By Margarita Sophia Cortes
Our new column asks our members about their favorite tool, software, article of clothing, shoes on set, favorite scriptwriting software, etc.
Kathryn O’Kane – television director and producer
What is the one thing you can’t live without in production?
I LOVE a wipe board. Worlds are created on wipe boards. Recently I went to a meeting at Viacom, and the conference room had an entire wipe board wall. My fingers nearly tingled as we covered it in color-coded ideas by the end of the brainstorm session.
What are the essential tools in your production kit on location?
Comfortable shoes and a big tote to hold my phone, questions, callsheet and a pencil to adjust the schedule as the timing of the day shifts. I bought some awesome boots that feel like sneakers when I was going back and forth to Georgia to film on set of The Walking Dead, so I call them my zombie shoes. I’ve replaced them twice already because my feet feel great in them.
What do you do for nourishment?
On the road, I always have a poached egg on toast for breakfast before coming to set. It’s like a ritual. I can’t really eat much on shoot days, so the protein keeps me going until we break. Also, I try to figure out what my crew loves. When filming in Texas earlier this year, I had a small doc crew who were crazy for Topo Chico mineral water, so we made sure to stock it for the duration.
What do you bring to help de-stress?
Fitbit tracks my steps throughout the day and reminds me to walk around when I have a full day of sit-down interviews to conduct. And I have a couple of games on my phone which are a necessary distraction sometimes.
What’s the most out of the ordinary thing in your toolkit?
In this increasingly digital age, I still really like to work on paper. Writing in the margins, highlighting passages, and scribbling down notes really help me retain information. And studies have shown that using pen and paper boosts memory, so I’m sticking with it.
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