Every year, an independent film production company sponsors a short film contest. The contest is open to anyone who wants to participate. Because of new technological advances, two main categories are available: traditional film, with actors, cameras, etc., and digital film, which requires that a person use a computer to do all the film production. Actors can provide the voices, but all visuals must be done using computer animation. There is no restriction for the film topic, but it should be something that could be run as a preview to major film in a theater, be provided on the Internet, or be distributed on small wireless devices, such as cell phones. Therefore, the length of the film should be 2-5 minutes long, and it should be appropriate for an audience under 17 years old.
Alex is a senior student in the computer science program at a university, and he is earning a minor in film production. He is very interested in everything related to the digital animation industry. He is determined to participate in this contest and win it. He applied for and was awarded a grant for $5,000 through his college to work on this film project. He could use the money to pay for any special hardware or software that the university could also use. He could also award small stipends ($500 per person) to people who help on the project. Alex knew that he would have to convince several people to donate their time and energy to help him make a great film in time for the contest, just 10 months away.
The first-prize winner in each category received $100,000 and the opportunity to participate in a major film contest. There were also prizes of $50,000 and $25,000 for second and third place. Alex really wanted to use his computer and project management skills in the film industry, so even if he didn't win a prize, he wanted to gain valuable experience to help find a job after graduation.
Prepare a project charter for the Short Film Competition Project. Assume the project will take 10 months to complete (use any year you wish, starting September 1st with final submission due July 1st) and the total budget is $5,000 plus unlimited volunteer hours. Alex estimates that he will spend about 20 hours per week on this project and serve as the lead technical person. He's asked you to be the project manager, and he'll work closely with you. Use the project charter template and examples of project charters in Chapters 3 and 4 as guidelines. Assume that the project sponsor is Alex. Include the main roles for other major stakeholders (students, faculty, and staff at Alex's university willing to volunteer their time).
Part 2: Project Scope Management
You have volunteered to work as project manager for the film. You worked on a group project with Alex in your Introduction to Film class and you were very impressed with his technical abilities. He was also easy to work with, but he was not comfortable working on the business and political aspects of film production. Your first task was to work with Alex in assembling a team and developing the scope of the project. You both first thought of Dana, who was extremely creative and came up with great characters and stories in a few of your classes. She was also in the university's theater group, so she would have many contacts that might be willing to help. Dana agreed to take the lead in developing the script for the film, and she recommended three other people, Carlos, Sophie, and Jake, to help with the story, artwork, and voices. She also recommended someone she knew in the music department, Scott, who agreed to put together the music for the film. Finally, Caroline, a marketing major and Dana's roommate, agreed to help you with the marketing and other business aspects of the project.
Develop a scope statement for the project. Use the example provided in Chapter 3 (p. 102-104, Table 3-9 "Scope statement (draft version)") as a guide. Be as specific as possible in describing product characteristics, requirements, and deliverables. Assume that you plan to have four characters in your film, four voices, and three short songs and/or background music. You plan to develop storyboards to plan the main scenes for the film.
Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS) for the project. Break down the work to level 2 or level 3, as appropriate. Use the samples in Chapters 3 and 5 as guides. Save and deliver the WBS in list form as a Word file. Be sure to base your WBS on the project charter, scope statement, and other relevant information.
Use the WBS you developed in the task above to create a Gantt chart in Project 2016 for the project. Use the outline numbering feature to display the outline numbers (click View, Gantt Chart Tools, Format, and click on the Outline Number box). Do not enter any durations or dependencies.
Part 3: Project Time Management
One of your duties as project manager is to lead your team in developing and following a schedule. You have only 10 months to complete the project and all of your resources are full-time students and have jobs and other activities. So far, everyone is volunteering their time and you are reserving the $5,000 budget for purchasing special software, food for meetings and parties with the project team, and other miscellaneous expenses. In addition to preparing a Gantt chart, you also plan to give everyone a simple milestone report. You make sure you black out weeks when people are taking final exams, going on breaks, and so on. Alex suggests that you have the artwork for the main characters and the rough storyboards for the film completed by December 1st so he can begin doing some of the computer animation over break. He'd also like to have an initial screening by March 1st and the final screening by May 1st.
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