Impact launches as a networking site for TV and film crew

The initial focus is on building its Atlanta database.

Hollywood producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have developed a new LinkedIn-style networking site called Impact to help film and TV productions quickly hire crew members.

Impact is using Atlanta as its launch market this week at impact.net. For now, the service is free to use with premium services forthcoming.

Georgia is a rapidly growing market for crew members, many relatively new to the business. The state is now the third largest production hub for TV and film in the country behind only California and New York courtesy of a very generous 14-year-old tax credit system that draws big-budget films and TV shows from the likes of Disney, Paramount and Netflix.

“The majority of people on production and crew are freelance workers,” said Tyler Mitchell, CEO for Impact. “It’s a gigantic gig economy. And when a TV show or movie starts up, they often have to hire hundreds of people quickly. Right now, they don’t have a single place to go.”

Currently, he said producers use their own personal networks and databases and throw out asks through unions and websites like Staff Me Up, Production Weekly and Backstage.

This ad-hoc methodology means it takes an average of five hours of labor to fill a single spot on a TV show or movie, Mitchell said. He said Impact’s goal is to reduce that time significantly. “We can hopefully help people get access to more opportunities and jobs they wouldn’t normally have or normally see,” he said.

Similar to LinkedIn, employers can give workers “shout outs” if they do a good job, the types of endorsements that Mitchell said could lead to more work.

“It’s a very trust-driven business,” Mitchell said. “People work 14 to 16 hours a day. They need reliable people. References are incredibly important. We are digitizing that.”

The site has been building its own database and now has 400,000 individuals who work jobs like camera operator, gaffer and production designer. “We invite people to join our network and claim their profiles,” Mitchell said. More than 4,000 people out of Atlanta have done so already, he noted.

During its beta test run, Impact helped fill jobs for 13 Atlanta-based productions, he said.

Impact is backed by Benchmark, a venture firm that was a lead investor in companies like Uber, eBay and OpenTable.