Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries ERP
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Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries ERP

The motion picture industry includes filmmaking, film production, cinematography, screen writing, as well as the actors, film crew, and directors involved. Because of the large expense involved to make movies, it leads to stand-alone production companies and opportunities for investment capital. This allowed the production of independent films to evolve.

Hollywood has the oldest film history in the world. It originated more than 120 years ago and currently has four major film studios: 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Lightstorm Entertainment. The earliest documented account of motion pictures in the U.S. was in 1894 by Charles Frances Jenkins. He used "Phantoscope" to project the film to friends, family, and even reporters.

Sound Recording is actually an electrical inscription or re-creation of sound waves like the spoken voice, singing or sound effects. There are two classes of sound technology: analog recording and digital recording. Analog recording is achieved with a microphone and then recorded on a phonograph. Digital recording converts the analog sound signal to a digital form. This allows the data to be transmitted by various media. In the early days of film, the actors did not speak. However, there was music that depicted each scene.

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Based on the music that was being played, you could determine the love, happiness, danger, or sadness happening in the film. Today, sound recording is one the most important aspects of a film. With technological advances, an audience is able to hear someone breathing or someone's heartbeat.

Making and showing movies for profit began in the early 1900s. From 1931 to 1956, film was an image storage and playback system, until the invention of video recorders. Today, the film industry is centered in Hollywood. Movie studios make a profit because they have found ways to monetize such as selling pay-TV, creating corresponding video games, park rides, books, and more. Hollywood is unusually a stable industry; the biggest studios are making money and have been since the 1950s.

With all the technological advancements made over the years in the film industry, software technology doesn't have to stay antiquated. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is available and offers flexible and fully-customizable options for the motion picture and sound recording industries.

Cloud software is the latest technology and has a high-performance workflow. It allows separate parts to work together such as scheduling, crew management, and even billing. This is important for the film industry, as there are so many separate aspects involved.

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There are many assets and facility management cycles involved with film production. With an effective ERP system, production managers can receive an overview of their asset base and then track facilities. They can manage individual assets throughout their life cycle. ERP software tracks assets for budgeting and scheduling. For television, ERP can integrate with project management system so that it tracks inventory schedules, crew check in and check out, and provides special management reporting.

Payroll is an intricate part of a film's budget. ERP software allows tracking of payments and forecasting a total budget. This takes away concern of the ability to pay future payroll. The software can calculate the necessary man-power which reduces the time of going through pages of budgets and payroll processing.

ERP can also be integrated with current accounting and crew management software. In addition, it integrates with payroll and commission software. This allows for e-signing contracts, calculating per diem rates, and distribution.

Another intricate part of a film's project's success is the crew. Because of this, ERP software helps to put crew management at a priority. It manages scheduling and budgeting, and reduces payroll overhead. It ensures payroll costs are applied correctly to a forecasting budget which keeps the staff productive. ERP software can work with unions and shift management, budgeting for vendors and contractors, and provide e-signatures for contracts, and legal documents.

Generally, there are several crews that are involved for film crew. These crews can be located all over the globe. ERP could applications can help bring all those crews together for collaboration which may otherwise be impossible. This improves communication, as well as scheduling. This type of resource management proves to be a useful tool. It's more effective to choose one ERP software program, rather than use several applications for a project.

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However, since most movie productions have applications already in place, ERP software can integrate with most and will just enhance development. ERP can provide budgeting, scheduling, and accounting for successful project management. Reports are given in real-time, so information is always relevant and useful.

ERP software has the ability to manage the dynamic changes of the film industry. It has an embedded business logic that is specific to the industry which helps manage worksheets and budget templates. It also tracks and reports components of a project like episodes, seasons, and locations.

Customer Inventory Management Programs are being introduced in the film industry which reduces or even eliminates holding costs. In turn, it reduces operations costs, improves customer services, and profitability. These programs can be appropriate when there is insufficient inventory space, or there is an inability to increase holding cost expenditures. There are operational and financial benefits: (1) Increase production efficiency by using Just-In-Time inventory, (2) Increase space for operations, (3) Eliminate cash requirements for inventory, (4) Reduce inventory holding costs, (5) Eliminate inventory cash highs and lows.

A film production team consists of many players: producer, director, screenwriter, production designer, art director, costume designer, cinematographer, editor, and of course the actors. It can also include a music director. Everyone has a role to play, so that the film can come together on time and on budget. ERP systems can help coordinate individual tasks of these players and track their projects. Collectively, an ERP system can replace independent applications.

There are several factors of how an ERP system can assist with project management, team management, and change management. An experienced project manager provides leadership for accountability and decisiveness. ERP implementation helps the project manager focus on good techniques. The film industry has vast internal and external resources. ERP affects the entire production and IT has to be at the center.
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