Production Innovation: Slack
February 5, 2018
Check out producer and director, Zach Lipovsky, and what he's done to reduce the amount of paper on his productions!

Reel Green caught up with Zach Lipovsky, the creator of the industry apps in motion picture such as ShotLister and ScriptSpeaker. He's also produced and directed the TV show Mech X4 for Disney, and passionate about creating paperless sets.

Lipovsky shared his thoughts on going paperless and how he introduced the software Slack into his productions. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest growing business application in history. Millions of people around the world use Slack to bring their teams together, make sense of their work, and drive their business forward.

 
1) What is Slack and how do you use it on a production?
Slack is a central hub for all departments within a production to communicate. It's simliar to the concept of a live workplace chatroom. The program allows for instant sharing and discussion on all topics and promotes transparency between departments.
By using Slack on production, it dramaticully cuts down the number of reply all emails to your inbox. It is also a great resource for finding archives of files easily and is a far superior tool than email for large teams.
Finally, it cuts down on the need to print so much! The communication and file sharing tool is so easy to use and seemless that it there is less need to print everything. 
2) Who administers the program on production?
Administration differs from project to project. Sometimes just the Locations department utilizes it so the Location Manager administers it. On my productions the Production Coordinator administers Slack and adds the Crew with start packs. 
 
One big benefit to using Slack is the ability to remove Crew who have finished with the show, which helps with security and confidentiality. 
 
3) What's the benefit to using Slack?  
The biggest benefit is a much more streamlined communication tool for the Crew allowing for faster turn around on answers as compared to email.
There is also huge benefit of transparency, allowing departments to monitor project progress of other departments, which helps get ahead of issues before they happen. It’s prevents people working in silos.
Additionally, cutting down dramatically on document management and printing. 
4) Any lessons learned? 
Anyone who has adopted it has never gone back. Certainly recommend the industry to get behind it. It not only is a powerful communication tool but works towards creating a smaller carbon footprint for your production.
Interested in other technology that can save your production time, money, and the environment? Check out Circus for crew onboarding and consider switching your processes to digital for a greener motion picture industry.
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