Tell me if this has happened to you. You have a script for a short or a feature, but you’re trying to figure out how much it’s going to cost. You sit with your producer and work to map it out, but instead, you wind up sending messy Excel docs back and forth and have trouble figuring out which one is the latest draft or even relevant. 

Well, during NAB 2023, I spoke with a guy who has a solution for that. His name is Jens Jacob, and his company, Saturation, had the solution I was looking to find. 

What does this tool do, and why did the whole NFS staff love it? Let's get into it.

Saturation_budget_interface_-_projectsCredit: Saturation

What’s Saturation? 

I’ll go into detail, but I just asked Jens Jacob, the CEO of Saturation how he would describe it. He told me, “The platform streamlines financial management, allowing for real-time collaboration, automation, and actualization. Think of it as Google Sheets meets Movie Magic, with a focus on making your film production process more efficient and cost-effective.”

After playing with Saturation, this is how I would classify the software. 

Saturation is production management software that allows you to budget, track payments, and collaborate with others. 

It’s specifically designed to streamline the film budgeting process, offering a cloud-based platform for seamless collaboration, powerful integrations, and robust features tailored to the needs of the film industry.

You can share it back and forth with your team in a seamless way. And the best part is, if you’re using Movie Magic budgeting, you can actually transport those files into Saturation to use them there as well. 

That interchangeability is what sets it apart. I feel like you could easily incorporate this into your standard workflow and not miss a beat. 

Saturation_production_managment_solutionCredit: Saturation

Who Should Use It? 

Saturation is designed for film professionals at all levels, including: 

  • Independent filmmakers looking for an easy-to-use and affordable budgeting solution.

  •  Line producers and production managers seeking a collaborative tool for managing project finances. 

  • Production Companies that require scalable, customizable budgeting software for their diverse portfolio of projects.

What Does it Cost? 

Right now, there’s a free version of Saturation. When I spoke with Jens Jacob, he told me he intends for there always to be one. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of the per-month subscription, it’s great for people starting out or working on smaller budgets. 

Jacob elaborated, saying “I didn't go to film school. I learned a lot of what I know by educating myself through free trials and software. That's why I always want there to be a free version for people to learn production. Gatekeeping tools as value is a thing of the past.”

So What Do You Get for Free?

The free version of Saturation gives you the ability to work on one project at a time and 1,000 Account Items. You also get 2GB Storage and advanced budgeting software. 

For the $20 a month option, you still get one seat but also unlimited projects, 10,000 Account Items, 100GB Storage, and a collaboration tool to work with others. 

For $65 a month, you get everything previously listed. 3 Seats, unlimited account items, 1TB storage, workspace collaboration, access control, and 20 additional seats a month. 

Saturation_app_interface_-_actualizing_costsCredit: Saturation

What Do We Think? 

As someone working on my own independent projects on the side, I thought this really streamlined my planning and ideation. I was able to play with sharing budgets and line items among collaborators. 

I'm not a numbers guy, but this made it much easier. The platform is designed to cater to films, TV, commercials, and music videos  so really anyone could be using it. 

I would encourage you to at least sign up for the free version and play around with it. 

Summing Up Saturation 

I feel like I don’t have to go overboard endorsing this stuff because there’s a free version. The best thing you can do is test it out and see if it fits your lifestyle. What I loved about places like NAB is that you can network with creators who have tools you may have never found on your own. 

I’m glad I met Jens Jacob and got to play with Saturation. 

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the comments.