Hi, I’m John , the creator of Sesh Release, a failed iPhone app for production releases. I’ve thought a lot about what was wrong with Sesh Release and similar apps in the App Store.
Actually signing releases worked well, but it failed because it took too long to complete forms. It was awful for releasing groups of people.
728 people signed up, downloaded, created accounts, and almost everyone had disappointing experiences but they were too polite (or didn’t care enough) to post honest feedback in the App Store.
Signatures could only be collected in the iPhone app, so releasing multiple people meant individually handing them my phone (the only phone with the app installed) one by one.
The business was a failure because like other production release form options in the App Store, it doesn’t really get the job done. Despite my best efforts, it wasn’t very useful on most shoots.
One reason e-signature apps in the App Store are difficult to use for many types of productions is because they require signing on a phone that’s already downloaded their app.
You might think if anyone can make a decent digital signature app it’d be a multi-billion dollar tech company like Adobe. Turns out their app has been described as “garbage.” (pictured)
When it comes to reviews, general advice is to sort by the most critical or lowest rated reviews (i.e. 1/5 stars) and you’ll find the most truth and unbiased insights.
Just looking at recent reviews, the Abode Sign feedback illustrates how App Store apps can be ill-equipped to tackle the unique challenges of groups you just met quickly filling out your form in person.
After the failed first attempt at solving the digital release form problem, I burned the old app to the ground and started a completely new app from scratch.
Release Form.app was designed specifically for production releases and it’s not in the App Store. It’s a website that’s the easiest way to complete releases and comparisons prove it.
Being successful on the second attempt meant approaching the problem differently than everything in the App Store. To build a successful release form app, we needed to not have an app.
More specifically, needed to not actually have a native downloadable iPhone or Android app.
Alternatively, the solution needed a web app, a way for anyone to sign any form from a website on their own phone without downloading anything.
The biggest lesson learned from building a failed App Store app was that the hard part about completing releases on a phone isn’t actually signing them, it’s having people you just met quickly fill out your specific form in person. With the help of a very talented team, we solved that problem.
ReleaseForm.app does a lot of smart things, but nothing’s more important than being the easiest way to collect and review releases on set.
Since the App Store choices aren’t great, what should you do?
There are three options:
Keep using paper & pen while knowing there has to be a better way – a production manager for Lip Sync Battle told me, “I’ve been doing paper releases and I want to stab myself in the face. lol”
Hack around with an electronic signature app built for Realtors, lawyers, or yoga studios and hopefully there’s sort of a way to make it work decent enough for some of your shoots.
Check out a new website where anyone can complete your releases from their own phones without downloading anything. It’s right here at www.releaseform.app
What differentiates ReleaseForm.app
from DocuSign, HelloSign, SignNow, SignEasy, AdobeSign, etc.
Quickly release groups
Anyone can quickly complete forms on their own phone, optimal for releasing large or small groups. Other e-signature apps require an email exchange or their downloaded app to complete forms – impractical for most productions.
Review completed releases on set
An unlimited number of freelance or staff PA’s, AD’s, coordinators, AP’s, etc. can easily review signed releases on set to make sure they’re completed correctly. Questionable ones can be flagged for a production manager to review later.
Show/project specific billing, flexibility for short or long term projects, automatic sorting by release type (appearance, location, minor, etc.), suited for W-9 freelances and production staff.
Flat monthly price
One predictable flat monthly price regardless of the number of users, amount of people collecting releases, blank release form templates uploaded, or completed release forms filled out. Cancel anytime.
Your first project is on us for 90 days.