Filmboard’s innovative approach to organise the Indian Entertainment industry
Authored by Rajesh Butta- Serial Entrepreneur and Co-founder at Filmboard and Sandeep A. Varma- Filmmaker and Cofounder at Filmboard
India has one of the largest entertainment industries globally, with a worth of over US$25.7 billion (EY- FICCI) and churning out content its huge population having a tele-density of over 89% and 688 million internet subscribers. Ironic to its mammoth-size, the industry is ridden with its own set of problems with cost and timeline overruns of projects being more the rule than the exception. This also creates quality issues since the most suitable talent and resources are often not found and booked for a project. As a result, smaller countries such as Taiwan, Iran and even Lebanon produce world class content much more regularly.
To address the elephant in the room and facilitate the industry in simplifying the operations, Sandeep A Varma – an experienced and renowned film maker, and Rajesh Butta –Serial Entrepreneur, came up with a solution. Christened as Filmboard, they ideated and developed a novel and comprehensive B2B marketplace to bridge the gap between film makers and resources, while addressing the challenges faced in the creation of the content. Today, the Filmboard platform offers over 10,000 verified service providers under 180 categories, transacting at transparent pricing across the country. Their number of verified service providers is growing all the time and set to cross 1 lakh in the coming 12 months.
Sandeep, with over 20 years in the industry, understood that with better planning tools and a rich database of service providers, the process of filmmaking could be made more professional and world-class. Rajesh, who is his BITS Pilani batchmate brought in technical expertise and experience as an entrepreneur. Together, they developed Fimboard to make the process transparent and easy-to-use, using project management tools. Filmboard’s database is painstakingly verified, ensuring full information is available to a filmmaker who wants to book a service. Past user reviews are available to know quality, and in fact, filmmakers can even chat with past users of a service. The most important effect is this is that the power goes back to the producer/filmmaker – now they know what they are paying for and why. For example, an ad agency currently outsources an ad film to an ad filmmaker/production house with no visibility on how the money is being spent and if the best quality is being used for their money. With Filmboard, that is now possible.
There is more and more adoption to Filmboard by the industry, with it witnessing a quick revenue growth month by month
Projects So Far
Since its inception in 2017, Filmboard has been looked upon as a reliable partner to many of the major names in the industry and beyond. These brands have received the desired results through the vast range of categories and listings by the marketplace. Filmboard’s growing clientele includes brands like Gaana.com, British Council, Radio Mirchi and Times Internet, to name a few, and it is continuously adding feathers to its hat.
Rebel Foods (owners of Faasos, Behrouz Biryani and Mandarin Oak) is one such client of Filmboard that leveraged the potential of the large database and quality ratings of the marketplace. It enabled the brand to shoot a complete video of their kitchen’s process for an international invertor’s conference, including the shoot, editing, and post production, in a span of merely 4 days.
Gaana.com, a venture of Times of India group, was served by Filmboard for its shoot with the Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner, and world-renowned singer, Ms. Asha Bhosle. Filmboard arranged a team of crewmembers having experience directly working with celebrities and the complete setup was arranged on very short notice.
Smart COVID Plan by Filmboard
The pandemic has been a huge setback to the industry with the creation of content (shoots) having stopped. Being a solution-oriented start up, Filmboard introduced its novel Smart COVID plan to reinitiate shoots in a completely risk-free environment. This includes:
- COVID Inspection: An inspection team, including, a production person, healthcare worker and security for the implementation of safety guidelines and protocols at the shoots. This team is supported by an app, uniquely developed to generate verifiable reports for the shoot producers and to claim insurance if required.
- Meal Supply: With units and area secured, the infection can only pass through contaminated food, coming in several times during the shoot shifts. Filmboard strategically tied up with Rebel Foods and Eat Fit to prepare food without human contact screening of staff nearing the food being prepared. This boxed meal supply is made available at matching charges of the local caterers through specially negotiated rates by the brand.
- Healthcare: To maintain the safety of shoots, the platform has tied-up -up with Care24 to provide a healthcare worker (nurse) for every sub-unit of shoots across the country.
- Shoot Management: Apart from coming in as COVID inspector, Filmboard can also add value to the planning of these shoots with safety using its 3-faceted approach.
- Unit size is kept minimal.
- The unit is color-coded to enable back-tracing in case of contamination
- Quick replacement in case of infection, owing to the brand’s largest verified database
Top producers and OTT platforms are talking to Filmboard about implementation of this plan.
The Road Ahead
Filmboard believes in growth by innovation. It has already launched Bid-n-Buy, a tech led innovation that allows producers to put up their projects for open bids and save cost or get better quality by allowing those out of their network to bid for them.
With their in-bound round of funding in the pipeline, the brand aims to launch innovations in every 2-3 months, and the some of the planned ones include:
- Live Location Recce: Filmboard plans to provide cost-efficient recce using its database to appoint a local camera person to visit the locations in the state/region on discussed dates and the director. Crew to monitor him remotely from the producer’s office.
- Customised Dashboard: To manage efficiency in production costs, Filmboard plans to create a customised dashboard for fixing camera hires at negotiated costs for a location across the year, instead of traditional individual negotiations for each shoot.
Another exciting idea is to use Artificial Intelligence to guide actors in their auditions, which will also help casting directors shortlist actors who meet their basic parameters.
It’s the first time anyone is using latest technology to optimise the efficiency of filmmaking and it is expected to be a big boon to filmmakers and producers. It does make one wonder why such an idea did not get launched earlier.