Being your own independent contractor in production can be daunting. There is a lot to know, and a lot more that you have to learn along the way. One problem I see with beginning professionals in their lack of ability to keep themselves organized on paper. This is why I built the Video Mantis App. This app will show you how it can start helping you THIS YEAR, if you start NOW!
The Video Mantis App has been evolving over the last ten years. It has 2 different tiers depending on what level you are at in your career. When you first create your account it starts off as a freemium service. From there you can upgrade to a VM PRO Membership overtime when you need the extra features. Adding Receipts is a feature that is unlocked for VM Pro Members.
Let me show you how and why you are going to start the year off right supporting Video Mantis and getting these features in your pocket!
Our app allows you to create a digital inventory of your actual kit. Instead of creating a spreadsheet or manually adding items to a custom app, the Video Mantis app harnesses the power of The Vault. It is as simple as searching and selecting ADD TO MY GEAR.
As a freemium user, you can add 10 pieces of gear into your personal inventory. As a VM Pro Member, you can add unlimited gear and create unlimited kits. Kits are where the magic of the app happen. They allow you to organize your gear in various ways and also export pdfs for clients or associates. These PDFs also have options to turn on and off pricing, notes, and even nicknames for your gear.
Save Time For Your FUTURE SELF!
I don’t know a single person (except for my tax accountants at Robert Hall and Associates) that enjoy filing taxes or even filling out expense reports. To be honest, I know a lot of sound mixers that are horrible at expenses as well. I used to work at two different retail stores, and around April, they all come asking for the store to re-e-mail everything they bought for the previous year.
These shops do it out of the goodness of their hearts, but they are usually understaffed. This service/favor can suck up a lot of time, unless they have good POS system. It’s unprofessional to ask every year for this, and it causes others to have to work harder because you couldn’t file your paperwork correctly in the first place. Wouldn’t it be easier if there was a way to eliminate all this extra e-mail crap later?
Start Filing Expenses NOW
Every time you purchase a new piece of gear, add it to your personal gear inventory. While adding, you will notice an option to add your receipt. This saves the receipt for your item inside the product. You can view the receipt at anytime. The Magic doesn’t happen until later, and the idea is to not think about it. Just purchase gear as you go along and continue to save your receipts.
When it is time to do your expenses, pull your Video Mantis app out.
- Inside Settings,
- Select SUBMIT EXPENSES
The Video Mantis app will access all of your receipts in the Video Mantis Cloud (TM) and will e-mail them directly to you in a bulk e-mail. Now you can either start adding up all your expenses without hunting for receipts or forward to your accountant and have them deal with it.
I cannot stress how much this helps me because I am not good at saving my expenses in a proper fashion as I go along throughout the year. I always start out fresh, but always fall off the rocker around NAB. This app has made it a little less daunting for those purchases.
Another feature that is incredibly handy is the equipment loaning feature. One your gear has been added to your inventory, it is as simple as flipping on the loaner switch that can assign equipment to specific friends or co-workers. The app will ask you for the person’s name and e-mail.
Once saved, the app displays a countdown timer and will notify you when the equipment is due back. I cannot stress how important this is if you are absent minded. Forgetting where gear is when you do not take accuracy notes is a killer for a production sound company.
Wouldn’t it be easier to get a push notification? The Video Mantis app will remind you the day of the presumed rental return as well as each day after until it is checked back in.
All in all, the Video Mantis App is something that grows with the professional. As you put your gear into your personal inventory, it saves and is organized and with you everywhere you go. It does this without taking space up on your iPhone or Tablet. Free Members are able to add 10 pieces of gear to their inventory and create 1 kit. VM Pro Members can Save Equipment Receipts, Loan Equipment to Friends, Process L&D Receipts, and Submit Batch Exports of Expenses to you at a moment’s notice. You owe it to yourself to sign up and see how the Video Mantis App will make daunting tasks much easier so you can focus on Production Sound.
Also, one last thing. Robert Hall has an incredible referral program. Please click on this link to generate an e-mail. It will get you to the correct place you need to go. Please mention Thomas Popp and Video Mantis Productions Inc. and ask for MinJoo Pack. She is the absolute best.