Vertical Solutions

The following requirements have been developed during the past year and a half as the principals of Synergist conducted meetings with potential collaboration partners. These represent input from a solid cross representation of the entertainment industry. The collaboration partners will work with Synergist to complete the detailed requirements design as the initial part of the Synergist development cycle.

Preproduction Modules


The Scripting Module automatically formats while you write so you can focus on what you’re writing, not where it goes on the page. It also formats for television, stage, and movie scripts so you have an all-in-one package for any story you want to write. With a set of features designed to make the rewriting process fast and simple you can get from fade in to fade out effortlessly. Online collaboration, the ability to compare drafts of screenplays and the most comprehensive production features of any scripting software all make the Scripting module the clear choice for getting your stories from concept to screen. Features include:

  • Online Collaboration with a Partner
  • Publish scripts directly to the Internet

  • Export Entire Script to PDF Format

  • Register Scripts Online

  • Integration with budgeting and scheduling modules for breakdown

  • Full Production Breakdown Reports

  • Industry Standard Revision Draft Colors

  • Generate Set List and Rundowns Sheet

  • Storyboard Linking

  • Real-time Scene Re-numbering

Production Budgeting

Create industry specific budgets with the exact categories needed for any genre of creative production. Production accountants may use either our built in budget system or an existing off-the-shelf entertainment budgeting program such as Movie Magic or AICP based on a two-way integration. Budgeting is integrated with financials to track actuals in real time as production managers, staff, vendors or contractors insert data into the system as they complete each job function or days work.

The budgeting module is for professional estimators, producers, UPMs, accountants or anyone responsible for estimating and managing the costs of any production project. The module is flexible and allows you to quickly and easily estimate the costs of shooting virtually any production, including live action, animated, feature film, television, commercial or documentary production.

  • Quickly and Easily Estimate Costs
    • Estimate the costs of shooting virtually any production

    • Track expenses accurately while shooting in foreign countries and with multiple organizations
    • Globals - Quickly change any aspect or variable (prep, shooting times, rates, wrap, etc) and automatically update the entire budget
    • Subgroups - Plan for and track different scenarios (i.e. personnel, camera packages, locations or shooting times) within a single budget
    • Multiple Levels - Allows unlimited accounts and details
    • Create customized budget forms including budgets in foreign languages
    • Compare Budgets - Lock your budget and automatically track new totals and variance. Manage versions of budget updates to facilitate future analysis.
  • Compare and Collaborate on Budgets
    • Budgeting tracks all the changes made to a file, showing you the original, total and variance for each account
    • Compare one budget against another to get quick comparisons of pattern budgets
    • Fringes and Contractual Charges - Easily add, calculate and adjust
    • Collaborate on a single budget
    • Interactive integration with production scheduling
  • Enables you to spend your time planning projects, not on formatting or calculating
    • Budgeting includes numerous standard film, television and video templates
    • Imports from Movie Magic Scheduling and Exports data to Movie Magic Virtual Production Office and most production accounting programs
    • Also includes reference and tutorial manuals in online help system
  • Integrations
    • Scheduling Module
    • Scripting Module
    • Job Costing Module
    • Call Sheet Module
    • Financials

Production Scheduling

Set up project scheduling as episodes, series, features, specials, commercials, web sites, and design builds. Apply drill down scheduling, budgeting and job cost accounting to individual project schedules with specific scheduling reports including Gantt Charts and CPM. Production scheduling will require maximum flexibility with the functionality to provide resource leveling and create economies of scale for the production company. Production scheduling will be integrated with the existing major project management systems such as MS Project or FileMaker based on a two-way integration.

Production Scheduling is the functionality for assistant directors, producers, and production managers who want script breakdown and scheduling software that is intuitive, easy to use and saves time. The scheduling module facilitates the script breakdown and creation of a shooting schedule for feature films and television productions. It also will:

  • Manage the calendar
  • o Add shoot days to the stripboard
    o Track all work days
    o Track and manage shooting days, holidays, days off, etc.
    o Use to track multiple units or to plan scenarios
  • Manage the shoot schedule - Powerful sorting tools group your scenes by location, sets and sequence
  • Easily break down scripts
  • o Break down your script by creating scenes for your project and enter all elements required for a scene
    o Have the scenes and a stripboard automatically created for you
    o Easily add elements to new scenes by only typing an element once then simply retrieving it later from our database
    o Group strips by locations and sets to help manage shoot schedule
    o Drag, Drop, Cut and Paste - Easily adjust stripboard to create the perfect schedule
  • Support schedule change decisions with what-if scenarios
  • o Schedule changes will automatically recalibrate all subsequent activities and resource leveling to help evaluate the broader impact of schedule changes
    o As the schedule and budget are integrated, what-if scenarios can show the projected financial impact of a change
    o Versions of what-if scenario schedules can be saved and used as the actual change when the schedule change decision is made
  • Generate Reports
  • o Reports include one-liners, shooting schedules and cast and prop lists
    o A Day Out Of Dates feature automatically tracks hold days
    o Also includes reference and tutorial manuals in online help system
    o Gantt and CPM charts
    o Slack time
    o Resource leveling
  • Integrations

  • o Budgeting Module
    o Scripting Module
    o Job Costing Module
    o Call Sheet Module


Production Modules

Production Job Costing

Track actuals in real time as production managers, staff, vendors or contractors insert data into the system as they complete each job function or days work. With interfaces into the portals, call sheet module, scheduling module, financials, and HR and payroll system, the job costing module captures all location, equipment and labor costs and employee histories. Features include electronic receipt of edits, purchase card interface, and remote location check printing.

Dashboard views of real-time status of schedule and budget to actuals are available for performance monitoring by directors, production managers, and producers. Drill down capabilities help managers collaborate about proactive changes and options.
Vendor Management
One of the major problems in contract production is timekeeping. By integrating all production functionality into one system Synergist will facilitate accurate time keeping that can be matched to purchase orders and invoices.

Clients have created procurement departments in order to save money. Procurement has played a role in the emergence of a multitude of agency or producer compensation models. “Branded Entertainment” for instance requires that small production companies must interface directly with large corporate sponsors to track placement of advertising in programs and account for a return on investment. Some models are so complex third parties must administer them because neither the agency nor the client has the expertise.

The Synergist system will automate these process issues and move the responsibility for managing workflow away from central control and toward the individuals on the ground.

  • Synergist easily converts all known existing production management systems

  • Provides anywhere, anytime access for managers at every level

  • Password portal access by personal profile and job function

  • Portals can be customized to provide access to relevant areas

  • Managers update their own activity, costs and other information in real time

  • Producer has total control of every function with real time information

  • Eliminates hours of work keeping track of details and managing unwieldy client procurement demands

Call Sheet and Timekeeping Module

An automated call sheet module utilizing RFID technology will automatically track all personnel in the studio or on location eliminating the need to manually enter and track payroll and contractor invoicing; the only human intervention would be for exceptions, i.e. sending someone off site on an errand. This module will automatically track and validate required breaks. The system would automatically notify management when scheduled resources are not on site and provide contact information to find them quickly. This module would integrate into the Order Management, Accounts Receivable, Human Relationship Management and Payroll modules providing automated invoice validation and payroll processing; payroll can be processed internally or via a third party solution such as EP or ADP.


Location Management

An automated personnel and equipment tracking module utilizing RFID technology will automatically track all personnel and equipment in the studio and on location. An overhead map view would provide the exact location of all staff and equipment on location in real time to facilitate direction. Production staff may move resources on the map utilizing a stylus that will automatically notify the resource where to go. This module, combined with a camera angle viewer will expedite the setting of scenes and verify shooting results saving valuable time and resources.

As personnel all have unique electronic tracking, the director can locate critical personnel instantly. Alerts can be sent to the director if critical personnel are missing from the shoot, to avoid delays.

Automated tracking of all personnel and equipment will support security management. Alerts can be sent to appropriate personnel if equipment is moved outside of the shoot parameters without authorization. The system can also send alerts when unauthorized personnel enter the shoot. Additional equipment can be easily tagged and tracked, helping for up-to-date security management.


Post-Production Modules

Post-Production Reservation

The post-production reservation module is utilized to get quotes and reserve post production facilities. In cases where the production company has post-production facilities that are available as a service to other production companies, this module also facilitates the quote and reservation process, but will also provide credit and invoicing information to AR. Features include the generation of work orders, labeling, shipping, element tracking, purchasing and project management. This module is integrated with the scheduling module, budget module, job costing module, FA and AR.


The system can be triggered to automatically import and format cue sheets for reporting music licensing to ASCAP / BMI directly out of the time line of an editing platform such as AVID or Final Cut Pro. This information may be integrated with a rights management system such as Sophoi. In addition, network time sheets and air reports can be automatically generated.

Advertising Sales and ROI Calculator

Most content producers and studios have the need to develop relationships with advertising agencies and advertisers to develop advertising support or revenue either inclusive in their content, to fund its creation or to support its airing. The Advertising Sales and ROI calculator supports this endeavor and provides functionality to analyze the advertising benefit to both the agencies and the eventual sponsors.

Production Contracts

Easily set up the terms and conditions of all contracts in the system and enable triggers based on milestones that create invoices and purchase orders that affect all other aspects of the production budget, schedule and job costing. Contracts dealing with rights and licensing issues may be integrated into a rights management system such as Sophoi, which is already integrated with Oracle.

Digital Asset Management

The Synergist system will have an advanced Digital Asset Management system for the storage and subsequent reworking of creative content. This system will be integrated with all production management functionality and will provide library functionality for post-production.

International Distribution

Handle all phases of film distribution:

  • Release planning
  • Booking

  • Flash fross processing

  • Holdover negotiation

  • Box office report processing

  • Settlement Negotiation

  • Statement processing

  • Payment entry and application

  • Real time trial balance

  • Booking and financial reporting

  • Leverage the needs of multiple distributors when negotiating with exhibition

Royalty and Licensing

This module enables production companies to identify and organize their rights, simplify the process by which their customers can locate and license the rights to desired assets, automate licensing, and streamline the generation and management of contracts involved in acquisition or licensing. It also tracks all royalties and license fees due as a result of the production process eliminating the difficult tracking of royalty payables. For larger companies and studios this process may be integrated with a rights management system such as Sophoi.

Media Amortization

  • Contract: Details on your contract information: start date, end date, syndicator, number of titles, number of plays

  • Amortization:

    • Current Month Amortization

    • Film Usage Amortization on a per-run basis

    • Barter Amortization: per-spot, per-play, per-day part or total value

    • Time Amortization Schedule by Contract

    • Syndicated Contract Balances

    • Film Contract Balances

    • Net Realizable Value

    • Amortization Projection

  • Monthly Usage for a specific film or program, a specific syndicator or distributor on designated contract

  • Provides a concise history of film or episode usage for individual contracts



Dashboards will be available that succinctly show all pertinent information on one screen in real time; for example, a producer could see budget versus actuals, run rates and the planned schedule versus actual time spent by task on one screen. Portals will be customized for any individual based on their need to access a particular area, such as:


  • Global view of all functions and modules
  • Manage individual and multiple projects simultaneously with moving scheduling modules, budgets with automatically updated actuals
  • Manage teams of people in real time with accurate data

Production Manager

  • Set up a production with complete control of all budget items with negotiated pricing, crew, equipment, logistics and call sheet programs
  • Keep track of all writers, coordinators, field producers, production assistants and all of their expenditures on a daily real time basis

Field Producer

  • Input daily data from anywhere any time
  • Information is reported as actuals against a budget
  • Access confined to Field operations only


  • Input daily data from anywhere, any time
  • Information is reported as actuals against a budget
  • Access confined to Field operations only

Office Manager and Production Accounting

  • Works in conjunction with the producers view to process invoicing
  • Insurance issues
  • Budgeting
  • Global and project view lf all AR and AP
  • Project view of project schedule, budget and job costing


  • Submits daily work log for hours worked for all staff
  • Inserts exported data for CUE sheets and air reports

Sound Mix

  • Submits daily work log for hours worked for all staff


  • Keep track of all hours worked
  • Materials used
  • Subcontractors

Production Company Management

  • Global view of all functions and modules
  • Dashboard for all projects and financials

Vendors and contractors

  • Two way interface to track work and invoicing
  • Vendor and contractor data automatically will update schedule and job costing


  • Two way interface to track work, expenses and invoicing
  • Talent data automatically will update schedule and job costing


The Synergist system will require many two-way integration with existing production systems including: