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Communicating on set

This article was written by Lauren Brant.

We all know how frustrating it can be to wrangle a crew.  Lighting is late, hair and makeup went to the wrong set, the actors for scene A showed up to shoot during scene B’s slot – sound familiar?

So what’s the best way to keep in touch with and coordinate an entire production crew while on the job?  Walkie talkies, smartphones and email might come in somewhat handy, but there’s a new tool more and more production coordinators are using to make the trains run on time:  free texting app – textPlus’s new Communities feature.

Here’s how it works: Coordinators create a private Community in the free textPlus app, name it (probably the working title of the project, or if you want to get corny, “Best Crew Ever”), add all the relevant cell phone contacts, from the gaffer to the choreographer, and use the mobile chatroom to reach everyone instantly with one text message.

The best part is, Communities let you reply-all, so people can ask questions and get real-time answers on their phones.  And it’s free.  Community members don’t even need a smartphone or the app to participate – any text-enabled “dumb phone” can participate in the threads by texting the Community name to 60611.

Production teams are using Communities to confirm shooting schedules, coordinate equipment delivery, assign tasks, alert crews of last minute changes or emergencies and more.

And FYI, Communities can be created based on other topics or categories, so it’s not just a work thing. textPlus users are creating Communities about everything from little league teams to World Cup fans to PTAs.


LAUREN BRANT | GROUP SJR | Lbrant@groupsjr.com |646.495.9720

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