Thanks to automation and the evolution of the desktop computer, Visual Effects stands on a fluid foundation since the crisis of just a few years ago. You wouldn’t think so because of multi million dollar budgets and that just about everything has visual effects in it now, but being so competitive, so cut throat, in visual effects, every dollar counts. Now Curó is a budget program that’s designed to manage your visual effects and keep your company in the black.
Developed by visual effects producer Joyce Cox, Curó addresses the need for a unified system for the financial planning and management of visual effects. Teaming up with UST Global Media Services, Cox began development of Curó as an alternative to the arcane system of using spreadsheets to manage bloated and over budget visual effects projects.
Curó offers a simplified, web-based interface which gives users the ability to breakdown, manage and organize a visual effects budget directly from the script, itself.
“From the beginning, CURÓ clearly establishes each shot’s connection to the script, and provides automation of key tasks for greater organization and time savings,” writes Cox. “Users can easily insert and track relevant incentives and fringes, see a dynamic overview as well as breakdowns by shot list budget, asset budget, FX budget, and so on. The web-based interface ensures that your budget is secure, always up to date and accessible even if you’re on the road.”
Based on machine learning, Curó is designed to be able to breakdown a script automatically, determine required visual effects, and attached needed assets. The budget us then generated according to how complex the production team wants the budget report to be. Once done, a budget can be made that is more accurate than any before it, with reports according to scene, sequence, and overall project. Curó can even factor in relevant tax incentives achieved by basing your post production house in a state or country with favorable tax schemes.
With it’s web based interface, Curó can work with multiple locations and teams, and be set up quickly and accurately, to manage the evolving needs of a film’s visual effects budget. It also looks for common bottlenecks that can cause overruns and offer solutions to avoid them.
Other features include:
- Access Anywhere: As a secure web-based application, Curó can be accessed from your computer or tablet anywhere you are. From home to the office to the set, know that the latest version of your budget is readily accessible.
- Easy Setup: To get started, simply upload your script, and in minutes Curó generates a breakdown of scenes, action, and dialogue. Organize your project into sequences, create shots, new assets and FX elements, and apply tags. Curó clearly establishes each shot’s connection to the script.
- Streamline Revisions: Curó easily merges new versions of the script and isolates changes, eliminating the time (and potential errors) of running line-by-line comparisons.
- Leverage Tax Incentives: The CURÓ Incentives tool lets users establish relevant incentive info and apply to any cost item to automatically calculate gross and net totals.
- Accurate Forecasting: Gross and net totals are dynamic and can be broken down by scene, sequence, and overall project. Export your budget as an Excel workbook containing a summary, shot list budget, asset budget, FX budget, facility overhead budget, VFX overhead budget, and 3D budget, with net and gross calculations reflecting incentives and fringe information.
- Establish Cost Complexity levels to aid in initial budget projections for Assets, FX and Shots
- Apply established Cost Complexity rates or enter a unique value to individual or groups of shots or elements.
- Establish Incentives & Rebates which can be applied to individual elements of the digital and overhead budgets. CURÓ displays gross and net budget totals.
- Create production overhead budgets for the VFX Department, Digital Facility and Stereo 3D, including labor fringe.
Curó also offers a wide variety of reporting, which can be imported into Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and even Google’s Sheets online spreadsheet. Reports include Project summary, shot list, asset list, FX breakdown, production notes, and overhead budgets.
There are also plans to expand Curó into an online bid submission interface, where visual effects companies can work up their FX budget and then bid directly for a project within the Curó interface.
Cost to operate Curó is $150 a month, with a 3 month minimum, on a single user/single project rate, $250 a month for single user/multi-projects, and up to $1250 a month for multi-user/multi-project level. 30 day free trials are also available here.