Croo.tv: Scheduling Solution for Film Makers

Web App for Planning and Organizing Shootings

Project Background

Working as an assistant director on television commercials, our client felt that common methods of scheduling (spreadsheets and Word documents) only wasted his time. So, he came up with an idea how to speed up the process — instead of creating the schedules manually, you can use the app that automates the process.

Solution

CROO is a scheduling app for commercials, TV shows, and even movies. It helps producers and assistant directors plan and manage the shootings.

The solution is a web cloud-based application, which is available from any device.

The app allows users to create and import storyboards, break down a script narrative into parts, and make a detailed shot list with text strips, scene and shot numbers, location, description, cast members, requirements, and pictures. Images uploaded into a library can be edited: users can flip, rotate, and crop pictures, and change their brightness and contrast. After that, the application builds a shooting schedule. When shooting details are updated, they are automatically changed throughout the schedule. The application converts this plan into a printable PDF. One can also use the application to create a show script.

We added an admin panel, which helps the client edit content on static pages. The content includes help page, pop-up instructions, sample projects, sample print templates, and scheduled and automated emails, which users get during the trial or subscription period.

Initially, the project was planned as a simple application with very limited functionality. Back then it was enough to use small JS scripts that performed their functionality. As the project grew, the functionality was added within the same pages, i.e. new pages did not appear, and the number of JS scripts that existed separately from each other only grew. As a result, periodically the functionality of one script influenced another. The problem was solved by professional refactoring. Now the app is huge and everything works smoothly.

Technologies used

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Symfony
  • Bootstrap
  • Stripe API
  • jQuery
  • Fabric.js (Canvas)
  • RabbitMQ
  • Google Analytics

Results

Being one of the best web-apps in its field, it became very popular among professionals. Even a few TV advertisements for Super Bowl 2021 were scheduled entirely with CROO, for example, the one for Cadillac with Winona Ryder and Timothee Chalamet.

Customer Says

When I first called Sibers in 2018 to help develop a web application for scheduling TV commercials and movies, I’ll admit that I knew almost nothing about them. They seemed friendly and capable in our first meeting, but I needed a reliable recommendation. As it turns out, they had developed another entertainment website that I happen to use regularly. I called that client, also based in Los Angeles, and received assurance that they knew what they were doing.

Sibers was a leap of faith for me. I had approached several software development companies in the US and Europe in order to get the app off the ground, but the initial quotes for the product I wanted to make were way outside my budget. When I received my quote from Sibers, I have to admit that I was skeptical at how much lower it was than anyone else I had spoken to. After locating Novosibirsk on a map, I had to ask, can they really be that good for the price? The answer is simply, “yes, they can.”

Now, two years later, it’s my turn to offer a recommendation. I came to them with a concept, a mockup website, and a fairly good idea of what I wanted to accomplish. I now have a fully functioning app, with paying subscribers, that far exceeds any expectations I had going in.

I believe the main reason for this is that the process became a creative collaboration as well as a logistical one. On countless occasions I asked the question “what do you think is the best way to accomplish this?” which can be a deadly wormhole to go down in some development situations. However, my project manager and developers always offered smart, thoughtful solutions and were clear about how long each would take to implement so that I could make informed decisions. The result was stable, effective code within my budget -- which ended up being a bit more than that initial quote, but only because we added so many cool new features I would have never thought of on my own.

There was some project manager turnover during the two years that we worked together, but when a new manager came on, he or she would always be up-to-speed and familiar with the app to insure continuity. In addition, the customer service was excellent, and they went out of their way to keep me informed of any changes.

So … yes. I wholeheartedly recommend the work of Maxim, Nikolay, Tatyana, Andrey, Elena, Mikhail, Anastasia, Evgeniya, and everyone else that endured over 3000 individual communications over the course of two years to help me to build croo.tv into a successful app that I think we’re all very proud of. (March 2020)

Michael Bell — Owner at Croo LLC
+_ONE _SIX_TWO_SIX _EIGHT_ZERO_SEVEN _ONE_THREE_SIX_ZERO

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