Design IT for co-operation

We added ”Better and better stories, together” to the mission statement for business development as storytelling is what is all about for us. - Enterprise Architecture for a start-up.

This is why we need to design for co-operation between individuals in film productions.

Generic sub-processes for film production.png

Every production we do is project based and the people involved in the work are mostly from other organisations, hired to work as contractors or employed on a project basis. The number of people in a production can range from a few persons up to several hundred persons in large movies with lots of extras.

In order to have IT supporting the business, we need some guidelines for selection and implementing your IT-solutions. This is why we need to define some architecture principles.

The suggested principles are:

  • Ease of use as we often have new users and very little time to learn

  • Affordable so all users who need the tool can have access to it

  • Device agnostic as we can’t control devices the type of device the users have access to

  • Secure as we manage both personal information and confidential information

  • Scalable so we can grow and do large productions

  • Flexible, so that we can use same tools for different types of productions

  • Agile, so we can change to new tools if needed

The catch is that the priority of those principles differ between business processes as the need for collaboration and number actors are not the same. Let’s give three examples with three different applications.

Pre-production and Production with StudioBinder


Creating a call sheet (dayplan) is a collaborative effort between a few roles in the production, but everybody on set that day need this information.

We use StudioBinder as it lets a few individuals (who pays a license) work together on a project, but all involved persons in the project can view the information on-line without a license.

Post production with


We use to let clients review the edited films as part of the production process. A few persons in post-production can share copies per production with clients and get feedback.

Both these two applications are cloud based and could be used on any device supporting a modern browser.

Post production with PostLab


A third collaborative tool, PostLab, is used by editors when they are working together in a project.

The applications is partly in the cloud, but the other part requires us to use Mac OS and FCP/X. We have to pay the same license fee for all users, regardless of how they use the application.

Ain’t we breaking our principles then?

Yes, but there are only very few editors that need to work together in a project, and they need to be very skilled with their tools. We have also said that our computers for post production are running Mac OS, and FCP/X is the main editing program.


Security level differs between applications, but so does the need. We don’t store sensitive personal information in StudioBinder, so the controls there should be adequate.

But original media and working copies of film can include sensitive data and/or be confidential. This is why we must have a much higher level of security in compared to other applications.

PostLab doesn’t store actual media, only files with links to them, so there is much less of a privacy concern compared to FCP/X. However, the projects could be confidential and only be shared with a small team.

How do you design your IT to support your mission statement?