July 26, 2012

Get Rid of Paper Waste with the ikan Cinema Forms iPad App

Though ikan has traditionally been involved in hardware and rigs, they have now designed their own iPad app. Having a professional looking call sheet or talent release can go a long way when you're on location. If you've ever been a UPM or Producer, you know that it can be a pain working with the loads of paperwork. The new app, called Cinema Forms, tries to simplify that entire process and keep it all electronic. If you do eventually need paper copies, the app can sync with iCloud and Dropbox, as well as send the forms through email.

The app comes with 10 templates when you purchase, and you can purchase additional form bundles via the in-app Form Shop with over 90 forms to choose from. Here are those 10:

1. Call Sheet
2. Breakdown Sheet
3. Shot Log
4. Talent Release Form
5. Location Release Form
6. Location Scout Worksheet
7. Asset Inventory Log
8. Cast Contact List
9. Crew Contact List
10. Pre-production checklist

While this is useful for professionals and amateurs alike, it could definitely come in handy for those just starting out in film production who aren't quite sure which forms they really need or what they are supposed to look like. The templates are also fully searchable, so if you need to find a specific form but it's been lost in the mix, you can use search terms to find it. You can also get signatures right in the app using your finger (which isn't as nice), or one of the many capacitive stylus devices out there.

Paper has always been the sure thing, but technology is slowly but surely starting to creep its way into every facet of filmmaking. At $10, the app with those first templates is about the money you'd save on making hundreds paper copies of forms. Many productions, companies, and workers will still want hard copies of everything, but it's looking like Cinema Forms could simplify workflows for plenty of people out there.

You can find out more about the app on the Cinema Forms website, and you can download it right now from the app store using the link below.

Links: Cinema Forms - App Store & Cinema Forms - Website

Disclosure: ikan is a No Film School advertiser.

Your Comment


Very cool. Integration will be slow paced probably, just like all technologies and not to mention the trust of electronic over paper. Paper is definitely more reliable than an ipad if dropped from 10 feet and the battery won't die. Not to mention finding an internet connection to keep things going smoothly. I love seeing things in their adolescence though. Gets me excited for the future.

July 26, 2012 at 11:47AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I disagree. People think of paper as more trustworthy, but a piece of paper will burn. You lose the paper, you're lost...you lose the iPad...you're out $600, with your data all there, if you've been backing up. I've been in a house fire...paper didn't make it, but stuff on servers was just fine. More and more places accept digital signatures.

Forging is always an "issue" some people have with digital...but forging in the real world is just as prevalent.

Even signing something on a digital pad could become more secure than paper: it's possible (though I haven't seen it implemented yet) to log keystrokes...so a good forger could make fake your signature, but would never know if you dot the i's at the end of both words, or at the end of each word...etc...

August 9, 2012 at 10:52PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Daniel Mimura

This is great– but I would like to see this become a universal app. Or even a desktop version would be nice for those without iPads.

July 26, 2012 at 1:36PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


10 dollars for an app? Really?

July 26, 2012 at 2:26PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

john jeffreys

I don't get it. Are you saying that's expensive or cheap?

August 9, 2012 at 10:53PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Daniel Mimura

It just makes so much sense, doesn't it? The amount of paper wasted is just staggering on some shows. And isn't it easier anyways?

July 26, 2012 at 2:39PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Thank you Joe and the nofilmschool team for sharing our story!

I’m James from ikan and I’m the lead developer for Cinema Forms. This app evolved out of our own internal need to minimize paperwork and streamline our video production workflows. We are committed to supporting this app for the long term. This means that there will be a steady stream of new features and new templates to choose from (form requests welcomed!).

And yes, we are definitely looking into making it a universal app as well as bringing it to Android.

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from users and testers. If you have question, suggestions, or issues, please don’t hesitate to reach us at software@ikancorp.com or call 713.272.8822. We’ll get back to you very promptly.

July 26, 2012 at 2:48PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Any thoughts about supporting imports from scheduling software like Movie Magic Scheduler? This would make it a total killer-app for me...

July 26, 2012 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Or, to be more specific, entering everything into a scheduling package like MMS is a monumental task, so I'm not going to start over and enter everything again into another piece of software, because I couldn't justify that time. But, if I can import the data and generate call sheets, etc., automatically, it suddenly becomes an advantage over paper. What I'd *really* like, and haven't really been able to find yet, is a shooting to-do-list, where I can queue up a list of the shots I want to make for each scene so I can tick them off (or choose to abandon them), and have the software tell me whether we are ahead or behind on the day. But... and it's a big but... I need to be able to import that, because entering it on an iPad is just too onerous.

If I was shooting a 3 to 10 minute short, this is probably moot because it wouldn't be a big deal. But, on an indie feature, there is just too much data.

July 26, 2012 at 5:14PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


July 26, 2012 at 5:29PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

Ooo... looks really cool. I'll check it out, thanks! Don't know how I missed this one. :-)

July 26, 2012 at 7:59PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Apparently, Apple products are the sole products used by filmmakers. Make it universal for f**k's sake.

July 26, 2012 at 6:13PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I'm not aware of any android or windows tablets that are as well designed and ubiquitous as the iPad, are you? Because those are the factors that drive developers to a platform.

July 27, 2012 at 3:37AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

john jeffreys

So if apple products are the sole products used by filmmakers...it *is* universal!

August 9, 2012 at 10:58PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Daniel Mimura

Looks like my iPad just got smarter. Thank's for the tip!

July 27, 2012 at 5:26AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Interested. Just waiting for an Android or Desktop version.

July 27, 2012 at 5:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM