HOSTAGE Production Diary – Communication.
We have been relying on email and skype. But as activity ramps up and we start having to do multiple things at once, communication is king (or queen). This is what we will look at in this Hostage Production Diary entry.
I set up a Slack (slack.com) to solve this problem and problems I can see coming. Relying on email is good in the early days. But after a short time email chains get really long and they splinter into different topics. This is when something like Slack is useful.
How do we use Slack?
Think of slack as a series of conversations called Channels. We have started a channel for each decision and discussion. There is a channel for Script. So rewrite and notes can be made and seen in sequence.
There is a channel for each character. In these channels we discuss casting and possible changes to each character.
This enables us to have complex conversations with multiple people contributing in real time and all conversations recorded for later reference. It is far more useful than email and it makes sure that all decisions are stored and noted for reference later.
We are utilising the free account. At the moment there is only me, the director and two producers in the slack. As the production brings on more people we will move to the paid service no doubt.
So what can you take away from the production diary entry? You have to utilise all the tools at your disposal. Don’t look for some specific movie writing tool for collaboration. Business has solved these problems decades ago. Look at how business does it and use their tools. Projects and teams around the world use tools like Slack, so why wouldn’t we.
If you are doing any collaboration, look at simple project management tools. It will pay dividends. They will take a day to learn and may seem overkill for the first few days. But when you are a few months in, trying to remember what was said as a solution six weeks ago, they are a godsend.