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Forums Letters to the COW Team Beta testers for new iPad app

  • Beta testers for new iPad app

  • James Woodman

    June 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Dear COW team,

    I’m looking for beta testers for a new iPad app that’s designed to simplify filming and interviewing — particularly when you’re working solo. Would you mind if I posted a request for volunteers? If so, which forum do you suggest?

    This is not a big commercial project — I shoot and interview on my own and wrote this to make my life easier. I think others would find it useful too.

    Thanks in advance. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best wishes,


  • Tim Wilson

    June 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    We normally don’t do this, but I like the sound of your specific thing. I also really appreciate you taking the time to ask. That alone tells me that you’re somebody I’d like to help if I can.

    To try to pin down the right forum, tell me more about the work you do, and who you think will benefit most. Be specific. I know the goal is “everyone” but you have to start somewhere. 🙂


    Tim Wilson
    Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
    Creative COW

  • James Woodman

    June 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you, Tim — I appreciate the positive reply.

    In a nutshell, this is an app for logging an interview as you record it, so that when you start editing you can jump straight to the bits you need.

    I produce and direct communications and training videos for a range of clients in the UK. My background is in TV news, and my approach often involves a quick turnaround — I tend to shoot and edit on the same day so that I’ve got a first cut ready to show the following morning.

    Usually I know exactly which soundbites I want to use from the interviews, but I don’t know where they’re located in the rushes. Sometimes I sit in a hotel room thinking “I know there was a great quote from him/her, but where on earth was it?” … and I have to watch the entire interview to track down a 25-second clip and to make sure I haven’t missed any gems.

    The app lets me set up a number of keywords or topics for an interview — which also serve as useful prompts whilst I’m filming. Hit record on the camera, start the clock on the iPad, and then you can mark each topic as you ask the question. And when the interviewee gives you the perfect quote, hit the ‘star’ button and mark that spot. When you’ve finished, the app generates a detailed take-by-take log with timecodes for every topic and every ‘star’.

    You can sync the timecode to the camera before you start, use time of day, or shift the timecode in the edit to match the log to your rushes. It speeds life up no end.

    It worth pointing out that it could be used for logging anything — but if you’re filming something more dynamic than an interview or press conference then you’d almost certainly want someone else to push the buttons for you whilst you were operating the camera.

    At this stage I’d be very happy to find a few interested iPad users who are willing to beta test it and let me know whether they find it as useful as I do. If they like it — or if they suggest improvements — then I’ll be in a good position to submit it to the App Store.

    I hope that gives you a good idea of what I’m working on — but just let me know if I can tell you anything else. Thanks again for your help.

    Best wishes,


  • James Woodman

    July 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Hello again, Tim — I hope you’re well. I thought I’d drop you a note to let you know that my iPad app is now in the App Store.

    Initial responses are good — I’ve just had an e-mail from Larry Jordan saying that: “This is a very cool idea to solve the problem of keeping track of what you’re shooting while you’re shooting it.”

    If you’re still interested in the project and would like a short video demo then have a look here:

    I don’t know of any other software that does the same job, and I’m keen to spread the word. I’d be very glad to hear any suggestions or feedback.

    Best wishes,


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