Olivier Bronckart • Founder, Moonday
"Simplifying access to information, shaking up the way it’s processed and making it easier to share"
- We met with Olivier Bronckart who is now embarking on a new adventure in the form of Moonday, a collaborative information gathering and processing platform
We sat down with Olivier Bronckart, a former producer for Films du Fleuve and a co-founder, in league with his brother Jacques-Henri Bronckart, of Versus Production, Inver Invest and O’Brother Distribution. He’s now embarking on a new adventure: Moonday, a collaborative platform for gathering and processing information which could soon become an indispensable market resource, after first helping sector workers return to film sets.
Cineuropa: Where did the desire to create Moonday come from?
Olivier Bronckart: It came from a recurrent observation made in the industry: the lack of a centralised database, despite the usefulness of this information which is gathered by the entire chain of stakeholders, from producers through to international sales agents, by way of institutions or Tax Shelter partners. Based on my experience as a producer, but also as someone who has worked with the Tax Shelter initiative and in the field of distribution, I found that the tools we were working with to gather and share information were neither very functional or efficient, and this was partly because they weren’t transversal. Each area gathered its own data and processed its own information, and others in the chain were unable to benefit from it.
This is a sector where everyone is interconnected, but there aren’t really any other links, other than human ones.
It felt like we were all running after the same information, that it took up a considerable amount of (lost) time, and that certain details could be duplicated almost ad infinitum. At each and every festival and market, I felt like I was starting up the same discussions, almost from zero, starting with a blank page all over again. So, in 2019, I decided to develop Moonday. It was a slightly pie-in-the-sky idea, crazy even. But I met the right partner, Christophe Deliens, who’d developed cutting-edge applications for big companies and who helped me make this project a reality.
How would you describe Moonday?
It’s something of a cross between a professional social network like Linkedin, a proactive database and a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, which allows information to be shared internally, within a team, as well as externally, with partners or the wider sector. It holds full details of projects underway, companies, industry professionals, support bodies… The idea is to simplify access to information, shake up the way it’s processed and make it easier to share.
What stage are you at with the tool, right now?
After more or less one year of development, we’ve pitched it at Unifrance meetings, as well as in Berlin. We were planning on launching it in Cannes and had a few meetings in the diary, but now we’re targeting Venice. It’s a continual work-in-progress; we want to develop the tool as we go, in line with the sector’s needs. There are now 14 of us, including the data gatherers. We should be expanding the team in the coming weeks.
Has the current health crisis led you to consider an additional function for the platform?
Yes, we’re currently adapting the tool to enable it to proactively monitor information relating to the resumption of filming. We’re pooling information for producers, of course, but also for providers of technical, post-production or even insurance services, obviously with adaptable privacy settings. It’s a way of fitting in with the sector’s needs, once again. A French association of producers contacted me a while back to explain that they were putting together Excel spreadsheets, detailing the various film-shoots that had been interrupted by Covid-19 and information relating to the teams and equipment involved. They realised that it was impossible to re-consolidate the different information, which was processed differently by the various stakeholders. As we’d already developed our database, we offered to pick up the baton.
There’s going to be a real tsunami of action when filming resumes. There’s fear in the sector that everyone will get back up and running at the same time. Even equipment rental agencies are worried.
As a former producer, I know that re-starting a film shoot and bringing a team back together is a huge job. If everyone works separately, it’s not going to go well. I often use the game Tetris as a metaphor: if you don’t put the puzzle pieces in the right places, there are gaps. In normal times, these gaps are filled, but at the minute there’s a risk that everything will collide. We will have to do things collectively, even if that’s not how we usually work in this sector. We have provisional filming dates, and if we have all the data in front of us, it will allow us to identify conflicts, at all levels, and to warn the numerous people involved.
We’ve already encoded a great many films (over 4,500), we’ve gathered a huge amount of information and we’re ready to spring into action. The aim is to function as a shared resource. We’re working to provide producers with rapid access. Thanks to this tool, we could even suggest dates for the resumption of filming which would help things to go more smoothly.
What’s the Moonday business model, for the time being?
Some professional associations, including the UPFF (French-Speaking Producers Association), are contributing towards the development of the tool’s functionality vis-à-vis information on the resumption of film shoots, and we’re going to suggest that producers make a contribution too, in line with the type of productions they work on: €240/year for feature films, €150/year for documentaries and short films.
For distributors, sales agents and broadcasters, we’ll work off the basis of a subscription system. For now, the system is free until the next Venice Film Festival. Afterwards, there will be a basic cost of €60/user per month, with different price plans, but also a sizeable discount for the first 6 months.
(Translated from French)
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