New Forest’s Simon David Miller rethinks the production process


Can Artificial Intelligence And Project Management Techniques In The Tech Industry Help The Film And Television Industry To Create More Success?

Tech entrepreneur Simon David Miller thinks so and is in the process of raising £ 1-3million ($ 1.3-3.91million) for his production company New Forest Film Co. to recruit a team. and to develop a technology to help it is the spearhead of a new way of working in the industry, namely the Agile method.

Used by companies like Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google, Agile is a management process for creating a new project by breaking it down into stages and testing and improving it with each stage.

Miller says the Agile methodology used by New Forest, which is supported by former EMI chief Elio Leoni Sceti, allows filmmakers to test and improve their collaborative work across all levels of production, reducing risk commercial and by offering a greater diversity of stories and Talent.

Former investment banker at JP Morgan and senior global vice president of innovation at EMI Music, Miller has helped found and sell several media technology start-ups, including online music site Peoplesound, the company of Zeebox screen television and social and digital marketing company Beamly. He also directed the Gaelic film “Seachd – The Inaccessible Pinnacle”, which was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland award.

New Forest is, he says, a production company rather than a consulting firm, and trying to improve the process of making a film. He says he can reduce risk and boost diversity by making decisions about “a very small set of people,” and instead collecting opinions on projects from audiences before production begins.

Miller explains that New Forest has developed a prototype system for testing the scripts and ideas it emanates internally, which shows what a movie will look and sound like, how the characters will be portrayed, and how the movie will be marketed. This involves producing video storyboards, which typically consist of 75% graphic novel quality static storyboards and 25% rotoscope / animation, with actors performing key moments in the story.

He says New Forest has also launched a new method using AI-based emotion recognition technology to test these video storyboards. It uses a webcam on the test audience’s computers when showing a prototype, allowing filmmakers to track audience reaction to particular scenes or times. If the audience doesn’t respond, says Miller, “filmmakers have two choices. You can’t do it either. Or you get clues from the audience and repeat them.

New Forest is also testing trailers, concept posters and social media campaigns with audiences.

He also says New Forest will hire a cinematographer, production designer and key department heads to work on projects, and to test and improve them before production.

“It has the potential to totally disrupt the established process, as it allows filmmakers to really understand how everything from casting to storylines to marketing will be viewed throughout the production process,” Miller said.

He insists that the Agile process does not mean making films in committee or transferring decision-making to the public. Instead, says Miller, Agile allows filmmakers to test their work as the film is in the making rather than just upon release, allowing creatives to try out bold ideas during production. .

Spending money up front on this type of research and development can, he says, improve a project’s chances of success at the box office or on television.

The company used its Agile method to develop and test two television series, “Unbroken Isles,” set in 9th-century Scotland, and the British superhero thriller “Ghost Heart,” both of which are screened at streamers and broadcasters. He is also working on a big budget TV series, which he says reinvents a famous literary work.

New Forest has also developed and tested “Invisible” features on human trafficking and the horror film “Death Clock”. Of these two features, New Forest is likely to go ahead with “Invisible” first after being tested more heavily with nearly 2,300 people. Miller says New Forest will direct the film itself or produce it with partners.

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