"I really think producers need to build a community around them" with ProductionNext CMO Ben Yennie
Mandy News talks to the Chief Marketing Officer of ProductionNext Ben Yennie, find out a how he started his career within the film industry, a little more about the company, plus he delves into the exciting new partnership that has formed with ProductionNext andThe Mandy Network.
Tell us a little bit about how you got involved with the film industry.
My biggest background is as a producer and producer’s rep. I started out about 8 or 9 years ago as a producer, and I mark my transition from amateur to professional when I went to ‘The American Film Market’ for the first time, I went 3 times as producer with increasing success.
After a while I realised I was much better at being an executive producer in distribution and being a producers rep in general than being a producer, so I re-specialised.
Along the way I wrote a book on ‘The American Film Market’ called ’The Guerillarep’ which was the first book on film markets. It’s now in its 2nd edition and being used at at least 10 film schools that I know of.
I have also done a fair amount of community work around films, film business and finance in general, which people don’t talk about enough and there is not enough accurate info so I help as much as I can.
Through that I met Jim Miller, my partner at ‘ProductionNext’, I do the branding and marketing, etc. and Jim does the actual building of the site.
Tell us more about ‘ProductionNext’
When we met he had me on to write a business plan but we got along so well that I ended up co-founding the company at that point.
The big thing we do is help you manage every level of your production. One place where you can do everything related to making a movie, more than just making story boards, shoot list and schedules, etc.
We have the tools to manage that but also tools to manage your real world catalogue, equipment, sets, wardrobe, location, set dressing and even contacts and real world locations. You can plug those directly into the production tool and it will detect conflict right now.
"I really think producers need to build a community around them, and learning how to engage and grow that community through smart non spam marketing processes" - Ben Yennie
The other aspect is the community on the site to help you find things that you need but may not have access to through a classified system, as well as through some integrations we are working on including one with Mandy, that we can’t talk too much about just yet.
The big thing is to actually help you run literally every level of making a film in one online place.
What can you tell us about the partnership with Mandy.com?
We already realise we are doing a lot with one software package and there are things that make more sense to work with other people. Helping people find work on that level makes perfect sense to work with The Mandy Network - It’s at an early stage but it’s very exciting.
How do people get involved with ProductionNext?
There is a special log in page for The Mandy Network users and they get an extra 3 months on their annual membership when you sign up through that page.
What advice would you have for up-and-coming producers?
It may be skewed by my vantage point but I really think producers need to build a community around them, and learning how to engage and grow that community through smart non spam marketing processes.