Post Production

November 4, 2012  

Searing Cinema O.P.S.

The backend of this site, the intranet created for Searing Cinema named O.P.S. (online production system), received a major upgrade back in May. A quick preview was posted with screenshots that were out of order and context.

Now that the frontend has been upgraded to match it, here is a closer look at the core of Searing Cinema (click on images for larger view):

After logging in, users are greeted with the Dashboard; a progress bar on the current phase of the highest priority production, the closest events scheduled on the agenda filtered from the company calendar, and a weather forecast for shooting on location. Features and content appear dynamically based on the user’s department.


For admin’s, the content management system is integrated for easy access to manage everything seen on the frontend / public side of the site.

Content Management System

In the development and planning stages, a simple drag n’ drop chart is used to gauge the potential scale and scope of the production.

Simple Chart

Once the timeline is established, a more complex chart is setup to dynamically measure proposed or committed resources, tasks, and scheduling, that effect each other through dependencies – which is then tracked during production against actuals in the daily set report.

Complex Chart

The Desktop gives an overview of each production in progress. All tasks and milestones are tracked on the production calendar.

The Desktop

The production administration is used to create a new production or wrap one that has finished.

Production Administration

The staff and crew recruited for the production are assigned accordingly, with the ability to assign members to multiple productions.

User Administration

Profile Administration

Once the production is created, an individual production overview displays it’s milestones and tasks separately from other productions. Staff and crew can keep track of time spent on tasks if they are not paid on a salary basis.

Production Overview

The milestones are established for the life of the production.


And then the tasks are setup for each milestone, which are assigned to the staff and crew.


An internal messaging system offers an isolated line of communication for task memos, away from the clutter of external communication.

Messaging System

To establish the tasks required to meet each milestone of production, the production guide is created based on the script to present required tasks in the clearest, most organized, and precise way possible.

Production Guide

The script is contained in its own folder to keep current drafts and revisions maintained with a single pdf, synchronized across the company and production to literally keep everyone on the same page. Dynamic sections of the production guide appear based on user assignment. This is the producer’s section of the guide, which contains sections for each department in each phase of production.

Producer’s Guide

Before tasks are delegated and assigned, the producer has access to a drag ‘n drop task manager with tabs to use as a rough draft for managing each task list.

Task Manager

Another section is the Contact Manager, which functions as a digital rolodex. In addition to managing confidential contact details of staff and crew, it is also used for storing vendor and third party information not readily accessible through the internet.

Contacts Manager

Although the majority of accounting is maintained by the production’s accounting firm, an internal accounting system has been integrated to automate the processing of shipping and receiving.

Accounting System

For forms that are filled out by hand during production, our form manager offers branded company form templates that can be printed to paper or pdf…

Form Manager

…Or edited directly to fill out digitally, then exported…

Form Edit

…and drag ‘n dropped back onto the server through the file manager as a copy for storage, which can also appear dynamically on the backend in it’s appropriate section depending on the folder that it is dropped into. All of the newly created forms are also organized in the form manager seen above. The file manager can be used to transfer files and forms to and from any section on the server, to keep all documents synchronized between the company and the productions.

File Manager

That concludes the brief tour of our intranet, as a few sections were skipped and the bulk of the content is contained within the production guides: ‘The Junkyard’ is currently at 80% completion in the development phase as it is a production of a fairly large scope. It will be our first major feature production after ‘Violent Acts’ – our modest debut feature production.

For a preview of the development in progress for ‘Violent Acts’, which was informally announced back in May, click the image below for ‘Part 2’ of that post ->

A Tale of Twin Cities: Part 2