It was in the LightGear booth at Cine Gear that I first saw TechScout Touch. “You can create your lighting order using this one iPhone app,” said the sales rep, “and send the order straight to the rental house.”
“That’s great,” I said, “but I don’t live in LA, and the odds are pretty slim that I’m going to use your rental house for a Northern California job.”
“No, you don’t get it,” she said. “This app simply creates an email containing an equipment list. You can send it to any rental house you want, or your gaffer… whoever!”
That’s when she had my undivided attention.
Litegear makes a number of very interesting specialized lighting products, the most fun of which is LiteRibbon. This is a string of LEDs laid on a strip of double-stick tape and controlled by an optional hand-held flicker-free dimmer box. It’s a very versatile product: Litegear employees made a custom soft light out of a pizza box by cutting a hole in the cover, taping diffusion across the hole, and covering the bottom of the box with LiteRibbon LEDs. Another lighting gag utlized LiteRibbon LEDs attached to the back of a piece of stiff milky plastic, with the LEDs facing the back surface, resulting in a very thin, soft and lightweight light source.
But it was the iPhone app that got my attention. I don’t have an iPhone, as I can’t be bothered to switch my service to AT&T, but I do have an iPod Touch that is loaded with cinematography programs that I use regularly on scouts and while shooting: PCam, PocketLD, MatchLens and Helios, among others. But I hadn’t found any portable apps that match the functionality of On-Set Office until I stumbled upon the Litegear booth and was shown TechScout Touch almost as an afterthought.
The program is wonderfully simple. Find the instrument you want to order and then touch “+” until you’ve ordered the number of units necessary. Then choose who should receive the list and the application sends them an email.
That’s it. Easy to use, fast and efficient-what we look for in all of our tools. My only criticism is that this app lacks photometric information: a combination of TechScout Touch and PocketLD would be the perfect lighting app for a DP.
TechScout Touch functions on both iPhones and iPod Touches. The price: free. What are you waiting for?
Art Adams is a DP who likes issuing orders by email. His website is at www.artadams.net.