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Film Project Management


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Title: Film Project Management

Film Project Management
  • Olga A. Burukina, PhD
  • Associate Professor
  • Project Management Department
  • Moscow, March 2014

  • Film project processes
  • Optimizing Project Delivery Strategy
  • Agile Methodology
  • "MoSCoW" approach
  • Waterfall Model
  • Timeboxing
  • Infowit Creative Manager
  • Available Software Programs

  • To let the learners get acquainted with basic
    film project management approaches and
  • To develop learners understanding of PM
    application in filmmaking industry
  • To develop learners competences in creative
    industries PM
  • To develop a network of professional creative
    project managers
  • To establish fundamentals for a network of
    professional film project managers

Film Project Manager
  • The line producer, or production manager.
  • This project manager has to work in coordination
  • the films director and
  • producer,
  • while leading the production staff as well.

Basic Project Processes
  • initiating,
  • planning,
  • executing,
  • monitoring and controlling,
  • closing

Initiating Stage
  • First process of film production development
    stage there is a thought or concept created onto
    which the film will be based
  • then, this tiny thought is expanded into a much
    larger screenplay, which is the deliverable of
    this process.
  • This stage can last for a very long time and can
    be repeated various times until all the
    stakeholders are content with the screenplay.
  • The screenplay is similar to what the scope of a
    project is.
  • Also in this stage, an approximate budget is
    created in accordance with the financers and
    actors are selected for roles in the film.

Planning Stage
  • In this process, also known as pre-production
    for films, the line producer makes the actual and
    more detailed budget.
  • Further, all the resources that are needed for
    the film are obtained, including the hiring of
    crew members.
  • Also, a schedule is created to estimate the
    length of all activities and to avoid any
    limitations, such as talent schedule, costs,
    release dates, locations, daylight.
  • Some helpful budget and schedule templates can be
    used, such as the Gantt Chart.
  • All aspects of the film are considered in this
    process, including background score, songs, and
    costumes. Finally, the strategy and preparation
    of promoting the film begins.

The Gantt Chart Sample
Executing Stage
  • This is the process where the film is actually
    shot and everything that was planned is carried
  • In addition, the film is edited and credits,
    graphics, and visual effects are added to it.
  • This process can also be referred to as
    production and post-production and takes
    approximately a year or two to complete depending
    on each films various aspects.

Monitoring and Controlling Stage
  • While the entire film production process is going
    on, the line producer continuously makes sure
    everything is going as planned and the film is
    following the script.
  • However, if any process is going against what was
    promised and planned with the stakeholders, such
    as producers, director, crew members, and the
    studio organization, the line producer has to
    find out what the cause of this problem is and
    try to fix it to get the film back to how it was
    supposed to be.
  • One example of seeing if the film is going as
    planned is to see the rushes of the film and
    show them to all the stakeholders.

Closing Stage
  • At this last process of film production project,
    there are special screenings of a film held for
    certain stakeholders to see if the film has met
    all the objectives they asked for and to review
    the film.
  • Also, after the project product, which is the
    film, has been approved by the producers, who are
    the main sponsors, it can be marketed and
    promoted for a theatrical release.

A Film Team Work Overview
  • an Executive Producer controlling the chequebook
  • a Producer furnishing the idea, financing and
    arranging the deals
  • a Director to control the Art
  • a Completion Bondsman as the finance guarantor
  • a Line Producer who is the Project Manager
  • a Production Manager controlling day to day
    budgeting and accounting
  • a First Assistant Director managing the set and
    shooting schedule
  • and a Script Supervisor to ensure continuity and
    doing the reporting.

Film-making Process
  • Pre-production
  • Hire crew, cast talent and scout shoot locations.
  • Upload and store relevant photographs and
    information logically with simple casting and
    location modules.
  • Archive valuable information for future use.
  • Budget for above and below the line expenditures
    and track investor or client contributions with
  • Work Together
  • Collaborate effortlessly with your production
    crew and project stakeholders no matter their
  • Assign and track tasks, milestones and project
    notes in real time.
  • Allow your team to contribute to the production
    plan and own the execution.

Film-making Process-2
  • Production
  • Schedule your film production to tasks and
  • Link this to a detailed shoot list.
  • Breakdown and storyboard.
  • With simple casting and location modules you can
    cast and keep all your talent.
  • Upload images and information.
  • Store releases and production material.
  • Post and Distribution
  • Manage any large digital media collection and
    collate to post produce your project.
  • Utilize tools to assist your distribution plan
    and distribution channel tracking.
  • If a channel is identified as successful, easily
    position it for your other projects.

Film Production in a Nutshell
  • Preproduction
  • Comprehensive Project Planning, Casting Talent
    Management, Location Scouting, Crew Equipment,
  • Photography
  • 35mm/16mm Film Production, HD/SD Video
    Production Multiple Formats, Still Photography
    Large Format Digital
  • Post Production
  • HD/SD Real Time, Non-Linear Editing, 2D/3D Motion
    Graphics Animation, Audio Post Production
  • Distribution
  • Output to Tape, Blu Ray, DVD CD, Broadcast
    Quality Video, Web Streaming

Project Goal Management A Film Maker's
  • To find financing for a big film,
  • Make a simple, yet successful film to create a
    good reputation and attract investment.
  • Example
  • This year, the historical epic film "Warriors of
    the Rainbow Seediq Bale," a Taiwanese film, was
    submitted for a nomination for a 2012 Academy
    Award, a top movie prize in the United States,
    for best foreign-language film.
  • To fulfill this goal, Mr. Te-Sheng directed "Cape
    No. 7" in 2008. It generated box office returns
    of more than NT500 million (US16,900,249) and
    won multiple awards.
  • Financing opportunities came easily, and the end
    product was a film worthy of a submission for
    nomination to the Academy Awards.

Project Goal Management A Film Maker's
  • Mr. Te-Sheng's progress recognizable to any
    business strategist as adhering to the principles
    of program management.
  • The goal of Mr. Te-Sheng's program was to make
    "Seediq Bale," but he had to complete smaller
    projects to achieve it
  • Come up with a plan or project that generates a
    desired benefit.
  • Ensure the benefit can be realized with little
  • Balance benefit-received and cost-paid, or the
    outcome may be compromised.
  • Consistently aim for your goal.
  • This example reveals a lesson in terms of
    organizational strategy
  • Always remember to ensure the benefits of
    programs and projects align with the company's
    ultimate objective.
  • Don't be distracted.

Optimizing Project Delivery Strategy
  • Familiarization with the overall requirements of
    the project and its stakeholders
  • Determining the key elements of value and success
    for the project
  • Outlining the delivery methodology and getting
    approval from key stakeholders
  • Developing the project's strategic plan based on
    the available know-how, resources and risk
    appetite of the stakeholders (including the
    project management team)

Problems in Strategy Designing
  • This critical stage of the overall project
    delivery lifecycle crosses between the project
    initiators and the project delivery team.
  • Both parties need to be involved in developing a
    project delivery strategy that optimizes the
    opportunity for a successful outcome.
  • Unfortunately, the opportunities to engage in
    discussion and planning for project delivery are
    difficult to arrange.
  • Frequently contract documents effectively
    prescribe a delivery process, and/or the client
    and senior management don't know they need to be
    engaged at this stage of the project lifecycle.
  • Project managers and project management offices
    start focusing more on the project delivery
    strategy during critical early stages of a

Agile, Waterfall others
  • Agile is not a project management
  • Waterfall and various forms of Agile are
    definitely software development methodologies,
    not project management methodologies
  • One can manage a waterfall development using the
    PMBOK Guide processes but nothing in the PMBOK
    Guide mandates developing a fully detailed
    project plan before starting work on development
  • All the PMBOK Guide requires is the current
    phase is planned before starting work. This is
    absolutely compatible with the Agile approach to
    iterative development.

Agile Methodology
  • Agile software development is a group of software
    development methodologies based on iterative and
    incremental development, where requirements and
    solutions evolve through collaboration between
    self-organizing, cross-functional teams.
  • It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary
    development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative
    approach, and encourages rapid and flexible
    response to change.
  • It is a conceptual framework that promotes
    foreseen interactions throughout the development
    cycle. The Agile Manifesto introduced the term in

(No Transcript)
The Agile Manifesto
  • Individuals and Interactions in agile
    development, self-organization and motivation are
    important, as are interactions like co-location
    and pair programming.
  • Working software will be more useful and welcome
    than just presenting documents to clients in
  • Customer collaboration requirements cannot be
    fully collected at the beginning of the software
    development cycle, therefore continuous customer
    or stakeholder involvement is very important.
  • Responding to change agile development is
    focused on quick responses to change and
    continuous development

Twelve principles of the Agile Manifesto
  • Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in
  • Working software is delivered frequently (weeks
    rather than months)
  • Working software is the principal measure of
  • Sustainable development, able to maintain a
    constant pace
  • Close, daily co-operation between business people
    and developers
  • Face-to-face conversation is the best form of
    communication (co-location)
  • Projects are built around motivated individuals,
    who should be trusted
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and
    good design
  • Simplicity
  • Self-organizing teams
  • Regular adaptation to changing circumstances

Agile Application
  • The need for a much lighter "touch" managing an
    Agile project.
  • The need for a higher level of trust in managing
    Agile teams.
  • The need for robust change management and
    configuration management to track the evolution
    of the Agile project.
  • The critical importance of developing the correct
    strategy and architecture at the beginning of the
    Agile project.
  • Can traditional project management learn from
    Agile? Some of the trends in Agile seem to have
    wider application in any project involving
    knowledge work, including
  • The need to trust knowledge workers more than
    manual workers.
  • Success measured by customer satisfaction rather
    than quantitative outputs.
  • The need to keep the client involved.

Need for Agile Approach
  • Project Scope Management
  • Traditional project management expects scope
    management to define the output. The final
    outputs in an Agile project should be defined in
    terms of achieved capabilities how the
    capability will be achieved will be discovered
    along the journey.
  • Change control will be more challenging, as is
    configuration management. The overall project
    needs a really good systems architect to keep
    each iteration or sprint focused on contributing
    to the big picture.
  • Project Time Management
  • In an Agile project, scheduling and workflow
    become closely aligned. The overall system
    architecture optimizes the sequence modules
    needed to be built in to allow progressive
    testing and implementation of capability.
  • This defines the schedule. Scheduling should be
    at a much higher level each sprint is likely to
    be a single activity of one to two weeks'

Need for Agile Approach-2
  • Project Cost Management
  • Agile projects should be based on either a
    cost-reimbursable system, or the client accepts
    scope is a variable based on achieving the
    maximum improvement possible for a pre-set
    budget. This is a totally different philosophy to
    traditional project governance.
  • Project Quality Management
  • This is probably easier under Agile. Quality is
    continually assessed by the involvement of the
    client and the iterative release of modules to
  • Project Communications Management
  • The level of trust needed to run an Agile project
    is much higher than a traditional project.
    Effective communications in all directions are
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Agile works in a collaborative partnering space.
    In the engineering world these are called
    alliance contracts. Traditional contracts do not
    support Agile delivery methods very effectively.

Prioritizing Agile Project Requirements
  • "MoSCoW" approach
  • Must, Should, Could, Won't
  • problem everything is usually a must (which
    doesn't allow proper Agile release planning
    because the requirements aren't necessarily put
    in order of priority).

Prioritizing Agile Project Requirements-2
  • The Kano model (Professor Noriaki Kano)
  • strives to fulfill requirements and please
  • This model features four components
  • Must haves are elements the product cannot ship
  • Dissatisfiers are things the product must NOT
  • Satisfiers include requirements where the more
    you have the better the product is perceived.
    Like a marketing checklist, each feature adds
    incremental value.
  • Delighters take the product beyond simply meeting
    the requirements to boosting customer
    satisfaction and recommendation.

Agile Specific Tools and Techniques
  • continuous integration,
  • automated or xUnit test,
  • pair programming,
  • test-driven development,
  • design patterns,
  • domain-driven design,
  • code refactoring and
  • other techniques
  • often used to improve quality and enhance project

Learning from Agile
  • Customer Engagement
  • Key tenet is to engage effectively with ones
    customer and end-users, understand their needs
    and problems, and then deliver an effective
  • This requires regular and effective
    communication, openness and accountability, and a
    good measure of trust to support robust
    relationships between the project team and their
    key stakeholders.
  • Going Light and Lean
  • Light is focused on the minimizing unnecessary
    overhead. Complex plans and processes should be
    simplified, but only to remove excess
    complication, not to remove core requirements.
  • Slimming down the project management overhead to
    its optimal level is probably the easiest way to
    free up the resources needed to engage your
    stakeholders more effectively and is definitely
    supported by the A Guide to the Project
    Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide).

Demand for Being
Self-Organized (Agile Manifesto)
  • "The best architectures, requirements and designs
    emerge from self-organizing teams."
  • Actions taken after Scrum meetings
  • Good teams have frequent exchanges during the
    daily standup meetings. Are people mentioning
    problems and are teammates offering help? Do
    members take collaborative actions to solve those
    problems after the meeting? Watch for teams where
    people remain individually focused.
  • Flexible roles
  • Members on self-organized teams will be able to
    support each other by handling tasks outside
    their usual specialties.

Demand for Being
Self-Organized (Agile Manifesto)-2
  • Communication
  • Self-organized teams will use immediate forms of
    communication text messages, instant messages,
    phone and even walking to each other's desk.
  • Role of the project manager
  • On self-organized teams, the project manager will
    spend less time assigning work, and more time
    facilitating the team as work is "pulled" from
    the backlog.
  • Role of the manager
  • The project manager's boss does less hands-on
    direct planning, but more coaching, rewarding and
    gathering resources for the team.

The Waterfall Model
  • a sequential design process, often used in
    software development processes,
  • in which progress is seen as flowing steadily
    downwards (like a waterfall)
  • through the phases of
  • Conception, Initiation, Analysis, Design,
    Construction, Testing, Production/Implementation
    and Maintenance.

The Waterfall Model
Royce's Original Waterfall Model
  • Requirements specification
  • Design
  • Construction (AKA implementation or coding)
  • Integration
  • Testing and debugging (AKA Validation)
  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Thus the waterfall model maintains that one
    should move to a phase only when its preceding
    phase is completed and perfected.

Modified Waterfall Other Models
  • Royce's Final Model
  • Big Design Up Front
  • Chaos model
  • Iterative and incremental development
  • Iterfall development
  • Rapid application development
  • Software development process
  • Spiral model
  • System Development Methodology,
  • V-model
  • Dual Vee Model

Make Post-Production Efficient
  • Define tasks for staff and clients with unique
    instructions and clear deadlines
  • Create specifications for purchases like effects,
    folly or special equipment
  • Develop detailed estimates and schedules and
    submit to clients for approval
  • Manage RFQs to multiple vendors to get the best
  • Post and discuss each edit revision, segment, and
    transition with staff and clients
  • Invoice clients for your work before, during and
    after the project.

Timeboxed Meetings
  • Timeboxing is typically used when a project
    schedule is divided into separate time periods --
    each period has its own schedule, deliverables
    and budget.
  • When you apply timeboxing to a meeting, each team
    member answers three questions
  • What was done yesterday?
  • What challenges were faced?
  • What is the plan for today?
  • The idea is to hold these meetings daily with the
    objective of sharing updated information quickly.
  • As an added benefit, ones indirectly coaching
    his team members to be more focused and
  • In the beginning, one might want to try five
    minutes per person, but reduce the number of
    participants. This means one will have more than
    one session of timeboxed meetings. As ones team
    gets more comfortable, start reducing the time
    and adding team members per session.

Infowit Creative Manager
  • gives the platform to make sure one maintains
    those processes even as one works too fast or
    grows too quickly to keep up
  • is customized to ones unique business processes,
    so if project plans are divided into phases for
    prep and production work or if projects are
    looked at as the work to be done for editing,
    sound and mastering, Infowit works the way to be
  • adapts to you, rather than the other way around
  • learns ones business and keeps it on track to
    ensure one delivers on time, under budget and
    maintains ones customer's satisfaction.

Available Software Programs
  • Dekker PMIS
  • Film Fabric, especially designed for managing
    filmmaking projects

The Dekker PMIS
  • A complete project portfolio management (PPM) and
    analysis system consisting of integrated cost,
    schedule, resource, performance tracking and
    financial management components. With the Dekker
    PMIS, you can manage, analyze, control and
    prioritize every detail of every project and
    program across your enterprise. You can even
    share and access project data remotely and
    securely via the Internet.
  • The Dekker PMIS consists of the following Dekker
    software applications bundled into one package
  • Dekker TRAKKER
  • Dekker iPursuit
  • Dekker Traction
  • Dekker iPortfolio

Film Fabric
  • Project Management for Film and Television
  • Film Fabric is the only available software to
    support all aspects of the Development,
    Production and Post-production phases for all
    Film and Television projects.
  • Holistic
  • Collaborative
  • Secure
  • Business Continuity
  • Online and Offline
  • Mac and PC
  • Progressive

  • Film industry completely revolves around
  • To make films in profitable and successful ways,
    project management is required
  • Agile and Waterfall approaches to be applied on a
    larger scale
  • Film PM is a fast developing applied industry
    prominent for PM development
  • Specific IT tools Film Fabric, etc.

  • Project Management in the Film Industry. URL
  • Film Fabric. URL http//
  • Event Report. Project Management in the Film
    Industry. URL http//
  • Agile URL http//
  • Project Management Software for Film Video
    Post-Production. URL http//

Film Project Management
  • Olga A. Burukina, PhD
  • Associate Professor
  • Project Management Department
  • Moscow, 2014