As we move further into the age of digital technology, certain methods for completing crucial filmmaking tasks are beginning to seem outdated, anachronistic even.
Production scheduling and sending out call sheets by email is one glaring example. Some people have problems opening up the call sheet attachments. Some people just don't check their email. Inevitably, this leads to round upon round of followup emails and phone calls between the producer or unit production manager and the cast/crew. In 2015, a time when almost all of us are constantly connected to our devices in some way or another, this process seems time-consuming and full of redundancies, especially from a producer's perspective.
A new startup called Studio Binder is looking to simplify the production scheduling process. Here's how it works:
Although there are already cloud-based production management solutions out there — even some incredibly robust ones like Production Minds — few of them are affordable for those of us with minuscule budgets. And some of them even charge a premium for automated call sheet services like what Studio Binder offers. Add to that the fact that some of them pack in loads of complex features like crew payment services that never end up getting used for lower budget productions. While none of that is necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't bode well for simplicity or for paying only for the features you need.
Besides offering the basic scheduling features free (there will be a premium version as well), Studio Binder provides an easy-to-use platform that pars production scheduling down to its most basic elements. It doesn't attempt to be an all-in-one tool that handles every single aspect of production management. Instead, it focuses on good scheduling and call sheets, and it also stores cast and crew information (dietary restrictions, actor measurements for the costume department, payment preferences) in one convenient cloud-based location.
So far, we just know that Studio Binder will be a "freemium" app, and it's not clear which features will be included in the free version, or how much the premium version will cost. With that said, we'll keep you updated as soon as that information becomes available. The service is set to launch sometime in the next few weeks, so if you're interested in trying Studio Binder on your next production, head over to their site, enter your email address, and they will notify you upon launch.