Saturation App – An All-In-One Financial Management Platform for Productions Introduced

Saturation App - An All-In-One Financial Management Platform for Productions Introduced

Whatever production level you work at, you will need a method of financial management. At the very least, you could use Google Sheets. But now there is a new app, developed by production people, called Saturation. And if you don’t need in-app collaboration, it’s free. Let’s take a look at the details.

Jens Jacob, a movie producer, expressed frustration that a significant portion of his creative time was spent managing his production’s finances. He noticed that current financial tools were outdated, and as a result, he designed his own.

But the Saturation app is entering a crowded market with financial products that have different levels of sophistication. At the lower end, we have Hot Budget for music videos, commercials, and promos, and Showbiz Budgeting for feature films, TV, commercials, music video, web series, and corporate video projects. At the top end, there is Movie Magic Budgeting, which calls itself the ‘industry standard’.

There are, of course, more examples of budgeting software available, but these are commonly felt to be the most popular. The deciding factor is usually the scale of the project you are involved with.

What’s different about the Saturation app?

Jens describes the programs mentioned above as either too simplistic like Hot Budget or too complicated like Showbiz and Movie Magic. “I felt like I needed to go to school to understand how to use them; that I was only using 10% of what they had to offer,” he commented, referring to Showbiz and Movie Magic. He felt Hot Budget was a $100-a-year spreadsheet that he didn’t need.

Projects are accessed from the initial screen. Image: Saturation

He also felt that the budgeting programs he used were too insistent on manual processing, when automation was what he needed to help free himself from financial planning: “I was turning into an accountant,” he concluded.

Understanding where the inspiration for Saturation comes from is a production story, not a financial one. Jens didn’t attend film school; he learned his craft through free software trials like Photoshop and Premiere. They helped him fine-tune his creative art. He feels that there isn’t anything similar on offer when you want to learn how to budget.

Talking about the original idea for Saturation, Jens said, “We wanted it to become a funnel to allow people to use the templates if you’re doing something indie, short film, or project. What’s the point of gatekeeping that?”

The free version of the Saturation app will give you all you need if you’re a self-shooter or content creator. It’s only when your production grows that you will need the full version, as then collaboration becomes the normal practice for movie-making across the board.

Evolving the budgeting process

Each entry hides more data as in a spreadsheet table. Image: Saturation.

Jens brought his producer experience to the design of Saturation especially where collaboration was an essential part. Previously, when producing a show, he had found that several spreadsheets were used throughout a production, which, as a result, caused even more work for the production team.

His idea was to bring all that data into one place and then introduce an access control element to the program. He likens it to a new post-production collaboration tool. “It’s kind of like what Frame IO has done for post, we want to do for pre-production. It brings in the right people who need access to that information.”

What is the Saturation market?

For the full version of Saturation, collaboration is key. Image: Saturation.

At present, Saturation isn’t being targeted at the big Hollywood studios. The thinking is that they usually move at a much slower pace than the smaller-teamed content creators, and have their financial teams. At the moment, the marketing is aimed at creators who are looking to save time and money by automating certain parts of their process and are already used to modern-day workflows. 

You could see it as a step up from Google Sheets, Dropbox, or QuickBooks. “It’s for people who are doing a lot and need the capacity for doing more,” Jens sums up.

Saturation App, Current status

From a standing start, Saturation has nearly 500 users on the platform. The company encourages feedback and has already incorporated some of it into the program. The initial idea was to produce something specific enough but at the same time generic enough to work for all kinds of production.

Jens isn’t limiting its use to just the moving image. He can see its use in photography, events, and even weddings – he is using Saturation to plan his own.

For more information, head to the Saturation App home page.

Let us know what you think about the Saturation app in the comments section below. Are you having problems with your current financial budgeting software? Would something like Saturation help you out? Is collaboration essential for you?


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