I love my phone more than anyone but the proliferation of mobile devices on production sets is hurting the production and the job prospects of the crew members who are burried in swiping and typing.
Waiting. That's what you do on set. Shots take time to prepare and even more time to execute. Clients always say, "How can you stand this? Nothing's happening." So the urge to tune out is strong.
However, one thing leads to another and sometimes directions change instantly; setups shift on the fly.
I've seen wonderfully skilled intelligent production people turn into mobile device zombies after they have felt that their job for a particular shot is done.
Here's the problem. Being on set is all about anticipating. An on-the-ball production manager, grip, PA, props person, etc needs to be watching what's going on. You never know what will happen. The next improvised shot could be on the other end of the location.
If the PA saw that the DP and director made the fluid decision to shoot elsewhere, she would know to start rolling extension cords over there before another word was said. Instead, the PA is swiping and typing. Head tilted down. In her own world. Time wasted.
I'm not likely to call that person when there is a next time.
Sure, we're all freelancers and texts and calls come in about past and future jobs. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about down time on a set for crew members has now turned into facebook-twitter-texting-instagram-imdb-linkedin-pinterest time.
One of our long time clients at Wheelhouse is a supplier to the military. At their locations, cell phones, laptops and tablets are not allowed. You have to check them at reception.
On shoot days, you can't believe how efficient we are.
What do you think?
photo credit: CC license 2.0 Buzzfarmers