Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blood, Sweat, and Google Sketch-up

Since you've been such good readers all year I have an early Christmas present for you.
A tale of perseverance, blood shed and Google sketch-up renderings. 

Once upon a time I was the production designer for an amazing little indie project. I had found myself in a position of power on a project that felt like I was heading off to climb mount Everest in a t-shirt. And I wanted to do everything in my power to not only survive, but to conquer the beast.

During this project I was actual able to do some real pre-pro. And I took that to mean make renderings of everything. One of the most important scenes was to take place outdoors, lit by fire and artificial moonlight alone. It was getting down to the last minute to find just the right location for it. And after much hunting we decided on one that had a stone tower set at the top of a cliff. The plan was to shoot this pivotal scene at the top of the tower so the whole world could be seen disappearing into the distance behind the actors.  Epic, right?

I, on my quest to be the overzealous designer, decided that I wanted to do real, honest to goodness renderings of the location, measured out and everything. My researching of the interwebs lead me to the realization that the tower was way too narrow for the scene we had dreamed up. So I grabbed my sketchbook and measuring tape and went to the location on my own to see what could be done about it's short comings.

When I arrived I discovered that the roads to the top of the cliff were all blocked off. But my spirit of adventure was not to be dampened. I packed my purse up, tightened my brand new work boots and started my hike. At first I enjoyed the scenery, the fresh air and sunlight, happily taking a pictures on the way. 

An hour later, my feet already sore, I made it to the top. And the tower's top was, as I'd feared,  too small for our plans. I took more pictures, measured things, noted what few outlets there were, and then headed back down.

It was the most painful walk of my life. 

Remember when I mentioned the brand new work boots? Yeah, they were steel toed work boots. You should never wear steel toe boots while hiking. Ever. By the end of my hike my brand new boots were full of freshly shed blood. And-- to put it lightly-- the heels of my feet were no more.

At any rate the ordeal was not in vain. I got the information I needed to design around the size problem. Below you see the fruit of my labors. Also, I'd like to mention that these were my first attempts at creating organic shapes with Google sketch-up.

ground plan of the area

GP- close-up on the scene

For the next two renderings I printed a screen view of the Sketch-up model to PDF, and then altered it in photoshop for a little lighting enhancement.

google sketch up model
post Photoshop

Google Sketch-up model

post Photoshop

They're not amazing, but I was pretty satisfied at my initial stab at organic Sketch-up shapes. And they more than certainly got the job done.

And yes, my heels grew back no problem. It was a dumb decision to go on that hike, but I'm still glad I went. Because now, when things get rough, I can always think back to that hike and be reminded that no matter how bad it may get, I've already survived worse for the sake of art.

Merry Christmas! May your new shoes remain blood free and your head full of determined creativity.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Brainstorming how to make gunshots for film

First idea: fill your own paintball pellets with dust for dust shots or a teensy bit of gun powder for spark shots.

The Major Paintball Mine-Fill Smoke Simulation Powder. It is used in most mines to simulate the effect of smoke following mine detonation.

Second idea, set of non-launching fireworks or firecrackers remotely:

20' of regular slow burning cannon fuse. Burn rate = about 21 seconds per foot. $5.00

Pack comes with 10 connectors. lay fuses inside the grippers, fold it, and you have a solid connection. So all you have to do is light one use and you can have a whole line of things go off. $2.50 a pack.

We could use the fuse and connector with small fireworks, hide them under dirt, and watch them go off as if it were a rain of gunshots hitting the floor.

We could fuse some firecrackers together for some safer sparking action:
$0.25 for a pack of 12

jumping jacks, strip of 100. 6 long strips of jumping jacks. $6.00

Another thought is to add elements in the set that show damage to things, like smoke:
The Sport Smoke PB-200 smoke bomb is designed for the paintballer and hobbyist alike. Both compact and affordable, the PB-200 is the most affordable Smoke Bomb, and is ideal for many applications.

  • Fuse ignition: no Haz-Mat shipping charge
  • Thick smoke, good hang time
  • Easy to handle and carry
  • Biodegradable
  • "Cool burning" Non-Pyrotechnic Smoke
  • Made in the USA
  • Fire Mechanism: Fuse
  • Smoke Output: 20,000 cubic feet
  • Duration: 75 sec
  • Dimensions: 2.75"×1.5"
  • Weight (lb): .2

*Haz-Mat shipping note: This grenade is NOT subject to a Haz-Mat fee, as it requires an open flame to light it. All other Sport Smoke grenades are subject to Haz-Mat fees. All products with pull ring igniters subject to a $30.00 Haz-Mat fee per box imposed by the carrier plus a $5 handling fee.

I'm going to have to test these thoughts out before we get to set. And I'll certainly be posting the video here once I do :-)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making a semi trailer bounce on no budget

Ok, so I'm trying to figure out how to, on an indie film budget, rig a tractor trailer to jostle back and forth to simulate it's on the road movement. So far my best bet is I'm just telling them what I'm hoping to do, and since they actually know what the equipment can handle, perhaps they can help me out. And, they rent out the equipment, so it would be a little more realistic than trying to buy something like this.

The other thought I have is to attach a tow truck to the side of the trailer and tug it back and forth with super-heavy duty aircraft cable. I think this would work best, however, the issue is in preventing the potentail human error of pulling it too far and having the set fall on it's side. I don't want any sets tripping over on my watch.

Another idea is to use a jack with a double acting Electric Hydraulic Pump
Something like:
except that it costs $3,783.50

So here are some of the consumer products I've found that we might be able to use to jack it up and drop it down during the takes:

  • Husky Brute Electric Trailer Jack - Drop Leg - A-Frame - 18" Lift - 4,500 lbs

  • Electric jack with powered drive lets you lift and lower your trailer quickly and easily
  • $219.95

Trailer Jack
Drop Leg Jack
Sidewind Jack
13-1/2 Inch Drop Leg
12000 lbs


Online Item #: 0000000033071
SKU: 002965358

  • Min. to max. lift height - 4.5 to 37.24 in.
  • Rated load capacity - 4,660 lbs.
  • May be used to lift, winch, clamp, pull or push
  • ested load capacity of 7,000 lbs. for a safety factor of 150%
  • Made in the USA
  • Weight: Approximately 30 pounds
  • Shipping Dimensions: Approximately 51 x 10 x 5 inches.

More on this research as it develops.

Monday, November 11, 2013

breakaway door research

One of my conundrums for my upcoming projects is breakaway doors and walls. They get busted open all over the place!

So here's some information I'm scrounging from the internet ethos for us. Here's some of the advice I've found so far about doors:

"The one that gets knocked off its hinges can be really easy if it swings upstage--just use loose pin hinges and have someone pull the pins just before the big moment. If it needs toswing downstage, you could use lift-off hinges so the actor just lifts the door slightly to pull it off its hinges. Likely need to modify the hinges so the pins are shorter and leave a bit of extra clearance inside the top of the door frame.

For the other door--what is it supposed to look like? a residential hollow core door? A solid raised-panel door? Probably the easiest and most convincing method would be to build it as a hollow-core door with balsa facing and just reface or rebuild it for each show. You could also build it as a solid door and pre-break parts and insert thin dowels across the breaks to hold the pieces together--that way when the door gets hit the dowels snap and the pieces fall apart. Or you could do a hybrid of the two methods, for instance build a raised panel door where the frame is pre-broken and doweled and build one of the panels from balsa so it can be destroyed each show and a new panel slotted in."

And for breakaway walls, I've found these videos to be pretty helpful:

Also my favorite guys at BFX made a video:

Let's start breaking stuff!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Diamond Ruff Premieres in Hartford CT

Diamond Ruff has premiered! And I'm very proud to say that it looks fantastic. There were plenty of things my three-years-more experienced self would have caught, but for my first big feature film- I'm pretty proud with the work. I have to thank the director, Alec Asten, and the folks at Young Feature Films, like Joe and Kyle Young and Geanetta Bennett for not giving up on the project while they found their way through post production and finished up a fine film. And I also want to give a shout out to all of my art department crew and interns who rocked the heck out of every aspect of this film. From the costumes and custom masks to the 15' tall Trojan horse we built, dismantled, and rebuilt- everything looked fan-freaking-tastic

Diamond Ruff was shot hella indie style a little over three years ago now. And exists today because of a lot of people's blood sweat and tears.  We premiered on November 1st at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, CT to a huge audience. Fingers crossed the distributors liked it too!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pre-production vs Mother Nature

My current round of pre-production is based almost entirely in a cabin in the woods. Thick forest, next to a lake, a waterfall nearby, it is picture perfect. On the other hand I get eaten by dreadful swarms of Mosquitos everyday while dripping sweat in the muggy 90 degree weather. This month is most certainly going to end up feeling like summer camp all over again. The intermingled scents of bugspray and sunscreen, arts and crafts, hiking through the woods, battling poison ivy and no running water. Shoots like this make you grateful for the simple comforts of home and air conditioning. But it is going to be totally worth it, this cabin is spectacular! It's going to make for one grand looking horror film :-)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Five senses of fear now on the Chiller channel

My project from last October is now up on the Chiller Channel. 5 Senses of Fear was a horror anthology story. 5 different stories linked together by some crazy characters and sinister props. Each short directed by a young up-and-coming director.

It was a very different experience filming this one, compared to my experiences on a traditional feature. We shot 4 day weeks with a new director every week. We had company moves at least once a day and, as usual, a baller crew. There were so many fun and bizarre locations that we got to visit during this project, but my favorite was definitely Wild Bill's nostalgia store in Cromwell, CT. Weirdest place ever. The image below was taken inside their tower-sized jack-in-box, whose counterweight the owners loving call the "ball of death". It's made up of old animal bones, tortoise shells,chains, and who knows what else. It was incredibly impressive to say the least.

Wild Bill's is this bizarre store jam-packed full of everything you can imagine, from bobbleheads to records, to one of the actual bikes from PeeWee's Big Adventure. One of my friends recently called it "more ADD than any human can take in at once." And yes, he meant it as a compliment. Apart from the Jack-o-tower my favorite bizarre feature is the classically constructed haunted house they're building in back:

They mill their own lumber and then custom build wonky floors and slanted walls all over. It's an impressive display of carpentry. I can't wait to see how it looks when they finish it. 

If you want to take a peek at 5 Senses- check it out on the Chiller channel: 
Or, if you're  like me and don't have cable, don't worry, it'll be out on DVD by early next year. And I'll totally let you know when it happens. ;-)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I have a movie out on DVD!!! Dead Souls!!

I feel so legit! I actually have a movie I worked on out on DVD and Bluray! What?!!! So cool! I'm totally buying a bunch of copies and giving them out to family at Christmas! I wonder how their Catholic values will go with the crucifixion scene... Meh whatever, that's what the fast-forward function was designed for. Right?

And for even more Dead Souls action check out our film-friendly favorites here:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Star Wars film slating

In honor of our premiere for "The Word" tomorrow night here is one of my favorite nerdy film making moments.

The day our AC decided to slate all 26 takes with Star Wars references :-)

It was a heavy scene, a long day, and totally inappropriate for the mood... but one of my favorite filming memories so far. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"The Word" Premiering this Friday!!

Last year I worked on a feature called "The Word." It was such a good experience. An amazing crew with a tiny art team that never slept. This crew barreled through some impressive days. Our record was a solid 15 pages of dialogue filmed in a single day. Props to the talent on that one. And now our little indie is peeking it's head out into the world. And for the first time in a while I'm actually going to see the premiere! Yep, way too excited about getting dolled up for a long train ride to the city so I can see how everything came together and reminisce over the battle wounds.

And, I'm proud to say, our little Indie will be the OPENING NIGHT FEATURE at the Manhattan Film Festival.

If you happen to want to join it's premiering this Friday
June 21, 2013 at 9:15 PM at Quad Cinema. 

Should be fun :-) I can't wait to see it all come together!

For Ticketing:
This picture was taken during the windiest day ever. Which also happened to be our exterior funeral day. Chris (the art director) and I had to mounting tape and tie down every single plant so they wouldn't go flying off into the wilderness of Bridgeport.

And, if your looking for a little more literature, check out the article that CT post did while we were filming:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Torches, my how-to research for your viewing pleasure

I've actually done torches before (see "The Word" trailer), it was exhilerating! Well, afterwards, during it was seriously terrifying lighting a whole scene on a windy hill top with 2 small fire extinguishers and some buckets of sand and water to prevent any spread of flamey death. So this time around, I'm doing my safety research and figuring out the best ways to build torches that won't drip jets of flame down their sides.

Also, minimum, 5 full size extinguishers on set at all times. Just in case... Enough worrying. Let's talk fire!

This was the best how-to I found while hunting around the interwebs:

I've taken some of my research finds and mashed 'em together into this tutorial:

Step 1: Gather your materials.

  1. tiki fluid, or if you want to go full medieval, pig or beef fat
  2. 100% cotton cloth- because things made of of plastic not only drip and stay in a burning blob on whatever it drips on, but also release all of those delectable chemicals into your eagerly waiting lungs.
  3. hammer
  4. staple gun
  5. staples
  6. chicken wire or baling wire
  7. a sturdy stick or stick substitute
  8. something to soak the torch end in, half a can, a metal pail, etc.

Step 2: take that stick and staple fabric onto it.
Step 3: wrap the fabric around tightly and staple it again on the ending edge to secure it.
Step 4: To keep chunks of burning from falling off the torch, wrap baling wire or chicken wire around the cloth.

Step 5: Soak the fabric in tiki fluid
Step 6: let the extra accelerant drip off.
Step 7: Light it up!
"The Word" feature film 2013

Other thoughts for safe(er) torches are:

  • Buy the fire breather type torches and texture them to look like a stick.
  • Or, buy the fire-breather wicks and then take a small section of a metal rod and hide it in the top of whatever prop styled solution I want. 2x4, stick, goat leg, etc. Then I can light and replace the wicks a lot easier.

As for the safety aspect- can I just have a firefighter hang out on set? That'd be awesome.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And another one bites the dust

Another project is now wrapping up, principal shooting is done and tomorrow is all about returns and reimbursements. This last project, which I can actually talk about, was a short directed and produced by a local filmmaker named Gary Fierro. It was so much fun to be a part of this project. The whole Fierro family banded together to help make this story come to life on screen. And it wasn't an easy project either. Epic running shots down moonlit streets, three company moves in a day that covered a funeral, a school, and a kitchen, and some seriously challenging weather. The worst was how hot it was during our day of exteriors. Despite drinking as much water as humanly possible we all left the day pretty dehydrated and cranky. I certainly enjoyed my day off sleeping in, and enjoying my cool apartment air and some well earned laziness. Granted I did spend a few hours today beginning the break-down for my next feature.... Does it count as work if you don't leave your bed?

Monday, May 27, 2013

The empty appointment book complex

I do this thing, which I have yet to decide is a good or a bad thing, where I see an open section in my calendar and promptly try to fill it. Sometimes I pack in some family and friends time, but usually I'll just start packing in smaller projects and commissions to fill in the space before my next big booking. This year I've been incredibly fortunate to be connected with a bunch of fellow film makers with their eyes set on festival season for next year. And they are all turning out to be such great projects. I'm getting to work with some new people, stretching my design mind into a little drama and a little comedy, and fingers crossed might be working on my first NYC based short. 

It's a good habit I think. :-)

But enough day-dreaming about the future. I've got some props to finish for this weekend's shoot. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 24, 2013

This year's film industry mini mixer

The FIM has returned! And in full force. To those of you who are new to the "FIM", welcome! Also, to bring you further into the light of knowledge, FIM stands for "Film Industry Mixer." It's an annual film-makers get together that's been going on for... almost 7 years now. It started off as a little BBQ in a backyard and has grown into quite the networking event. I remember my first experience at the FIM landed me a job as the production designer for a Feature shot on  35mm film. Not too shabby :) It's been a great way for new talent to get into the film scene here in CT. I've met musicians, actors, DP's, producers, accountants, stilt walkers- you name it. It's amazing how all of our random skills blend together to make movies, isn't it?

This weekend's event is the mini version of the full-monty-mixer (which will be in August)- not that it will be all that small this year. The event's being hosted at Middlesex Community College. Which means bigger spaces, proper lecture halls for the workshops and a nice big space to booze and schmooze.

Aaand, if you come in person you will get to be one of the select few to see the world premiere of the video where I am dressed as an alien gorilla having dollar bills thrown at me. No, I'm not kidding... If you can't make it because you happen to be one of my awesome readers in Russia, don't worry, I will post that video and some nice behind the scene photos from the ridiculous evening next week.

Any hoo-

Here's the quickie info for this Saturday:

The Facebook page can be found here:
Admission: $20.00 at the door
                        Which includes access to all Workshops and the Meet and Greet portion
There is a Cash Bar by Ramon Morant
And rumor has it that food will be prepared on site in a traditional memorial day BBQ fashion.

And here's the schedule for the evening's events:

3:00-4:00pm    Acting Workshop - Actors Gym
Professional acting coach and casting director Reno Venturi will be teaching this workshop for directors looking to improve the communication of what they want from their actors and those looking to get into acting as a profession.
(I have taken classes at the actors gym, it's such a blast!)

4:00-5:00pm    Developing a Web Series
Connecticut Film Producer & F.I.M. Executive Producer Alexander Andriulli delivers a nuts and bolts discussion on creating a marketable web series from concept to distribution. 
(Where a bunch of my renderings and secret collaborations for the project will be shown for the first time)

5:00-6:00pm     Directing A Scene
Professional Film Director and S.E.C.T. Film President Alec Asten breaks down how to effectively direct a scene and get dynamic performances from your actors. 

Film Industry Mixer - Meet & Greet
5:00pm - 6:00pm Trailers & Demos            
Entertaining videos from independent filmmakers

6:00pm - 6:15pm Introductions               
Film Industry Mixer Co-Directors Neal Thomassen & Alexander Andriulli

6:15pm - 6:20pm Middletown Art & Beauty        
A brief introduction to the many things Middletown CT has to offer to filmmakers by Middletown CT Mayor Daniel Drew

6:20pm - 6:30pm - Special Project Announcement

6:30pm - 7:00pm Student Film Block         
A showcase of the best work from MXCC students

7:00pm - 7:45pm Film Education Panel         
S.E.C.T. Film Director Alec Asten, Casting Director Reno Venturi, Writer/Director/Producer Marty Lang, and MXCC Professor John Schafer discuss the many ways you can learn to be a better filmmaker through educational outlets in CT.

8:00pm - 8:30pm Artistic Projection     
Projection Mapping tech demo with technology explanation. The owners of local business Artistic Projection discuss the technology behind projection mapping which involves projecting animation on real world objects for a new creative way to promote businesses and products.

8:30pm -10:00pm Demos, Trailers& Project Pitches 
Get a glimpse of the local talent in the fast paced world of Demo's, Trailers, and Project pitches.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Back from the twilight of filming

Hello world! I'm back from the land of feature filming again! And as usual it's a total culture shock. It's wonderful to get reconnected to what's going on in the world, see your family and friends, and start eating way less comfort food, but I sure do miss the crew from this film. It was such a blast, everyone had such a great attitude and work ethic. It was also so much fun to see all the special effects make-up work and to take part in my first green screen sequence, and some of our stunts totally made my month. I'm already jonesing for our next project together.

 The good news for the readjustment-to-real-life phase, is that i'm not going to be off set for too long. weekend after next I have my next project popping up. It's a short called the Firefly Jar. And i'm stoked about this one because it's a whole new group of people to work with and a genera i haven't dabbled in for almost a year. This one's a drama, with visual effects and wish jars and magicians. So, rather than let the post-shoot-blues get me down, I'll just keep looking ahead to my next couple projects. Bring it on summer! I'm ready for you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oh G-sketch how you make my heart go pitter-pat

This month's Google Sketch-up.

A room I designed for a film last year. The police lobby shown here didn't actually end up in the film. We changed our location because after looking at the rendering it was suddenly apparent how many extras would be needed to make the space feel alive. That what renderings are for. I help us visual folks discover problems before they occur and resolve them before we have to scramble.

Behold the theoretical police station lobby.

Ground Plan and Model overview
view from seating area outwards
seating area

view from lobby into office

view from office into lobby

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting hired to the art department- portfolio and website

The portfolio.

A visual representation of your work ready to hand off to a potential employer.

Traditionally speaking a portfolio is a sleek little black binder with an eye catching cover and your resume as the first page. Followed by your strongest examples of how amazing you are at the things you create.

In the past I have gone this route. I pick some amazing stills/pictures from past projects- photoshop them together in a collage form so that each set of facing pages is one project.

But when it comes to filmmakers- we like technology, and if we're looking at your work we don't usually have time to physically look through a binder of work. Your first step to getting an employer's attention need to be online.

Here are some examples of some stunning production design and art department crew websites:

Alan Hook; Production Designer for One tree hill and Artistic director for Iron Man 3 (and tons of other projects)

Tom Sanders: Production designer for films such as Saving Private Ryan, and Braveheart

James Merifield: Production designer for Deep Blue Sea, and Brighton Rock.
His website is super sexy, with an amazing reel on the splash page, and a very sleek example of a resume (CV)

My website, compare to those, is a sad little bleating lamb with a stomache upset by gorging on rocks. But at least it exists and it's a quick fix to my website problem for the time being. The nice thing about my website it that it was free to create- which on my budget, is a very important trait. I've been using I get my work out there. It's no hand crafted website, but again I note the free aspect and it is very user friendly. I have my resume, contact info, photographic portfolio divided by project, and a hand dandy video section that will play youtube videos, which is all I really need to show trailers and clips of past projects. Another fun feature offers? mobile phone formats. So people can easily view your work on whatever device they're using.

I know it's just a start, and I have been planning out how I want my sexy custom website to look and function. But it's a much slower process, since I'm not ready to hire someone to make it happen for me. Until then, I begin my process of collecting clip to use in my reel.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Google Sketch-up renderings

As promised, here are a few screen shots from a Google sketch-up model I did for a project last year. One of the nice features Sketch-up has is you can position the camera anywhere inside the model and then look around the room to set up the shot easily.

I think I'm going to use this in the future to make storyboards for things. Draft it once and then all you have to do is add figures and crop it down to the right aspect ratio.

office ground plan
view towards the door

Over the shoulder view
seating area

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Google sketch-up drafting

As a designer, I do a lot of drafting. AutoCAD and Google sketch up are the ones I use most often. When I draft things to build I prefer to use AutoCAD, but recently I was in between computers and had to do my construction drafting on Google sketch-up. Because Sketch-up happens to be one of my favorite things--- yep you guessed it. Free. 

Sketch-up is challenging to work with when adding dimensions and labeling tends to float around in a weird way if it's in 3D. Google sketch-up is, however, amazing for doing 3D rendering of locations. It helps me wrap my head around where the camera will probably be placed in a room, and figure out what will realistically be needed as far as set dressing is concerned. 

The following plates are from a flat I designed for a nursing home's community enrichment project. It shows how to construct the facing, the stands, and how it should look all together and I added nailing patterns and everything since real-life carpenters were going to be putting it together.

They did a beautiful job, BTW.

Doing the drafting for the carpenters with out being able to use the "offset" function the way I'm used to slowed me down a lot more than I like to admit. On the other hand, here's an example of a 3D location rendering I did of the MAC650 Art gallery for a proposal to renovate the front window:

To make this took hardly any time and in about half an hour I had something to submit.

I'll put up some more examples of google sketch up renderings for you next Thursday. Keep and eye out :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Top 10 free apps to make life on set easier

I love my iPad. It has made working on set so incredibly stream lined and I use tons of apps to improve my productivity. And because I am forever on a budget, I use tons of free apps to simplify my life.

Rendering on the go:
Paint gallery: so far this is the best fully free painting/sketching app I have found. No layering capability, but it works quite well for quick sketches.

Concepts: another sketching program. In it's free form it is ok to use, the app design is much more professional than paint gallery. And this app can do layers, like importing a picture to trace, and it has a far greater selection of tools and textures to work with, but to you have to purchase the full app to enjoy all the neat features. It does seem like it would be worth it, so the next time I find paint gallery isn't full-filling my needs I will probably purchase it.

Magic Plan: The coolest drafting app ever! Use your device to take pictures of every corner of the room and it will measure and draft out a ground plan. It works best on empty rooms, but it is such a time saver to use during location scouting. I freakin' LOVE this app. It saved me hours of measuring and made it so easy to import into google sketch-up to do my renderings and ground plans. Plus, I must say, it really made me feel like a tech/art wizard.

Note taking:
Evernote: Evernote is a whole slew of digital products that can all be synced up between devices and is a great way to keep track of the never ending torrent of information you get while working. I use it to take notes during meetings, make to-do lists, costume plots and write stories. And, here's my favorite dumb artist reason to love it- I'm very fond of the logo. Elephants are cool.

Audio memos- free: I like to take voice recordings during meetings, interviews, and when I have a sudden idea. My favorite use of this application is while on set. If I suddenly have a list of things to prep I'll record it so I can play it back as I gather things together. Much quicker than jotting it down.

Film document management:
ibooks: Fun little trick I learned from a wise UPM, open the pdfs of your script, schedues, and other paperwork in safari, and then open it in ibooks. Now you have all of the documents at your fingertips without lugging around a ream or three of paper.

Random helpful apps:
WhatKnot: an app that will tell you what Knots to use and when you should use them. I wish I'd had this during tech class is college.

My Script Calculator: hand write in the equation- even complicated ones involving co-sins ect, and it will solve it. I love this app so much :)

File Sharing:

Dropbox: ah, a classic. share all those lovely files and pictures you've been making while on set.

And last but not least,
Pintrest: my love for whom I have spoken about in a previous posting, but I will say it again; all my research right where I need, it all the time. <3

And there you have it, my top 10 favorite free apps that make my job easier to do.