Here are some tips to help you reduce what you need to print. There are also case studies by production staff, detailing their efforts in going paperless. And if you're looking for a reason to switch to paperless accounting, this is it: There are no rules on how you must keep records. You can keep them on paper, digitally or as part of a software program (like book-keeping software) - more from HMRC here.
Great for annotating contracts, PPM books, storyboards or invoices with text - just click on the briefcase icon to reveal the toolbar. You can also add your signature to the annotate function and sign contracts, invoices and the PIBs very easily! Follow the file path: Tools / Annotate / Signature / Manage Signatures to add yours or see here for a full explanation.
TO DO LISTS
If you're looking to make the switch from a paper notebook to a digital one, we recommend Trello for to do lists, and Evernote for keeping all of your lists and documents together (handy for archiving old call sheets or budgets for reference).
NOTABILITY & iANNOTATE
For tablets and phones, Notability and iAnnotate are great one for highlighting, annotating, and generally scribbling on things. Handy on a tech scout to mark up storyboards and location maps/floor plans.
For larger projects, there's Scriptation, a script annotation app which retains annotations as you update your script with new revisions. The app will also tell you if something you've previously annotated has been changed or deleted. It also features a handy tool for actors and sound mixers that automatically highlights dialogues with the tap of a button.
Prodflow allows you to have your own custom branded app for your production company. You can share production documents and details (such as callsheets, scripts, treatment, etc.) with the crew, freelancers, clients and agency, effortlessly and paperlessly. You can also filter information accordingly and ensure everyone’s on the same page.
MAKE UP CONTINUITY PRO
Quite pricy but this app will save you a notebooks and biros - a lifesaver on larger projects.
Too much going on on your 13" screen? Need to print a copy of the call sheet to look at whilst you put everyone's names into the cost report? Print no more! Use your iPad as a second screen by downloading the free Duet app and connecting via USB, or use the Sidecar function with newer iPads.
Casting Networks paperless system is all held in the cloud, meaning those coming to your casting sessions can complete their headsheet online on arrival, and you don't have to send a runner to collect half a ream of paper the next day.
Great for shared job folders, eliminating the need for a massive lever arch files. Dropbox can also be used for creating an invoice sign off system - simply set up 3 folders: Received, Logged, Paid. You can annotate with budget line numbers or rename the file with the line number, sign off digitally in Preview, and share easily by granting folder access to the accounts team.
ON SET DOCUMENTS
CALL SHEETS, SCRIPTS & STORYBOARDS
Encourage these to be viewed and annotated digitally, and pin up some A3 copies on set. Ask the runners to stick these up in a prominent place first thing. You can always print additional items on request.
These are tricky not to print, and if you don’t you’ll often have to dig out the printer whilst eating an egg buttie to rattle off a few more. We’d advise starting with 10 x A4 and a couple of A3 copies and go from there.
A great way to condense information if it’s necessary to print all of the documents, once you've got the printer settings down!
You might not always be in commercial world - these programs and apps will help you work paperlessly on bigger projects:
HOLLYWOOD CAMERA WORK: SHOT DESIGNER
Create complex shot diagrams on the go, helping you to block out scenes. You can also import storyboards to include, and export your diagrams to shot lists. More about it here.
FINAL DRAFT, FINAL DRAFT TAGGER & FINAL DRAFT WRITER (APP)
Standard issue script writing software, Final Draft also comes with with app extensions allowing you to edit on the go, and tag the script with notes: props, stunts, extras and so on. This can then be exported into...
...MOVIE MAGIC SCHEDULING & MOVIE MAGIC TO GO (APP)
The gold standard of scheduling for bigger projects, Movie Magic also comes with a companion app.
GENERAL PRINTING TIPS
-> Use draft mode, black and white, and double-sided - set it up as a default on your computer for each programme
-> Adjust the margins of a Word or Excel doc to fit more on a page (File/Page Setup/Margins)
-> Once you've pdf'd something, you can change the layout in the print dialog box and print 2 or 4 pages per page (great for storyboards, schedules)
-> Request that the agency don't print any PPM books for production, but that they email a copy (or link to one) instead. You can annotate it during the meeting and easily email off to HODs with comments/notes afterwards. You can also use the PPM to mention there will be limited printing on set and find out what hard copy paperwork the agency and client would like.
-> Use scrap paper to stick down receipts and put a few bits in your production bag for any draft printing during the shoot