The secure Web-based programme (www.producersutopia.com) is used for storing and sharing documents related to film development and production, including scripts, contracts, budgets, call sheets, correspondence, deal memos, budgets, schedules and distribution agreements. It creates a paperless, mobile office with customized access privileges for each project.
Litto (creative and business development) founded the company with Anny Bormans (CEO), CJ Buckeridge (CFO), Kenneth Himschoot (lead developer) and Christopher Buckeridge (communications/EU sales). Companies brought together for the venture are UK-based EMS Ltd, Belgium-based Himschoot Consulting and US-based Amuse Entertainment.
Bormans and Litto started to discuss forming the company when they met on the advisory board of the International Emerging Talent Film Festival (IETFF) in Monaco. Bormans says: 'Andria Litto is 150% aware of the needs of the industry.'
Litto met for months with Belgium-based lead developer Himschoot to create the platform. Litto says: 'It was borne out of personal frustrations of years of dealing with binders and file cabinets. There is an insanity with all the paper going back and forth.'
Himschoot adds: 'The other [virtual office] tools are very general, other companies have come to Hollywood trying to dictate the workflow to them. What we've done is found the workflow producers need and worked backwards from that.'
Litto continues: 'Virtual office programmes aren't really addressing these specific needs,' such as the ability to email an encrypted, digitally watermarked script.
Producer's Utopia has been in beta testing for several months but was launching formally at the recent AFM in Los Angeles. A mobile application is being finalised now. Prices run from $20-$200 a month depending on the number of projects and users.
Litto says the idea can be customized further for specific company needs, or expanded for other parts of the film business in the future. 'It's Producer's Utopia but eventually we could get into Agent's Utopia, Studio Utopia or Director's Utopia.'
Los Angeles-based Litto, who has worked with her father George Litto on projects including a planned feature film of Hawaii Five-O, also has three comedies in development that she plans to direct. Litto also directed a short film, A Scrooge Meets Cinderella Story, to promote the launch of Producer's Utopia.