Film, Small Business & Startups, and Technology

Startup develops web app for filmmakers

February 18, 2015
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Startup develops web app for filmmakers
SetHero is an in-development web app for filmmaking production management. Photo via setheroapp.com

A startup is developing a web app to help filmmakers manage the many facets of their productions.

Start Garden, the $15-million early stage venture capital fund in Grand Rapids, said last month that it will make an initial $5,000 investment in SetHero, the in-development web app for filmmaking production management.

SetHero

SetHero would help filmmakers organize and manage the details and tasks related to a production in an collaborative platform.

The app would allow users to import spreadsheets, generate call sheets, production reports and use data analytics to track overall progress.

Luke DeBoer, executive director and co-founder of SetHero, said the software is designed to help filmmakers to manage the variables and complex pieces of information that team members need to be aware of during the production process.

“Our goal is to empower filmmakers to take control of their information, to have all of the data that is involved with production actually work for the production, instead of against the production,” DeBoer said. “We can use smart insights or big data to give producers or managers helpful insights about how their team is going and keeping track of their progress.”

SetHero would to connect the entire team to the data through the Internet, so people can work together.

DeBoer said a couple downloadable applications in the market a “real outdated,” and the process “begins to become very inefficient.”

“It doesn’t have live collaboration and is kind of a silo of information,” he said.

SetHero would be set up with a subscription-based pricing model, based either on a monthly fee or by project, allowing users to pay for the product on an as-needed basis.

Based in Kalamazoo, SetHero was founded by DeBoer and Leslie Naugle, who is the director of operations for the startup.

The team is also comprised of Grace Bolzman, lead artistic designer, and Lars Hoffbeck, lead software developer.

Target market

SetHero is designed to benefit a number of users in the video production industry, including student filmmakers and corporate networks.

The startup’s initial target market will focus on independent filmmakers with a low-to-mid budget range of $500,000 to $1 million.

“There are a lot of people who could use this product,” DeBoer said. “My co-founder and I have a background in film, and so we have more connections in the independent film community. We also feel our product is most geared toward them, because our idea is to take the information and make it a little bit less stressful and possibly even a little fun.”

Next steps

DeBoer said the Start Garden backing is really significant both financially and for the support of the idea.

“It validated our idea for us,” DeBoer said. “Our friends and co-workers were very supportive and thought it was a great idea, but to have an outside source that didn’t know us supporting us was awesome. We’re definitely very excited and very honored to be chosen by Start Garden, and we are looking forward to what is ahead.”

SetHero will use the Start Garden funds toward developing a minimum viable product, or MVP, for a beta launch in May to test the software and gain feedback from initial users.

The funding will also be used to network with independent filmmakers at an upcoming film festival in San Antonio, Texas to spark interest and hear feedback.

“It is going to focus on a subset of the features that we would want in the full application,” said DeBoer in reference to the beta version. “The other thing is we want to get out there a little bit more into the filmmaker community and start talking to people and getting them excited about the product and get a little bit of customer traction.”

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