Many producers use production management software to streamline their workflows and keep their productions running smoothly. One of the most well-known production solutions on the market today is Entertainment Partners.
Entertainment Partners offers services that help producers with management, payroll, taxes, casting, and more. But are they really worth the hype?
This Entertainment Partners review will look at the company’s services and software features, pros and cons, pricing, and more. We’ll also take a look at some Entertainment Partner alternatives so you can determine the best software fit for your production.
Table of Contents
What is Entertainment Partners?
Entertainment Partners is a production finance and management solution for the film and television industry. Established over 40 years ago, the company is headquartered in Burbank, California.
The platform is best known for its integrated products and services suite that streamline various production processes such as 1099 payroll, accounting, and residuals. Entertainment Partners also provides users services for tax management and legal compliance for an overall smoother production.
Entertainment Partners Casting
Central Casting is a separate entity that helps producers find background actors for film, television, and other types of productions. They have offices in Los Angeles, New York, Georgia, and Louisiana.
The Casting Portal is for leading casting agencies or producers working independently. Users can book background actors through their private portal and filter their search by look, location, availability, skills, experience, etc.
Producers can track contracts, release forms, NDAs, policies, and declarations within the portal. The production’s payroll can also be expedited with SmartVoucher, a payment technology that allows producers to set up and agree on times and fees digitally.
The Casting Portal also offers features that let producers save pre-designed templates, send out bulk messaging questionnaires, create lookbooks, and more.
Entertainment Partners Payroll
The Entertainment Partner payroll platform covers both payroll and residual payments. The Production Finance Studio, SmartAccounting, and SmartPO provide support for payments, invoicing, timecards, and cost management.
Entertainment Partners Review
Is Entertainment Partners the real deal? Read on to see what this production and payroll solution offers and where it falls short with our review!
- Production Finance Studio: Clients can access live updates and streamline their workflows, onboarding, timecards, payroll, and accounting.
- SmartStart: Onboarding tools equipped with templates, custom forms, automatic updates, and compliance.
- Smart Accounting: An accounting tool that supports file uploading, handles ACH payment processing live dashboards, and offers one-click audit reporting.
- Casting Portal: Clients can book talent, send and track documents, and expedite payroll in their private portal.
- Enterprise Hub: This feature was made specifically for large studios and enterprises managing multiple projects.
- Insight Solutions: Offers payroll insights to help users make data-driven decisions for their productions.
- EP Now: A news and insights platform where users can get news, insights, and ideas from EP’s experts.
- The Production Community: This community platform provides product information, industry training, and resume support.
- EP Residency: Aids the process of handling Canadian residency documents. Users can upload their records once and share them in just a few clicks.
- SmartResiduals: Can convert revenue and airdate information into payment triggers that can be reviewed, edited, and approved.
- SyncOnSet: Saves time with automatic script breakdowns and revision, reporting, and tracking production assets and inventory
- SmartPO: Digital management of POs, invoices, and supplier payments.
- SmartTime: Mobile and digital timecard for onboarding and accounting.
- Scenechronize: Cloud-based solution for collaboration with crew members and teams
- Movie Magic Budgeting: Simplifies budgeting, estimating, and reporting for productions
- Movie Magic Scheduling: Schedules shoot times, scenes, and more in detail for projects of any size.
For any Entertainment Partners pricing information, interested parties need to speak with one of their reps.
- Centralized space for production management, entertainment payroll services, talent booking, and casting.
- Works directly with the producer or user to help them understand letters, negotiation agreements, waivers, and other provisions so that all obligations are met.
- A cybersecurity team watches over advanced products and internal protections.
- Users can manage, store, search, and access documents from multiple productions in the SmartHub.
- Producers can create, edit, and approve their professional budgets for productions of all sizes.
- Producers can share photos and notes in the cloud.
Here are some limitations to consider before choosing Entertainment Partners as your production solution.
- Entertainment Partner recently had a major security breach, losing information for social security, full names, mailing addresses, and more.
- For casting and payroll solutions, producers and users have to visit a separate website.
- In Entertainment Partners reviews, customers mention that getting certain documents can require phone calls, multiple websites, and passwords
- Some talent and workers reported that they had issues receiving their payments from Entertainment Partners
- Customer support can take long time to resolve certain issues about payroll and taxes
Entertainment Partners Alternatives
While Entertainment Partners can work as a contractor payroll solution, there are lots of great payroll services out there. Here are a few alternatives you can use for payroll and production management.
1. LÜK Network
LÜK offers a range of production payroll services designed to navigate all the requirements of the entertainment industry. The platform covers everything from cast and crew payroll and payroll taxes to managing workers’ compensation and labor law compliance.
LÜK also operates as a comprehensive talent-booking platform committed to offering the best selection of diverse talent on the market. It’s your one-stop-shop to source talent from any agency for virtual or on-site casting. Included in our services, we provide a dedicated booking assistant assigned to verify your selected talent.
- Wage compliance: Handles talent payment for contractors in compliance with labor laws for California and other states.
- Invoice bundling: Pay talent, contractors, incidental, and more with just one invoice per production.
- Casting: Set up casting calls virtually or in person with the help of a booking specialist.
- Tax management: Send out tax documents on behalf of the producer for tax season
- Worker classification: Correctly classifies any contractors and employees to avoid any fines or legal troubles.
- Employer of Record: LÜK can serve as your Employer of Record to make sure you hire contractors in accordance with labor laws and regulations.
Ready to save 15+ hours on your next shoot?
2. Cast & Crew
Cast & Crew provides specialized payroll services for the entertainment industry, particularly for film, television, and live event productions. Their PSL+ platform simplifies payroll management, handling everything from timecards to tax filings. Cast and Crew also offers a digital timecard and workflow system.
- Start+: Tool for digital onboarding processes for productions and crew members.
- Hours+: Digital timecard and workflow solution.
- Incentives Guide: They provide a comprehensive breakdown of all available film incentives.
- Incentives Map: They allow you to compare shoot location options.
3. Extreme Reach
Extreme Reach’s mission is to help producers and clients with payroll talent and rights management. Their services include music publishing, licensing, contract management, and negotiating royalties. The platform also offers payroll solutions such as payroll and incentive management, production accounting, employee onboarding, residual management, and more.
- Residuals: Clients can schedule residual payments as well as receive data and analytics.
- Production Incentives: Clients can access production incentives map for the U.S. and Canada with overviews of state, province, city, and county programs.
- Accountant Resources: A self-service platform feature that comes with educational tools and training tools.
- Payroll: Helps with payroll calculations, talent payment, and managing workers’ compensation claims submissions on their client’s behalf.
Choose the Best Entertainment Partners Alternative
Entertainment Partners provides producers with plenty of production management, payroll, casting, booking, and more services. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your production.
LÜK will revolutionize how you book and pay talent with our intuitive platform designed for producers. You can finally:
- Simplify payroll for every production with just one invoice approval or dispute
- Easily integrate worker’s comp insurance for cast and crew members
- View rates and availability and book talent from multiple agencies
- Work with a personal booking specialist to set up casting calls and confirm talent
- Reduce payroll expenses
- Guarantee labor law compliance
LÜK can reduce your 1099 payroll expenses by 40%, give you back 15 hours on your next production run, and, as our clients say, “save your life.”
Sounds nice, right?