SafetyDetectives exclusive: Filmustage's CEO Egor Dubrovsky on AI's role in pre-production

SafetyDetectives spoke with the CEO of Filmustage, Egor Dubrovsky, about his journey in the film and production industry, challenges faced by filmmakers during pre-production, the role of AI in the film industry, and more.

SafetyDetectives exclusive: Filmustage's CEO Egor Dubrovsky on AI's role in pre-production

Can you talk about your journey and what motivated you to co-found Filmustage?

I’m Egor, the co-founder and CEO of I had my own production studio, and the journey of my project one day led me to Los Angeles. Once I visited San Francisco, it was an exciting experience for me: while enjoying a night out at a jazz club, burglars broke into my car and stole everything I had – including my passport and my filmmaking gear. I wasn’t very upset, knowing that ahead of me were adventures that I would remember for a lifetime.

That occasion left me stranded in the US, a world away from home, without any money or documents. But, as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. Amidst the chaos, I found myself stuck in the US for a long time. It was during this unexpected delay that I had an incredible opportunity to work together with productions that were shooting pilots for Netflix and Amazon.

On set, I realized something startling. The method used for script breakdowns was still stuck in the analog era. Pens, papers, and piles of scripts – it was a tedious process that ate up so much valuable time. And that’s when it hit me: why not use technology to simplify this process?

This was the seed that later grew into Filmustage—an AI-based platform that automates script breakdown, making the process faster, simpler, and more accurate. The adversity I faced in America didn’t just lead to the birth of Filmustage; it rekindled my passion for filmmaking and inspired me to create a product that could benefit the global filmmaking community. My goal had always been to empower filmmakers everywhere to do Hollywood-quality work.

What makes Filmustage stand out from other pre-production tools and services in the film industry?

We started working on our neural network long before it became mainstream. For example, our co-founder Ruslan has 5 years of experience in AI and neural networks and 11 years in software development. Our team has very strong technical specialists, we work tirelessly to develop and improve the product.

We operate within the Agile mindset, listen attentively to our users, and develop iterations based on their feedback. Thanks to new technology, our platform significantly reduces the time spent on pre-production and everything related to it. In this way, we have created an all-in-one platform for filmmakers. Additionally, we offer the ability to export all results to other industry-standard software like Movie Magic Scheduling and Final Draft.

From your perspective, what are some of the biggest challenges faced by filmmakers in the pre-production phase?

Filmmakers constantly need to analyze and process a vast amount of information. From all this data, they must compile various pre-production documentation such as script breakdown summaries, call sheets, and shooting schedules. They are also tasked with synchronizing the work of hundreds of people and planning the logistics of film production. Communication within the team is often fragmented, with team members frequently working with different tools and programs. Our service allows all of this to be done in one place, as well as enabling the entire team to work together on a project simultaneously through the Team Access feature.

As AI technology continues to advance, do you foresee any potential ethical or creative dilemmas that filmmakers may face?

We are aware of the problem with the strikes of writers and actors. This has become a problem, we hope it’ll be resolved as soon as possible. People are facing issues such as job loss and being replaced by AI. We recognize this problem and in no way exacerbate it. We deeply understand the problem and support those who have been affected by it to some degree. We value creative work and do not hinder anyone’s job. All that Filmustage does is reduce manual labor and efficiently organize all processes. We help to significantly accelerate production. For example, we can now assist in compiling synopses for all script scenes in one click and manage risks using a powerful AI Script Analysis tool.

The main message we would like to convey is that Filmustage doesn’t replace the human element in pre-production, nor does it interfere with the creative process. We simply supplement and enhance a filmmaker’s qualities and skills, providing a technological, convenient, and modern toolkit for all their needs.

How do you see AI technology shaping the future of the film industry beyond pre-production? Are there other areas where AI could have a significant impact?

Neural networks provide opportunities to create and share art with a larger audience. Some AI helps synchronize lip movements, translate video content into all world languages, and quickly generate text summaries of lengthy videos to save time. Now, everyone has the opportunity to overcome international and language barriers. AI has accelerated the content production industry and enhanced opportunities for smaller, indie studios, and bloggers. Our advice is – don’t panic; things will be better than you anticipate. Current issues will be regulated, and AI in cinema will become a remarkable tool for industry professionals and veterans, helping them save time and money. All that’s needed is to learn this new toolkit and understand its value.

In your opinion, what are some of the key skills or qualities that filmmakers should focus on developing in this digital age to stay relevant and succeed in the industry?

In today’s world, filmmakers should understand and keep abreast of new technologies in cinema, and learn to use them to their advantage in their work, including as a source of inspiration, motivation, and fresh ideas. The worst position is to be closed to new technologies, including being a hater of neural networks without understanding their characteristics and capabilities. No one disputes that a particular AI, such as one designed to replace real actors with digital graphic models, could largely harm the industry, impacting professional actors’ feelings. However, another AI, like ours, which has been trained since 2018 to recognize elements in scripts and categorize them, is only aimed at accelerating processes. It’s designed to streamline the script breakdown process and help Assistant Directors, Line Producers, Directors of Photography, and VFX specialists save time and skip manual work. Thus, nobody’s hurt and everyone’s happy.

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