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Film Project Management

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1 Film Project Management
Olga A. Burukina, PhD Associate Professor Project Management Department NRU HSE Moscow, March 2014

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

3 Goals To let the learners get acquainted with basic film project management approaches and methodologies; 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

4 Film Project Manager The line producer, or production manager.
This project manager has to work in coordination with the film’s director and producer, while leading the production staff as well.

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

6 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.

7 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.

8 The Gantt Chart Sample

9 Executing Stage This is the process where the film is actually shot and everything that was planned is carried out. 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 film’s various aspects.

10 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.

11 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.

12 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.

13 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 ease. Work Together Collaborate effortlessly with your production crew and project stakeholders no matter their location. Assign and track tasks, milestones and project notes in real time. Allow your team to contribute to the production plan and own the execution.

14 Film-making Process-2 Production
Schedule your film production to tasks and milestones. 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.

15 Film Production in a Nutshell
Preproduction: Comprehensive Project Planning, Casting & Talent Management, Location Scouting, Crew & Equipment, Scriptwriting 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

16 Project Goal Management: A Film Maker's Experience
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 It generated box office returns of more than NT$500 million (US$16,900,249) 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.

17 Project Goal Management: A Film Maker's Experience-2
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 compromise. 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.

18 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)

19 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 project.

20 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.

21 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 2001.


23 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 meetings. 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

24 Twelve principles of the Agile Manifesto
Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software Welcome changing requirements, even late in development Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months) Working software is the principal measure of progress 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

25 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.

26 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' duration.

27 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 production. 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 essential. 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.

28 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).

29 Prioritizing Agile Project Requirements-2
The Kano model (Professor Noriaki Kano) strives to fulfill requirements and please customers. This model features four components: Must haves are elements the product cannot ship without. Dissatisfiers are things the product must NOT include. 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.

30 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 agility.

31 Learning from Agile Customer Engagement
Key tenet is to engage effectively with one’s customer and end-users, understand their needs and problems, and then deliver an effective solution. 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).

32 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.

33 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.

34 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.

35 The Waterfall Model

36 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.

37 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

38 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 bids; Post and discuss each edit revision, segment, and transition with staff and clients; Invoice clients for your work before, during and after the project.

39 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, one’s indirectly coaching his team members to be more focused and efficient. 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 one’s team gets more comfortable, start reducing the time and adding team members per session.

40 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 one’s 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 done; adapts to you, rather than the other way around; learns one’s business and keeps it on track to ensure one delivers on time, under budget and maintains one’s customer's satisfaction.

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

42 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®

43 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

44 Conclusions Film industry completely revolves around projects;
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.

45 References Project Management in the Film Industry. URL: Film Fabric. URL: Event Report. Project Management in the Film Industry. URL: Agile URL: Project Management Software for Film & Video Post-Production. URL:

46 Film Project Management
Olga A. Burukina, PhD Associate Professor Project Management Department NRU HSE Moscow, 2014

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