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October 11, 2013

Filmmaking with Amanda Lippert and Surface Pro

Last week, after we blogged about two amazing artists using the Surface and their impressions of the Surface Pro 2, JasonGW posted that he’d love to get his (and his classmates’ hands) on a Surface Pro 2 “to create the next generation of Hollywood magic :)” That phrase ‘the next generation of Hollywood magic’ reminded me of some of the independent filmmakers who we have met over the past few months and who embody this new type of ‘wear every hat, do everything’ storyteller. One of them who really epitomizes this movement is Amanda Lippert.

Amanda is an independent filmmaker and board member of the film collective, We Make Movies. Self-taught, she produced her first film at age young age of 19, and has embodied almost every job imaginable on set, learning the film making process from the guerrilla film making perspective. She believes that no budget is too low and every story has a right to be told. Most recently, she just finished production on her short, Agnes, which is prepping for festival rounds. Agnes is a dark comedy about a poet looking for the perfect way to die. Amanda is here to share with us exactly how Surface Pro is enabling her to do more.

“What I love about the Surface is that it’s powerful and portable. As an indie filmmaker, I wear a lot of hats. I write, produce, act…

Pre-production is crunch time, and I usually have to do a lot of research – finding vendors, comparing prices, organizing releases, updating budgets. With the touch screen, I can move between pages and programs at lightning speed. This experience is unparalleled to using a traditional laptop.

Production is a whole other beast. Last minute changes are to be expected, and everyone on my team knows to be flexible. On the set of Agnes, I was making final edits with my Surface to the script from the makeup chair on our first day of shooting. The kickstand allows it to rest on my knees and type freely. I can also use it as a clapboard with the download of an app, like any other tablet, but at the same time, download all the programs I could normally only use on my laptop. When I have to carry my own wardrobe and transport props to set, it’s nice to have one lightweight device to throw in my bag and know that I’ll have my documents and programs in one place without extra bulk.

Another thing I love is having programs like SCRATCH Play which allow me to watch our 4K dailies without waiting. This is a huge convenience factor that allows my team and I to get the perfect shot without wasting precious time. It was also extremely helpful in post. Making notes for my editor and colorist cut communication time in half.

The Surface has become so infiltrated in the way I work, I can’t imagine going back.”

Watch our cool video with Amanda to see exactly how she’s using Surface Pro in her film production. Enjoy!