Best Film & TV Software Management Apps – Free Webinar

I’m excited to be moderating a fun and interactive live demo on Thursday Nov 17th, 2022 at 1pm PST that will showcase some of the best software companies that support the Film and TV industry. This will be a great opportunity to learn about new and upcoming technical solutions for production.

The Lineup

Setkeeper – Nik Bars / Business Development

Distro, sides, crew onboarding and more..

Scriptation – Laura Noxon / Product Development Manager

Mark up scripts, transfer notes

RABS – Josh Weinberg / Founder

Digital Background Vouchers

Assemble – Nate Watkin / Founder

Calendar & Task List, Asset Management & File Sharing

Conduiit – Shawn Hamilton / Founder

Accounting approval system and workflow

Wraptime – Mirko Urania / Founder

Digital Out Sheets, Crew List & Health Check

When: 

Thursday Nov 17th, 2022
1PM PST | 3PM CST | 4PM EST

*Demo will last 1HR total

Register:

Click HERE

The Calm Before the Storm

You know the feeling. It could be the weekend or the week before prep or the day before shooting. You are about to embark on a new mission that will push you, stretch you, exhaust you and lead you to learn new people and ways of doing things.

The Calm Before the Storm is the idea that you are preparing for battle. The next week or months will not be easy. They could be faced with a number of things….so it’s important to take advantage of this calmness.

It’s like preparing for a hurricane. You know it’s going to hit…you just don’t know how bad. Will it be a level 1 or level 5? Will there be flooding, loss of power or will it just be heavy rains for a time period? In preparing for a hurricane you would make sure to have enough food/water at reserve, potentially board up windows and check in on friends or family members.

While the Storm of production is often not as physically destructive as a hurricane/tornado or earth quake… the emotional stress and toll can sometimes feel like you have just been through one.

How do you prepare for the storm?

Anytime I know I may embark on a new project I like to make sure as much as my life is in order because I know the next two+ months will be solely focused on this project.

  1. Refill any medicines.
  2. Change your car’s oil, clean it and fill it with gas.
  3. Do a deep clean of your house/apt.
  4. Go shopping for clothes if you might be traveling to a climate that you aren’t fully ready for.
  5. Hang out with friends/family you won’t be able to see for a while.
  6. Get TSA Pre-check if traveling and want to reduce stress at the airport.
  7. Do something fun you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while.
  8. Go grocery shopping and stock your pantry. If traveling consider a food subscription service or an amazon fresh order.
  9. Turn off your phone for an hour or part of the day to meditate/think and not be bothered.
  10. Read a book, watch a movie, see a concert…something to get inspired.
  11. Call/text a friend and share the news of your new mission.
  12. Charge your devices, pay your bills, water the plants…anything that you might forget.

Obviously this list could be expanded to include a variety of things. The important thing to focus on is getting your shit together because it will be almost impossible to take care of personal things on day three of production.

How to make sides in 30 seconds or less

Yes its possible! You can make sides in 30 seconds or less.

Imagine it’s 9:30PM on a Thursday and you’ve had a long day on set as the 2nd AD. You are about to wrap and are trying to get the call sheet sent out as soon as wrap is called so that everyone can go to sleep with the info for tomorrow. The UPM has asked that digital sides be sent out with the call sheet so you know that if anything changes it will be paramount that these sides are made quickly by whoever does them. The 1st AD has just informed you that yes indeed they are pushing a scene and adding a pickup. The sides need to be made or re-done quickly.

7 Steps to making sides in 30 seconds or less

  1. Choose a software that can make digital sides. Two of my favorite platforms for this purpose are Croogloo and Setkeeper. Both platforms are incredible for script distro, watermarking, creating sides and more…
  2. Upload your script to the platform. Once you decide on a platform you will need to upload a CLEAN version of the script to either platform. I prefer to go into final draft, select all, clear asterisks and save the version as a clean version. Seeing asterisks on sides is oftentimes unnecessary and can make it difficult to read.
  3. Decide what scenes will be in the sides. Usually the sides are listed on the shooting schedule or one-liner, or the advance on the call sheet. Most times there will be a small change or addition that only the 1st AD and 2nd AD know about. Its best to always check with the 2nd AD before making the sides.
  4. Select the sides in the program. Login to your software and jump into the side making section. Once you are there you can choose the scenes you want to make and the order you want to list them in. I typically prefer to list them in script order because it can be confusing to look for scene 1 at the end of the sides.
  5. Decide what format you need the arrows and shading. Within these programs you can decide whether or not to gray out the previous scenes or what type of arrows to use. Graying out can be helpful, however if you have a tight budget it can make the toner waist a lot of ink.
  6. Attach the front of the Call Sheet. This can be helpful so you don’t have to do this later.
  7. Download the sides as a pdf. You will be given the option to put one or two to page. In general I like to download one to a page because I can print two to a page in printer settings (if using a mac) pretty easily. Once you have downloaded the sides you can either attach the front of the Call Sheet or print them as is and then attach the front when its ready. The easiest way to attach the front of the call sheet is to drag the pdf into pdf viewer and then click save.

Conduiit – Accounting Software to Stay Organized

A few months ago I stumbled upon some software “Conduiit” that I really wished I known about earlier.

Conduiit.app is a Cloud-based purchase order, payment request and file management system that allows production management and finance teams to work seamlessly. (taken from their website)

5 Reasons you should consider Conduiit on your next Feature or TV Series:

  1. The approval process can be stream-lined. Stop chasing down producers, line producers and UPMs and asking for a signature to approve a purchase. This platform does that all in one place with the click of a button.
  2. No more check requests without missing documents. Once logged into the platform you can see if you are missing a w9, backup or additional missing docs.
  3. It’s easy to use. You can train any department in a matter of minutes without having to put them through an extensive accounting course. Whoever on your project is submitting invoices (art coordinator, location coordinator, etc…) will have access to the platform to keep all their invoices in one place.
  4. The data can be exported into almost any accounting platform. With powerful report-building tools you can download a .csv or .xls to send to your accounting or finance team to upload into their system.
  5. Reduce email clutter. It can be easy to let a vendor payment slip through the cracks with emails that may or may not go answered. With this platform, everything is visible to production and accounting and thus cutting down on the famous… can you get them to send a w9 email?

Episode 33 – David Venghaus Jr. – Working as an AD on virtual productions

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

In this episode we talk with David H. Venghaus Jr. (@davidvenghaus on instagram) about his his experience working as an AD on films that encompass VFX, Virtual Production and new technology.

Dave is a veteran DGA 1st Assistant Director who has worked on countless movies. A few of the films that Dave has worked on include two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, A Quiet Place Part II, Spider-Man: No Way Home and many more…

Ideas to stay healthy and sane when working on location

I often travel and work on location for 2-3 months at a time. When I do travel it can be challenging to stay healthy and establish new routines.

Below I have outlined a few ideas when traveling for work.

  1. Find a trail close by your hotel / living quarters that you can go for a daily walk or bike ride (rent a bike if possible).
  2. Consider joining a local gym for one or more months. I’ve done this several times even when the local gym doesn’t typically offer short-term deals I managed to negotiate a deal.
  3. Consider doing a group work out (yoga / strength training etc) at a near by studio.  There are several apps that often have classes based on your location. One of my favorite is MindBody or ClassPass.
  4. Do yoga or push ups in your hotel room using a youtube channel or other streaming service.
  5. Go see a chiropractor and/or get a massage.
  6. Have Factor meals sent to your hotel room and eat healthy.
  7. Research to see if there are any hiking trails close by. Consider making a goal to go once a week.
  8. Go to the grocery store and stock up on healthy snacks/drinks (low sugar / low carb).
  9. Meditate daily or three times a week. Consider using Headspace or Waking Up.
  10. Look for a local church you can attend once a week.

10 software essentials for your next movie or tv show

Below is a list of 10 software/app recommendations for your next movie or tv show!

  1. Setkeeper or Croogloo for sides, distro and watermarking
  2. Cinapse for real time set updates and more
  3. RABS for digital vouchers for background
  4. WrapTime for digital crew out times and crew lists
  5. Conduiit for cloud-based accounting system to manage vendors etc.
  6. Contract Book for managing legal contracts like location agreements and actor contracts
  7. Slack for crew collaboration and cutting down emails
  8. To Doist for sharing to-dos
  9. Sync On Set for dept continuity tracking ie.. costumes and art
  10. Frame.io or Alteon for camera file uploads and dailies

What Gets Measured Gets Improved

Peter Drucker said this phrase “What Gets Measured Gets Improved” 40 years ago. There is a lot of truth to this phrase for both individuals and companies alike.

When it comes to the film industry there are tools to measure the work day and often this is formatted in the (often outdated) form of a Production Report or PR. PR’s provide a lot of useful information such as out times, reasons for delays, scene completion info, hard drive data and more. While PR’s can be helpful they are often formatted in legal format that can be difficult to parse and really determine what the real problem areas are.

Several tech companies are working on solutions that will hopefully be alternatives to the standard PR.

One of these companies “Cinapse” has recently launched an exciting product Cinapse Live. What’s unique about Cinapse Live is its ability to track real-time info for the AD Dept that is often communicated over walkies, group texts or emails.

Having real time metrics can be very critical to finding solutions to problems and communicating that information efficiently.

My favorite part of Cinapse Live is the ability to change the day’s scene orders at the click of a button and then push notify the crew who are part of the app.

Book your demo today!

Episode 31 – Brent Emery – Packaging projects and navigating film finance

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

In this episode we chat with Brent Emery (@brentalanemery on instagram) about packaging and financing projects.

About Brent Emery
Sundance award-winning producer Brent Emery brings over fifteen years of international film strategy and business consulting experience to Resonate Entertainment. He has worked extensively as an independent film finance, sales and production specialist at multiple executive posts, including U.S. Head of Co-Productions for ECI (a global entertainment company focused on Chinese Co-Productions) and Executive Vice President of Production and Development at Madonna’s Maverick Films.

During his seven years at Maverick Films, Emery oversaw development of a slate of over fifty studio and independent film and television projects. He also managed the deals of a dozen independent producers with deals at Maverick. Some projects that emerged from Emery’s tenure as an executive overseeing development include box office record breaking Twilight, which was eventually financed by Summit Entertainment, the hit film Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and the young adult hit movies Agent Cody Banks I and II.

Emery’s critically acclaimed 2015 film, The Stanford Prison Experiment, won the Alfred P. Sloan Award and Waldo Salt screenwriting award at The Sundance Film Festival. The Road Within, starring Kyra Sedgwick, produced by Emery and written and directed by Emery’s wife, Gren Wells, has garnered multiple international awards, including Best Youth Film at The Rome Film Festival.

Emery recently produced Carrie Pilby with his Resonate cofounders, Suzanne Farwell and Susan Cartsonis.

About Resonate Entertainment
Resonate Entertainment is an innovative new entertainment company formed by film industry leaders who bring their unparalleled combination of creative filmmaking, technical production and film finance expertise to their company. They have a commitment to female gender representation and inclusion, and develop, finance and produce high-quality commercial films in all genres for the underserved yet highly lucrative female audience.

Links Mentioned:

Box Office Mojo
Slated
Cine Story
Studio System
Slack