Q: Why do I need continuity software?
A: SavingFace was developed as an alternative to the old school "makeup charts" and "continuity books" compiled in the makeup and hair department. All your continuity photos and data are saved digitally on your computer, eliminating the need to copy details long hand, print photos and save pages in plastic sleeves in heavy, cumbersome binders. The software can generate reports that replace the makeup charts, detail any continuity issues that are noted and the entire "book" can then be saved on your hard drive and you can hand Production a digital "book" on a CD. No more printers, ink, batteries, or photo paper necessary. The software saves your data and photos as well as saving money, paper and power- an added bonus for those of us concerned about doing our part to offset our carbon footprints.

Q: I often work in remote locations. Do I need an internet connection to run the software?
A: An internet connection is necessary to install the software on your computer for the first time, but the programme runs without one.

Q: Do you have both PC and Mac versions?
A: Yes. SavingFace can be purchased for either the Mac OS or Windows.

Q: Can I network more than one computer running the software? I need to be able to allow my assistants access to my data in the trailer.
A: Yes. If you and your assistant have your computers networked, you will both be able to view and add data to the programme.

Q: So, can I network and share the software with the hairstylist on the trailer, too?
A: Yes, if both of your computers are networked, you can enter the makeup data and the hairstylist can enter the hair data and all the details will be compiled.

Q: What if the hairstylist has a PC laptop and I have a Mac?
A: Yes, you can still access the same network as long as you both have browsers.

Q: Can I email charts, reports or pictures from the software?
A: Yes. The makeup charts include the pertinent photos and can be attached to any email message. The reports are in PDF format and can also be attached to email messages. Therefore, any information you need to share with your team can be exchanged through email.

Q: Do I need special photo software to use this programme?
A: No. All you have to do is upload your continuity shots, save them to your hard drive. The programme will allow you to browse directly to them to upload from your computer into the programme. The process is much the same if you use a built-in camera. Just save the photo and upload it.

Q: I'm pretty much computer illiterate. Is this going to be too hard for me?
A: Not at all. The software is very easy to use, even for computer neophytes

Q: Is technical support available?
A: The programme comes with a comprehensive helpfile. Email support is available within 24 hours, if needed. We also have 'how to videos' (screencasts) on our website and are adding more all the time.

Q: I'm really just a one-man department, working on really small low-budget films. I'm the one doing makeup and hair- I almost never have an assistant. Why would I need this software?
A: This software is especially beneficial to an artist in your position. You have to keep all your own continuity notes anyway, the "match to scene" and "merge" functions will save you valuable time- allowing you to copy and paste data from one scene to another and from one character to another in the same scene. Not having to print photos saves you having to run a printer and use expensive photo paper and ink cartridges, saving your department's budget a lot of money that could well be spent elsewhere.

Q: What is the life of a writable CD? Will my data last as long as a paper book?

A: There is no easy answer to this question. There has been a lot of misinformation and speculation on the internet about the lifespan of these discs and there currently is no definitive answer. Their longevity varies greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the type and quality of the disc, the quality of the recording and how the discs are stored. The current thinking is that if one uses the highest quality disc available; checks the data AFTER recording to be certain all the information is there; labels the disc safely; and stores it in a dark-coloured jewel case (bright light contributes to the degradation of the coatings on the discs), vertically, away from heat and humidity, that the disc will outlast the technology. For more information on this complicated subject, there are many articles online, including: http://www.melbpc.org.au/pcupdate/2106/2106article14.htm
http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub121/sec5.html
http://www.mscience.com/survey.html.
The bottom line is that technology is always changing. Your best bet is going to be to re-copy your critical data every few years, as technology changes. For now, keeping a backup copy on a USB flash drive may be a smart move.


Q: This software is a bit pricey for me. How can I justify the cost?
A: Price is always going to be relative- what is costly for some is a drop in the bucket to someone else. The bottom line is whether the value of something can offset its cost. One way to look at it is the software's price vs. the savings of your time. Another thing to consider is its cost per use- the more times it is used, the less it costs you over time. But let's look at the facts. Every project is different- a feature film is obviously going to cost more than a short. A television series that runs three seasons or more will obviously cost more than a film. Let's do the math. The average cost of a large 3 D-ring binder is $9.99 a box of 200 8 1/2 x 11protective plastic sleeves costs $16.99; a pad of 36 continuity stickers is $12.50; a ream of paper, $36.99 100 sheets of 4x6 glossy photo paper and 1 cartridge of tricolour photo printer ink value pack: about $34.99. Conservatively estimating a 500 page continuity book for a feature film project, the cost breakdown would be as follows:
Binder: $9.99
500 Plastic Sleeves: (2.5 x 16.99) $42.48
Continuity Stickers: (13.88 x 12.50) $173.50
Ream of Paper: $36.99
Photo Paper & Ink: (5 x 34.99) $174.95
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Total: $437.91
This is a per project cost, that means every feature film you do, will cost somewhere in that range. This doesn't take into account the time and resources necessary to do the shopping for the supplies; the space to store them; print, dry and collate the photos and pages into the book. The cost per project far exceeds the one-time cost of purchasing SavingFace Software!
*Average costs in US dollars- individual costs will vary based on project, location and method/supplies used.

Q: So PRODUCTION saves money, how do I benefit?
A: Be creative. This is an investment in your business. If you're saving a production money on office supplies, not to mention billable hours (in time saved to do your job), talk to them about sharing the cost. Break it down for them- show the savings, perhaps they will consider shifting the money from your department's office supply budget to its makeup supply budget or even reimbursing part or all of the cost of the software. Don't forget that this software will change the way business has been done in the past. Talk to your accountant about writing off the cost of the programme as a business expense.