I was minding my own business last week when my neighbourhood was occupied by that army of white panel trucks, orange pylons, snaking cables, and assorted hangers on that are all the tell-tale signs of a movie-shoot in progress.

I can’t lie.  We weren’t taken by surprise on this.  The previous week we had been duly served with the mailbox flyers….politely apologizing in advance for the inconveniences to come our way, nicely phrased with a little teaser about the project itself and the shoot. 

One of the simple pleasures of living in popular movie making centers like LA, NYC, Vancouver and Toronto is the fun of pretending you don’t really care too much as Hollywood stars wander around your neighborhood, while secretly stalking them on the down low.  

In this case, it was Jay Baruchel, hilariously funny most recently for me in This Is The End.

Jay_Baruchel

  Okay so maybe his choice of sports teams leaves something to be desired — for Torontonians anyway. Particularly this spring!!

Jay_Baruchels_Habs_Jersey

It was kind of neat to be drinking my coffee while he wandered around my neighbourhood.

But being the star is the glamorous part.

The film production business is complex and gruelling.  The hours are long; the pressure is intense.  Keeping track of everyone – who they are, where they are, and what they are doing – can challenge the organizational skills of the most talented production assistants.

Doubly so, since film and entertainment companies are about as virtual as things get, with teams popping up for productions, and pulling in local talent on a location-by-location basis as business needs and financial budgets permit.

As usual, Jay’s appearance was brief, and there was a cast of hundreds around him, before him, and after him.  Within an hour or two after the scenes were shot everyone was gone.

So how the heck do production companies in the entertainment industry keep track of all those people I wondered?

Pretty much everyone is familiar with one of the most famous bits in comedy – the Abbott & Costello “who’s on first” sketch.  When you look at an entertainment industry production you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer scale of the projects.  But you have to wonder how people keep track of everyone.

So, I thought to myself, maybe this would be a useful application for Organimi.  

We can create a film production company org chart template and start putting film crew roles on the org chart.  

Any film company can use Organimi for this and insert their own people on it.  We should explore how this might look and work.  It would be a fun project of our own.

So we imagined a production company.  Okay, we didn’t really have to do too much imagining.  There are lots of them.  (Even relationships among all the production companies involved in a production can be complicated!!)

Sample_Film_Production_Company_Logo

Most film crews for bigger projects look like they range from 100 to 500 members in size.  Perfect.  

So then we did some research on-line, and found some useful descriptions of who all these people on film crews are and what roles they play; even some images of what the org structures for film production companies look like.  There’s lots of raw material out there.  The Internet is a beautiful thing for digital raw material.

Then with a little spit and polish, we put together an org chart template for the film industry.  Sure there are a few differences between North America and the UK in terms of what titles people have; but by and large the structure seems pretty stable – it is just the people constantly changing that make creating film crew org charts complicated…and hopefully useful if you can swing it.

You can check out an image of our file industry template org chart here:

Organimi_Film_Crew_Org_Chart_Template

It took about an hour of work, but now I know all kinds of stuff I didn’t before – like that there is a role on the team called “Key Hair“…the person who takes care of the hair of the lead actors.  Awesome!  I wish I had one of those.  If you’ve seen my hair, you would know why.

Since the org structure is now “blueprinted” with Organimi, I can upload people to the roster, and drag and drop them to the roles as they come and go – so every time the lead actors or the director freak out and want to sack someone (as they are reputed to do from time to time in Tinsel Town) the hapless victim can be dragged off to digital oblivion while a new player is added to the crew, and everyone gets updated info. In real time.  (Hey, everyone says Hollywood is a cut-throat business, so don’t be mad with us). 

And now that it is up in Organimi there are lots of ways to share it around with the crew and team.

You can publish links, and give people access and even editing rights.

You can post your film crew org charts it to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn so everyone can get them, or you can keep them private if you want to.  Up to you. 

Check it out.

Hope you find this useful.  It may be a great way for you to check out future career options for yourself…once you give up your hope of getting in front of the camera that is.

Now…hmmmm……org chart templates for the television industry, org chart templates for the photography industry, org charts for the music industry, probably possible to do those as well.  

……..There is the 50th Anniversary commemorative Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue I recall from awhile ago.  They brought together the models from issues over the past 50 years to talk about what their SI appearances had done for their careers.  An interesting read.  Check it out here.

Sports_Illustrated_50th_Anniversary_Cover

Have fun.  Create org charts for your team with Organimi – connect, collaborate and communicate more effectively wherever and however you work.

As always, thanks for reading.

The Organimi Team

 PS You too can create your own “dream team” film crew…or any other crew for that matter, by checking out Organimi at www.organimi.com .