Sure, cloud-based apps are the coming thing. A number of articles have touted the use of the Internet or dedicated networks to access everything from storage and data manipulation to phone systems and rendering.
But at this point we are still in the early stages of the move to a world where hardware is hidden while just about everything you could do on a standard computer comes courtesy of a high-speed connection. For anyone involved in the corporate world, software as a service (SaaS) is taking off; everyone from small start-ups to established names such as Salesforce.com, Oracle, HP and IBM are all staking a claim.
So what about film and video production? Why not collect all those dispersed parts of production-location –scouting, budgets, shooting scripts, dailies–and bring them online?
That’s just what Market7 has in mind.
“Collaborative production is too fragmented,” says Market7 founder and CEO Seth Kenvin. “There’s a wide approach in how people work on (production), and there are just too many different environments.”
The San Francisco-based company had recently been in New York to present to clients and others while introducing Craig Heiting, its new vice president and general manager for media and entertainment. Heiting has worked in talent and program development with Showtime and Time Warner Cable, so he’s familiar with the city. Although he will be based in the company’s Los Angeles offices, hiring Heiting is an indication that Market7 is getting serious about the M&E space. Heiting expects to return to New York to continue the company’s initial outreach efforts to the networks and Silicon Alley.
What does Market7 do? This SaaS product supports collaboration among video producers, their clients and any other parties involved in the process with features developed for overall project management, conceptualization, pre-production (scripts and storyboards), as well as footage review and approval during post. The product is completely compatible with all the latest smartphones and the iPad of course.
“People might think project management is not creative and doesn’t apply to our industry, but that’s a wrong view,” says Heiting. “Production is increasingly spread across the country, so you might be working with a producer in LA while the actual shooting is going on in New York. Meanwhile, increased media consumption means that anyway you can streamline the production process and communicate clearly will become increasingly important.”
If you’re curious as to what this might mean for your own work, Market7 offers a free trial. You don’t even have to pay to use it regularly, since the company offers a free account for modest needs that include up to five members working on one project at a time.
While some other companies have staked out this same space, Market7 feels it has crafted “best of breed” task management apps that will significantly speed a whole production. One nice aspect of that is that a production manager doesn’t have to cobble together a number of different programs since Market7’s apps not only help you do a specific job but can carry information through the whole process. You don’t have to worry about keeping track of crucial notes from a pre-production meeting when you’re hurrying to finish your final mix.
Craig Heiting even sees a specific benefit for real estate challenged New Yorkers. “One thing I noticed about New York’s that so different from Los Angeles is that even space to hold regular meetings can be a problem,” says Heiting. “Keeping everything in a virtual meeting space is an advantage, especially since our rates are very affordable.”