While there are tons of digital toys out there for cinematographers and editors, there have not been very many mobile apps available for production staff, until now. Producers for film and television now have access to industry contacts and production information literally at their fingertips with doddle Pro.
While a lot of production work can be done through existing apps (Dropbox, Simplenote, Autostitch, etc.), production folk heavily rely on industry specific programs, given the chance (such as Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting). The doddle apps are among some of the first for iOS that are made specifically for production.
doddle is a film production directory with apps for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, as well as a web interface. The associated apps — doddle (ad-supported and ad-free versions) and doddle Pro — access this network of crew, talent, production companies, and vendors.
doddle was designed with the help of industry veterans, so it’s not created by developers in a vacuum; it’s made to work in the real production world.
One of the things that makes the doddle directory so great is that it includes more than just the volunteer listings of local crewpersons, like many online directories. It also includes location-based searches for things like hotels, police, and hospitals. Furthermore, doddle has added every film commission in the US and made special arrangements with some to add their catalogs of data.
doddle Pro includes a new feature for sending digital call sheets. Cast, crew, and locations can be added from the doddle directory, your own contacts, or manually entered.
Scene info for the day is manually entered for now, but weather and sunrise/sunset info is figured automatically based on date and location.
Call sheets are emailed out as PDFs and as a proprietary doddle file that other doddle users can open, allowing them to interact with the data (click map links, call phone numbers, etc.) — totally revolutionary.
Richard Kwiat at doddle told me this is just the beginning of Added Productivity Tools for doddle Pro users. I can’t wait to see what other interactive functions are added.
I found that for smaller towns, finding out exactly what was available could be difficult. Also, some of the manual data entry on the call sheets required going levels deep, which could be simplified. But these are all issues that will mature as more and more people use the service. This is a version 1.0 app, after all, and the guys at doddle are constantly working to improve and mature the UI as well as the service.
There is nothing else like doddle on the mobile market. All of us in the film world benefit from adding our data to the directory (up to two listings for free) and getting the word out about doddle. Currently there are over a million listings, many of which are vendors. There are over 10,000 crewpersons listed.
Industry professionals in LA or NY may rely on their known contacts and friends of friends, etc., but for indie filmmakers and producers headed to fly-over country, this service is indispensable.
This is a great app with a lot of promise. The more people that use it, the better it will be. If you know someone in the film industry, please use the sharing links below to let them know about doddle!
Photo Credit: Julie Howe