Film and video production is a difficult and complicated business. Productions of all sizes — independent, corporate, or broadcast — require that producers build a team, find equipment, locations, and other resources, and create and execute a plan that will turn their script into a successful production. Achieving this success requires serious project management skills, and, increasingly, serious tools for managing these productions.
ProductionNext was designed to provide such a set of tools to film and video producers:
- At the core of ProductionNext is an integrated set of tools to support producers as they plan and execute a production. Starting with a screenplay document, ProductionNext could derive a set of scenes, characters and locations, and create the foundation for organizing those scenes into a schedule. Other tools supported such tasks as budgeting, breakdown, storyboards, shot lists, and the management of locations, equipment, props, wardrobe, and other parts of a project. These tools were built on top of a common database, so that changes in one area would ripple through the project and automatically adjust all the others.
- Filmmaking is a collaborative art, and so ProductionNext was built as a collaborative, cloud-based application. Producers could invite key members of their production team to join their project on ProductionNext, and give them access to those parts of the project that corresponded to their roles. Producers could then send reports, schedules, and other documents to their cast and crew members to keep them informed about the state of the production.
- The collaborative sense of filmmaking extends beyond the borders of the immediate project: Filmmakers must be able to reach out to the broader filmmaking community to promote their work, develop their skills and career, recruit new colleagues, and look for investors and new job opportunities. To this end, ProductionNext offered its members publicly visible project and personal profiles, shareable videos and journal posts, and direct support for groups of geographically or thematically related filmmakers.
From 2015 to 2020, ProductionNext provided these services to almost 1000 producers. As CEO, I was responsible for the overall vision and direction of ProductionNext, including product strategy, business planning, and corporate management. I was also responsible for all the software development of the ProductionNext site.