Enabling efficient live scheduling for film industry press events.
Special Treats is a small London production company with a long standing leading global position in the production of film industry press events. This involves working closely with Hollywood studios and the world's most prominent film stars.
Typically events take place across multiple hotel rooms where talent is interviewed on camera by a long list of international television journalists from the worlds film review programs.
Complexity can increase very rapidly with journalists moving between rooms, interviews running over, talent and staff taking breaks, and an almost infinite number of technical challenges involving camera and sound equipment, hotel wifi, lighting and timing.
Ideation started with our usual method of sketching, this helps us to communicate ideas without the overly deterministic and distracting nature of digital interactions getting in the way. In conversations with Special Treats producers these sketches developed rapidly, often through live drawing, holding pieces of paper up to the Zoom camera for comment!
Three key aspects emerged during prototyping; liveness, categorisation, and permissions. Liveness can be one of the most difficult technical characteristics to achieve. Network latency, device variation, and human decision-making run at different speeds. True live is hard! We solved this with some neat technical fixes involving data rates, network usage optimisation, and device agnosticism.
Digital prototyping and close collaboration with Special Treats producers allowed the right information hierarchies and time sensitivities to emerge as the interactive prototype gained fidelity. Multiple levels of permission for each screen meant thinking carefully about how the system assigns tasks; to whom, for how long, and at what level of detail.
As the prototype was updated and improved we were able to port changes across to the live system. Focusing on interface last meant we had a robust set of interactions and features to present to client and gain feedback. As the industry slowly recovers, this system will prove an invaluable time and budget saving tool.