August 17, 2011

Vortex i-ScriptBoy timecode logger

Until a few years ago, Vortex Communications manufactured the ScriptBoy Wireless Timecode Clipboard. It was "well-liked and hundreds are probably still in regular use," said Vortex director, Ian Prowse. "Then the RoHS lead-free directive came along, which meant that our custom-produced LCD Display was no longer allowed to be used in the product and the whole setup cost for a re-fabrication would have been prohibitive."

The original ScriptBoy used a licence-free wireless transmitter attached to the camera, which sent timecode as it was recorded to the “clipboard” where it was displayed in real-time, allowing users to hold the count whilst making production notes.

"This year, we are introducing a tablet/smartphone version which is based on the original concept but also includes comprehensive notes and pre-editing script functionality," he added. This is in response to continued demand for the clipboard, with almost weekly enquiries.

The new i-ScriptBoy works in a similar way to the legacy product, with stacks of extra features, but maintains the functionality production teams are used to. The Timecode Transmitter is now WiFi, and sends information from the camera to web-connected devices. Like the original, the timecode display can be paused, but the app also includes Shot and Take buttons to capture timecode automatically and store in the Notes area for later export to editing and logging systems.

The Notes Editor stores text from the NotePad and images from the DoodlePad so that the final stored notes file resemble those using pen and paper. It will work with any mobile device with a web browser (the transmitter contains its own web site), from an iPhone to a laptop.

The Transmitter synchronises all devices accessing the site and shares Timecode and Notes information in real time, providing coherent sets of notes and timings that all can see and update. An optional timecode re-generator can synchronize multiple cameras and other equipment that needs to be locked to the same timecode.

The i-ScriptBoy also comes as a package with a pre-loaded tablet to work out-of-the-box.

By David Fox

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