidence in the app. For her most recent project, Berlin Station, she has already gone completely digital.
Deutschland 86 is available now on the streaming service Streaming-Service Amazon Prime.