Entrepreneurship Podcast post

Streamlining Film Production with Ruslan Khamidullin

George Grombacher January 13, 2023

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Streamlining Film Production with Ruslan Khamidullin

LifeBlood: We talked about streamlining film production, how to save massive amounts of time and money throughout this process, the main areas where waste happens, and how to get started with RUslan Khamidullin, CTO of FilmUStage.

Listen to learn who this exciting software benefits the most!

You can learn more about Ruslan at FilmUStage.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Enter LIFEBLOOD30 at checkout for 30% off.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

RUslan Khamidullin

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Oh wait for this George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong UPAF Rousselot que Rousselot ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:23
Hello, Hello Nice to see you and hear you.

george grombacher 0:26
excited to have you on Rousselot is the Chief Technology Officer with film you stave their technology company that is streamlining the film production process using neural network technology. Ruslan, excited to have you on, tell us a little about your personal life some more about your work, why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:45
Okay with little so I will try to start with my own personal life describing the meeting about myself. So, again, I’m a chief technology officer of a startup called feeling stage, we started to work on this project back to 2018, I believe. So before that I was a software developer for quite a long time, from six or seven years, something like that, I realized that Technology University in Minsk, Belarus also am a lifetime musician. So Music is my passion, as well as horror movies in particular, that’s why I always wanted to do something, you know, in between technology in filmmaking. So finally, I was able to find a perfect niche like, launcher on startup for film industry. As well as I became kinda bored and tired with corporate and office life. So you know, running your own business, a great way to shake your whole life and kind of make everything super random and unpredictable. So everyone wanting to start off, stability. Welcome, welcome. Join us.

george grombacher 1:53
That’ll do it for sure. What kind of music do you play?

Unknown Speaker 1:57
I’m a huge fan of rockabilly music. Actually, I’m a muse. I’m a guitar player and the double bass player.

george grombacher 2:05
Nice. Alright, so you’re working in technology, you love film, you love music? Tell me a little bit about tell me about film you stage tell me what the problem is that is that you identified and how you are working to solve it.

Unknown Speaker 2:23
Okay, so the company was started by three co founders, two of the guys actual technology, persons, me and Andre and the third one, Igor. He’s a filmmaker. So he just returned from his journey curious to get some experience and knowledge working on real building sets in San Francisco in California all over California, actually. And soon, he realized that his expansion to see like top notch technology and sharp processes and everything is super cool and fast was not real. He experienced that. Way too much is done on on paper, and really outdated manual way. So weak little understood that there’s definitely a gap, we could fill with the technology and with the AI, which was booming back then and still. So we decided that we can launch our own startup, aiming to bring the latest technology and basically make the life of filmmakers easier, basically streamline the processes. So we started with the thing called script breakdown. Basically, it’s the process of getting ready to shoot and basically preparing for reproduction, basically doing pre production of your video or film project based on the screenplay. So at the very beginning, you get the screenplay, so really huge, long document textual Jackman digital, like 100 pages long, which transforms into 100 minute long video, so and your mission, your mission, and your responsibility is actually to rework it into your tasks for all your film makers, professionals, for your departments, etc, etc, create a schedule. And at the very basic level, what you do you sit down with your PDF, and you start to write down everything and copy paste, all this say like cast names, props, mentioned location details, etc, etc, into maybe spreadsheets, maybe even into your notebook. So some online platforms. And this is a quite long and manual and repetitive process. And we decided, okay, we can use machine learning to wrestle this issue. And we started exactly what we will create our dataset with trained neural network. And in fact, we can replace a week long of manual labor with a couple of minutes on analysis, and then maybe a few hours on actually tweaking and editing the result. So this was our entry point and our like. Our full mission is to, of course make the life of modern filmmaker easier and democratised industry allow the threshold and less pain, more creativity.

george grombacher 5:08
That was what I was just thinking is being able to remove friction or menial work, I don’t know if that’s the right term or not to free up the the creative person to do what they really enjoy which is is is is create and an idea of taking a week’s worth of work and making it in a boil it down to minutes, certainly an attractive thing.

Unknown Speaker 5:33
Yeah, definitely. Because you know, it’s just a, your choice, what kind of tool you would love to would like to use actually, it’s like, if you’re a lumberjack, you have, you can choose, or you can just X or a chainsaw. So if you need to do something really fast, definitely end up using a chainsaw. Just AI is a great tool to actually send your productivity to the next level, it definitely won’t replace a human beings creating something, it just a great source to actually replace repetitive tasks with. With computers, let’s say and focus on creativity. Let’s see.

george grombacher 6:17
Yeah. So you, you have your screenplay, it’s this massive 100 page document. And it’s breaking down all the different scenes, and it’s talking about all the elements that are going into each scene, and you feed it into your film, you feed it into film, you stage into the AI. And it will it it it does what?

Unknown Speaker 6:44
So at the moment, it just exactly does that. So you have like a short summary of your screenplay, you have a clear understanding of what’s going on what kind of object you have in your screenplay, how many actors how many props, how many say animals mentioned through your text, and this is already super useful. Like to get really quick, really rollin you know, overview of your of your project, lots of professionals actually get value from that, like land producers, assistant directors, even with big studios who get on some point receive just a screenplay. And they need to actually do something very similar. They used to upload our platform, they use our platform to upload screenplays to our and when audit for them. And then they decide what kind of work they will apply to like, say, Make this effect that effect or whatever. The next step, you can create your shooting schedule on our platform. So basically, you combine everything into a shooting day, in order to optimize like, you’re usually you’ll want to optimize money, obviously, because some locations are expensive, so natural, so expensive. And you have to take into account all the different, you know details in order to make everything cheaper, basically, sometimes sometimes you want to save time or duration depends. And also we are releasing a very simple and easy to use tools to estimate your budget. And you know, this is only the beginning, the tools, the essential tools we are releasing to actually cover the pre production stage, the our next huge goal is actually to give you an opportunity to find the exact location on our own platform. So for instance, we would like to connect location agencies on our own platform, maybe caste agency, so props warehouses, so we do the analysis, we find that okay, there are like 10 guns mentioned in our screenplay, fake blood, I don’t know, maybe a 14th century table or whatever. And the other thing I want to show you the props warehouses who have exactly this, that stuff, the actors suitable for your project general or whatever, and show you the price, the price range. And if we do that, we will be super accurate in predicting the possible budget of your project.

george grombacher 9:25
Fascinating. If you’ve never really thought about everything that goes into making a movie, so many different variables, and the sky’s probably the limit. That’s

Unknown Speaker 9:37
right. Loss of philosophy to you and you really want to make it as cheap as possible.

george grombacher 9:42
Yeah, for sure what I mean why wouldn’t you want to make sure that you are getting a good deal and then everything else? Fascinating. I love when we’re using computers for good instead of evil Roussillon coming in, I’d love when we’re using In technology for good instead of evil? Oh, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 10:02
definitely though, you know, trying to use it in a good way.

george grombacher 10:07
So who is who is the the the ideal user of this? Is it? Anybody who’s who has a screenplay? Is it great big production companies?

Unknown Speaker 10:21
Wonderful question, actually. So we started with b2c approach selling our subscriptions. By the way, our platform is fully functional, you can go online on phonostage.com, register, get your seven day trial, and then decide if you want to continue with subscription. So we started sending subscriptions, our typical customer is someone responsible for planning, it depends actually actually on the size of the production, who’s that person, usually it’s like, line producer, or first assistant director, or if it’s really a small indie company, or small team, it’s maybe even a director, definitely. So someone responsible for planning. For some time, it was our ideal customer, because we just wanted to gather some traction, build trust and actual understand that we are doing any good for our clients and, you know, get some network expensive beta test as well. So and now, we think about, apart from that, we are ready to go to the next stage. So our ideal customer is, say midsize production from 10 to 50, people who are ready to incorporate and use, like the next level of tech to streamline their processes and make their life easier, more productive.

george grombacher 11:47
And the space that what who are your competitors? Are there other people trying to do what you’re doing?

Unknown Speaker 11:58
Yes, definitely. There are multiple attempts to actually, of course, and there are pretty much pretty a lot of established well established tools are doing exactly that there is a de facto film industry standard called Movie magic. This is like very good basic, reliable software, fully manual, which came to our 21st century, literally unchanged since 1997. And this is still de facto industry standard, because because of union because everyone is super used to work with that. And for quite a long time, people in the film industry didn’t want to even think about changing anything in our experiment, because you know, too much pressure too much risk too much of a thing. There are online to firms likes to binary, who else so provide similar services like covering production, flow and mass production and stuff. Quite quite successful, I need to say, we get lots of inspiration from the work as well as Jambu. And what we did what we decided to do different, we started with artificial intelligence, and we decided that we want to incorporate and utilize as much as possible, like latest tech and machine learning, actually. And yeah, it starts to save you more and more time. So we are very different from our competitors.

george grombacher 13:36
Yeah, it is a I’m sure. It’s sure it’s very interesting, as an entrepreneur, and from a technology standpoint, to bring all that together and then go to the markets and figure or figure out what the competitors are doing and how you can position yourself differently and and in educate and, and help people understand what the opportunity is. And I imagine once they see it like oh my goodness, this is this is incredible thing that it saved me so much time.

Unknown Speaker 14:09
It’s challenging. Yeah, usually our our, one of the more most common requests was okay, why was so quick? Does it actually do anything? I will make it slower. Don’t do it in two minutes. Like let’s, let’s change it let’s let’s let’s let it do Tamsin for at least 10 minutes so I can actually understand that something happening.

george grombacher 14:32
That’s funny that you know that there’s a perception that it’s too fast and we should watch some kind of a wheel spinning or at the taskbar something like that. Exactly. Exact funny. Well, that gets really exciting. And I think that so many people obviously we we love movies, so the more that you can help help producers and directors and all these folks streamline the process so that They’re free up to to be more creative. That’s that’s not the better, really positive thing. So, Rousselet, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more? And how can they take advantage of that free trial for film you stage?

Unknown Speaker 15:12
So please go to film yo stage.com I believe we are going to put the all the details in the description. So we have a Sunday trial. And also I want to prepare this poll gift for your listeners. Please use live let’s party discount coupon during the checkout. So you will get 30% off every subscription plan. So yep, please go to our platform. Try it use it. We are always there 24/7 to talk to you. We are ready to show a personal demo. And basically you can address our every question to us. Excellent.

george grombacher 15:56
Well, if you just as much as I did, she’ll resign your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas somebody who’s working in the film industry working on a screenplay and go to film you stage FYI LM letter U S T A ge.com. And check out the trial and then enter lifeblood 30 at checkout for 30% off Thanksgiving. Thank you. Until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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