Making sense of your life with the Sunrise Calendar app

The one constant I’ve had throughout the years in my digital workflow is using Google Calendar for scheduling my scouts, meetings, Tech Scouts, production shoots, etc. And now I just started using Sunrise Calendar on my iPhone which brings about a whole new way to visualize, create, edit and aggregate several different services into one calendar.

The calendar’s default view is Agenda View, whereby you see all of the day’s events from earliest at the top to latest at the bottom. It even includes a little weather icon with temperature for morning, afternoon and evening.

The greatest feature for me is the ability to choose which navigation app can launch when you tap the address of an event. You can pick between Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze. I choose the latter since I’ve been a Wazer for almost 5 years and love it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 8.29.27 AM

Best of all: the app is absolutely free.

Download it here for iOS.

Download it here for Android.

Daylight Savings = Update Your Camera

Fellow Photographers and Location Scouts,

If your workflow is anything like mine, you rely on knowing exactly when you took a certain photo. Especially when organizing scout photos from several locations at the end of the day.

Therefore, with Daylight Savings you should update your camera’s time and date settings.


What is the TMZ?

A lot of people think that TMZ is just a channel or show when in fact it’s an acronym for Thirty Mile Zone. This comes from the movie studios in Hollywood getting together with the labor unions to define a 30-mile zone with an epicenter at the corner of Beverly Blvd and La Cienega Bl – where the offices for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers used to be. Any production work done outside this zone is considered a “long-distance location”.

As a Location Scout working in Los Angeles it’s important to always check that a location lies within this zone. And the best way to do that is with Film LA’s handy tool:

Zone Map

Zone Map

For more info on the TMZ of here.

The Best Photo Website for Scouts & Photographers

As a Location Scout you need to be able to post aaaaaaaalllllll those photographed (or archived) locations in a very quick amount of time onto a website of some sort at the end of your day. Typically this is a private website that is only shared with your client, producers, department, etc…

There are many photo-sharing sites out there that simply don’t fit the needs (or the professional look) required by scouts. Except for SmugMug, whose recent revamp in the last year or so has really hit the mark for scouts and photographers alike. It offers many different customizable templates, which make it easier than ever to get your website to stand out above the rest.

And to top it off, Adobe Lightroom has the ability to publish photos to SmugMug without you even leaving the software. No FTP software required; saving you time, RAM, and coffee. But I always check and make sure it all looks right in a browser, before sending off the link to the powers that be.

Here is the landing page on my website:

And if you’re interested, here is a referral link for SmugMug.

Mileage Log app by @Contrast

I’ve used a few mileage tracking apps on my iPhone but my favorite at the moment is Mileage Log by Contrast. It doesn’t have a GPS feature, but I don’t like using GPS for mileage since I almost always have a navigation app on that’s hogging my cellular data.

You can either input your odometer start and finish readings (which, as a Scout, is what I do at the beginning and end of my day), or starting and ending addresses. You can track multiple cars and also track if it’s mileage for business, medical, or charity. And you can customize the amounts as well as add new categories.

Without further a due (is that how you write that phrase?):

Mileage Log

Business Mileage Rate Increase in 2015

Working as a Location Scout in and around Los Angeles, California, I sometimes drive 500 miles in one week. And there are plenty of other scouts out there who drive a whole lot more.

So if you live in the US, and you drive your car for work (commuting to and from the same office everyday doesn’t count, sorry), then you are entitled to a reimbursement for the mileage your car takes. That rate is adjusted year-to-year and I suggest you talk to a professional accountant about how to deduct it from your taxes, if your company isn’t paying you for them. The new 2015 rate has gone up to $0.575/mile.

More info on this Forbes article here.

Stay tuned as I’ll let you know which is my current favorite mileage tracking app.