Being in the heart of Hollywood, filmmaking runs in the veins of the LA community. However, breaking into such a competitive industry remains an unachievable dream for many, and our team wanted to help change that. To tackle this problem we created filmly - a web app which fosters community and communication between rising filmmakers from all social backgrounds, in an attempt to help them gain more exposure and gradually pave their way into the budding film industry! Skilled Cinematographer? Dextrous Actor? Creative Writer? Rich Producer? You've come to the right place to expedite your journey in Hollywood!

What it does

Starting with a simple Google Sign In Authentication, filmly lets aspiring filmmakers create a profile on our website in order to portray their skills and interests. In order to facilitate collaboration on projects, the application then lets the user join a network of suitable peers. The platform enables filmmakers to connect with each other to form crews, thereby building their portfolios, and participating in the larger community of Los Angeles.

How we built it

filmly was developed using React, a JavaScript library developed by Facebook, and Firebase, a mobile and web app development platform. filmly is a multi-page application built with mobile responsiveness. For the backend, we employed a Google Cloud Firebase Realtime Database built with a personally designed schema. We also integrated APIs such as the ZipCode API to match users of the app based on location information.

Challenges we ran into

Integrating Firebase into React wasn't an easy task. None of us had any production experience with Firebase and we had a hard time understanding to fetch and update data in Firebase. Planning the design of the database to make our queries seem instantaneous was also a challenging task. We also had some trouble with some front-end elements such as aligning items in the NavBar, and using bootstrap with CSS.

But perhaps the biggest challenge we faced was incorporating asynchronous methods/queries. As we did not have prior experience dealing with async/await in React, ensuring that the various components in our website were updated accurately was a huge challenge.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

During the ideation process, one of our teammates came up with the idea for this app since he is an aspiring filmmaker who noticed the absence of such a platform. All existing competitors allow users to connect one-on-one but lack the functionality of team formation. However, this is not ideal as filmmaking is a collaborative process. We are proud that we were able to implement our ambitious idea and bring it to reality during the short time period.

What we learned

Since no one on our team was good at web design, we had to learn CSS on the fly to make a good looking web application. We also learned about asynchronous actions and server-less computing. Moreover, the multi-function Firebase really stood out to us.

What's next for Filmly

Since filmly is the quintessential web app for aspiring filmmakers, our team hopes to add many features including in-app messaging, recommended resources, upcoming events in LA, and a forum for filmmakers to discuss their ideas. We aim to make filmly the one-stop destination for enthusiastic filmmakers, ensuring that everyone gets a fair shot at rising to fame.

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