Thoughts behind the production of

an NYC Film Production Resource Locator

Here's a short discourse on what motivates me to produce this kind of a Web resource for the local community.

If you haven't yet visited the Resource Locator (it seems that some links are shuttling people directly to THIS page), you may want to take a look at it now.

When I began I realized that this was an ambitious project, and I wanted to encourage visitors, especially people who are involved in film production and impressed by the potential of the Web, to assist in its development. I maintain an expectation that it will grow in an organic but somewhat erratic fashion, and take advantage of the Web’s tendancy to spread like crabgrass. If things work as I expect them to, much of this guide can ultimately be developed by others and then be linked to from here.

I do want this guide to stay relatively simple and not become slick or too commercial. So far, I've elected to keep most of the content in word-form rather than have a lot of graphical flash. The pages may seem a little plain, but they certainly load faster without a lot of bitmaps embedded in them. And this guide's mission is unmistakably utilitarian.

I envision a guide that links the pages of other individuals and businesses, involved with film production to present an expansive mosaic of services and contacts. I hope to link with other local production people who share a similar interest in computers and communication, to develop a set of resource pages for and about the community of businesses and freelancers that make film production happen in and around NYC.

I’m particularly interested in how dynamically linked pages on the Web can be used to extend the reference tools at the disposal of producers, coordinators and everyone else involved with this largely freelance business.

Production services often include ideosyncratic ones, often communicated by word-of-mouth, and they don't always show up in directories or ads in the ink-on-paper production guides. The printed resource guides that are out there, no matter how extensive they may want to be, have a finite number of column-inches before they're too expensive to produce and distribute.

The Web, on the other hand, is very large and expansive, with as many pages as there are authors to create them and bandwidth to shuttle copies around. These pages can be written, developed and maintained by a number of different people who can in turn take individual responsibility for their accuracy and thoroughness. Yet they can easily point to each other to create a significant and comprehensive body of information that can be effectively navigated and even updated dynamically.

And the information at our fingertips can eventually reach extensive levels of depth. Let's take an example:

This logic can be extended to backdrop rental companies, grip trucks, studios, and so forth. For an example I've done a small test site of my own rental scenic inventory.

The power of the Web might extend itself well toward the efforts of the Mayor’s Office for Film, Television, and Theater to improve the competitive infrastructure of the local film production community. Policies could be explained for permits and forms could be submitted over the Web, copies of local union contracts could be posted, and referrals could be made to sources of production support.

These are just a few ideas I'm tossing out over still novel waters. I think we all know that the web will have a profound effect over how we will do business in the future. I would like to hear from others who may have proposals on how we can develop a corner of the Web to enhance the NYC production infrastructure.

Feel free to e-mail comments to my address below and watch these pages for further development.

Or, if you’re curious about my own work in scenic support, you can visit my home page and proceed from there.

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Jim Jenkins
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Revision: 12-2-97