ROLETIK modernises casting, saving production agencies time and work
The married couple Barbora Roubová and Jan Roub are the founders of the startup ROLETIK, which is bringing digital transformation into the world of casting. The company serves primarily casting and production agencies. Jan and Barbora were active in the film industry for several years and found that it lacked a comprehensive tool for selecting and organising actors, managing castings and other tasks that are necessary for shooting. Within CzechInvest’s CzechStarter programme, they were aided by mentors in focusing on how to better present their product to potential clients at home and abroad.
On the one hand, the film environment is packed with innovations and progress; in the case of visual effects, it is often difficult to distinguish reality from fiction. On the other hand, time has stood still in the area of film casting. Agencies struggle with excessive administrative tasks and are swamped with numerous spreadsheets, and some even still call actors on the telephone and send them text messages. Many of the tools still in use today originated in the 1990s.
“We are very pleased with every project in which ROLETIK will make the work easier. In 2020, we collaborated with our client – the CAST ME agency – to organise actors for the shooting of the Danish film Marco Effekten, which was released in February 2021,” says Barbora Roubová, co-founder of the startup ROLETIK.
ROLETIK was established with the active support of filmmakers. “Our goal was never to replace any link in the existing chain, but rather to bring forth evolution and improve the current way of working in the film industry. We lend a helping hand,” says Roubová, adding: “We know from our own experience that shooting films is hard work. Time pressure and constant changes create chaos and people who are under pressure make mistakes. ROLETIK automates common tasks and saves up to 60% percent of the time taken up by daily administration. In addition to that, we are striving to be consistent in handling personal data, which has to always be in accordance with the GDPR.”
ROLETIK simplifies communication and helps clients in all phases of casting. Administration of actor databases and registers of extras and even organisation of castings are carried out through the ROLETIK platform. In practice, this involves the agency setting up a casting call, i.e. a form that it shares on its social network pages. Candidates for the given role, whose messages undergo automated sorting, then appear directly in the application, in which the agency will find all information about the selected actors and can administrate them and clearly communicate with them. With two clicks, it can also export reports with all interested parties or the payroll. The agency can also share its projects with its counterparts or directly with the client (production company, assistant director or director). ROLETIK’s CRM system is tailored to the film and casting environment.
ROLETIK and CzechInvest
“We decided to move forward with the entire project at the moment when we were 100% sure about the quality and functionality of our application. We needed to raise awareness of our brand and improve its market position. Therefore, we registered in CzechInvest’s CzechStarter programme at the beginning of 2020,” says Jan Roub, co-founder of ROLETIK, adding: “We were interested in professional consultations, particularly in the areas of financing, marketing, PR and sales. In the next step, we wanted to focus on getting an investment.”
Barbora and Jan used more than 160 hours of mentoring, thanks to which they managed to increase ROLETIK’s market share in the Czech Republic by 40%. Together with the mentors, they worked on how to present their case and successfully address myths associated with the adoption of their product. Potential customers often mistakenly believed that ROLETIK is a casting platform that offers film production companies its own database of people, thus representing competition for them.
In the area of communication, the startup’s founders focused on defining the needs and concerns of potential clients. They were assisted in this by mentors, with whom they improved, among other things, their method of sharing information so that it would be as clear as possible. In addition to modifying the website, they drafted new texts about the product and created a promotional video together with the mentors. They also succeeded in preparing presentation materials for investors and a sales pitch. Thanks to these efforts, they expanded their client portfolio with, for example, the Jam Casting agency, which helped them to significantly strengthen their product’s position on the market and increase the chance of success in finding a future investor. The newly acquired experience led Barbora to take part in the Women Startup Competition 2021, where she won third place.
“We decided to move forward with the entire project at the moment when we were 100% sure about the quality and functionality of our application. We needed to raise awareness of our brand and improve its market position.” – Jan Roub, co-founder ROLETIK
ROLETIK’s founders also wanted to prepare for the company’s entry into foreign markets. Together with their mentors, they verified the viability of the business model and participated in a networking event on the topic of investing in the United States. They met with representatives of North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. “We chose these states on the East Coast because filming is often done there and we had already been in contact with producers who had produced their film projects in that area,” says Roubová. ROLETIK’s founders managed to establish business ties with major production companies in the United States, thus confirming that it makes sense to enter foreign markets. Communication with those companies is ongoing. In addition to the United States, ROLETIK is preparing to enter Great Britain, France and Germany.