1st August 2008

The complicated process of movie production, from Hollywood blockbuster to art-house short, has been streamlined by a new organisational tool, saving valuable time and money.

The YAWL4Film workflow management system has already been hailed a success in the production of local feature film Prime Mover, starring William McInnes, Ben Mendelsohn and Emily Barclay, by a Porchlight Films production co-ordinator.

YAWL4Film project leader Kenneth Wang said the system dramatically reduced the time it took to organise the filming of movies of any length or budget.

It was designed by researchers at Queensland University of Technology in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.

"YAWL, which stands for 'yet another workflow language', was developed over five years, drawing on 10 years of research at QUT," Mr Wang said.

"It allows a chain of information to be automated, so that the information can be passed between many different parties and its progress tracked and directed along the way.

"With it, we have perfected the system for creating automated call sheets, which are a very important part of film production, but are also very tedious and time-consuming to create."

Mr Wang, a business process management expert, said call sheets were documents created in the production office during each day of filming to keep track of innumerable pieces of information and organise the intricacies of the next day's filming.

"Without call sheets, organised filming could not take place, but they are almost always written by hand or manually typed into a computer spreadsheet," he said.

"This can be untidy and is a time-consuming process, because the information is individually inputted each day.

"YAWL4Film streamlines this process and automatically consolidates information from multiple sources and creates the call sheets, saving time for production co-ordinators, production managers and assistant directors.

"It is also adaptable and allows these people to work within their preferred spreadsheet interface to organise information. There is a little more set-up time for the initial input of information, but overall, the system cuts the workload in half."

Prime Mover is due for release in 2009.

Media contact: Rachael Wilson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1150 or rachael.wilson@qut.edu.au.
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