MovieSet launches filmmaking into cyberspace: Gives fans a peek behind the scenes. Production management program doubles as a marketing tool for films

MovieSet launches filmmaking into cyberspace: Gives fans a peek behind the scenes. Production management program doubles as a marketing tool for films

CanWest News Service
Monday, November 07, 2005

New City Entertainment Inc. is hoping to turn independent filmmakers on to Internet marketing with its new web-based production management program that doubles as a fan forum to give cinephiles and movie groupies a behind-the-scenes look at their craft.

New City president Colleen Nystedt calls her program MovieSet. It is the result of the 20-year Vancouver film-scene veteran’s year-and-a-half-long quest to create a web-based marketing tool that would sate film fans’ voyeuristic appetites for behind-the-scenes dish.

“Internet advertising is the growth area of marketing, period,” Nystedt said in an interview. “What the film industry has had difficulty with up to this point is making that transition from traditional advertising to online marketing.”

The Vancouver-based company hopes film producers will buy into MovieSet as their solution.

MovieSet’s heart is a production management program producers can use to track all aspects of their project, including budgeting, payroll, scheduling, crew management and script right from pre-production to post production.

“My motivation is to build a better production mousetrap by creating software that integrates all the interfaces and functions,” Nystedt said.

She said there are various film script-writing, budgeting and scheduling programs out there, but none are web-based, and claims hers is the first that brings them all together.

Nystedt said MovieSet’s architecture will have different levels of access for different users. Producers would have complete access, for instance, while crew members would be able to log in at a lower layer to check on changes to scheduling, the call list, script or equipment lists.

And MovieSet would give cinephiles access to an entirely different layer of information designed for public consumption, which will include the call list, scene list and how many days of shooting have been completed.

Nystedt said it will also include streaming video clips of on-set “b-roll,” cast and production staff bios, fan forums, chat groups and possibly a static live web camera as well as an online store so fans can purchase versions of what their favourite actors are wearing, driving or drinking.

It will also reach out to fans and crew members on their cellphones and other wireless devices through alerts that they can program in.

Vancouver-based software developer The Level provided the web portal software that powers MovieSet. Toronto’s Impact Mobile devised the wireless access options, Noise Media designed MovieSet’s e-commerce option, and Vancouver’s TWBA, an international advertising firm, spearheaded MovieSet’s branding process.

New City Media has spent $150,000 developing MovieSet’s prototype, which will be launched at the end of the month.

The Internet Film Experience

Vancouver’s New City Entertainment Inc. has devised a top-to-bottom film production management program that doubles as a web-based marketing tool.

Producers: Can program and track budgets, schedules, payroll and progress from pre-production to the release of their film’s DVD.

Crew members: Can keep track of their schedule, call and scene lists, location or script changes and equipment lists.

Movie fans: Can watch progress as a film is conceived, filmed and then released, tapping into cast and crew bios, fan forums and even an online store to buy movie-related products.