By Dave Clifton
It’s difficult to film a movie in facilities that aren’t conducive to the production process. What happens when the overhead spot lights don’t work or the dolly track becomes unstable? What do you do if the voice recording booth isn’t properly soundproofed or the craft services area isn’t temperature-controlled? Films depend heavily on the studio to facilitate production, which is why film studio facilities management is so important.
The ability of a film studio to meet the unique needs of its productions is inherently tied to how it’s managed. If the facilities themselves don’t work as-expected or as-intended, the film ultimately suffers. Production stalls while problems get fixed or filmmakers settle for “good enough” rather than delay the shot even further. It’s safe to say that facility management is hugely important to the caliber of the movie itself.
The scope of management required to keep film studios running smoothly is tremendous. Thankfully, modern studios have systems in-place to ensure the movie stays on-track and facilities continue to support it, no matter what stage of production it’s in.
What is film studio facilities management?
Movie studio facility management involves the upkeep, maintenance, and oversight of facilities in the pursuit of supporting production. It can range from upkeep and maintenance of vital building systems, to coordinating people and activities within the building, to creating synergies between the building and the operations within it. In simplest terms, it’s about maximizing the capabilities of facilities to enable the many activities essential to filmmaking.
According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), facilities management encompasses employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. In a film studio, these areas of focus are prevalent throughout all stages of production, from principal shots to VFX and beyond.
A focus on facilities management is a focus on production quality. A great movie is only possible when the many contributions to its production can come together flawlessly: lights, camera, action. Undermaintained or mismanaged facilities will hinder production and take a quality toll on the movie.
Benefits of facilities management for movie studios
Emphasis on facilities management helps filmmakers produce a higher quality movie, while raising the reputation for the studio itself. When facilities support production and production credits facilities with quality, it creates a synergy that attracts future films to the lot and raises the bar for motion picture production. Here’s a look at some of the chief benefits of good facilities management:
- Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
- Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
- More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
- Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
- Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
- Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate business growth
Film studio facilities management goes beyond keeping the lights on and soundproofing audio engineering booths. It needs to emphasize the actions and activities that take place within facilities and ensure everyone is capable of doing their job to a superior standard of quality.
When facilities enable filmmaking, the creative essence of the production comes to the forefront. Instead of wondering how to “make it work” filmmakers can focus on how to improve their vision within the context of facilities that enable anything.
How does film studio facility management software help?
There’s a lot going on within film studios at any given time. Filming and photography. Light and sound. VFX and post-production. Hair and makeup. Wardrobe and props. These and countless other focuses all need support from facilities. More and more movie studios are turning to software to ensure they’re getting it.
Facility management does the complex job of funneling the many demands of movie studio facilities into a single interface, where it’s easier for administrators to oversee and manage operations. This includes funneling support tickets and requests, as well as coordinating and allocating space. From fix-it tickets to floor plans, software brings facilities tasks to the forefront.
Film studio facility management software also provides insight into facility operations. Data streaming in from numerous sources makes it easy to pinpoint trends and action items, and even to prevent problems. Stay on top of and ahead of building demands helps keep productions on-time, under-budget, and to a higher level of excellence.
Software bridges the gap between physical facilities, filmmaker demands, and facility management expectations. The result? A studio that’s ready to support the production of a masterpiece.
Facilities are the backbone of production
You can’t produce a movie without the right facilities—it’s why film studios exist. But having the right space isn’t enough; movie studios need to support every phase of production and provide a backdrop for fluid creation. If facilities don’t support production, it’s difficult for a filmmaker to realize their vision, which means audiences miss out on what could’ve been.
Rather than risk a masterpiece production for something less, film studios need to focus on supporting production through better facilities management. The studios amenities need to support production crews, and the building itself should accommodate the operations taking place within it. Tending to facilities even in simple ways has a big impact on the movies that eventually come out of them.