Production Office Best Practices

From prep to post, go contact-free and paperless.

The production office has the technology to be truly remote. Plan ahead to take your production office remote and manage your workflows, approvals, and reporting digitally. Learn how with this guide.

Table of Contents


As productions return to work, they are faced with the realities of what it will take to create the safest possible work environments. 

While some locations have specific restrictions, including quarantine requirements (get the latest updates state by state in ourReopening for Production in the COVID-19 Era” blog), there are some universal precautions that will apply to any production no matter where you shoot - such as limiting contact, increasing off-set work, and implementing staggered work shifts, the zone system, and/or small working groups.

The Safe Way Forward, a joint report from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters’ Committees on COVID-19 safety guidelines, recommends that the accounting department should now be paperless - “start work paperwork, contracts, timecards, invoices, etc. should all become digital.”

      • Start work
      • Timecards
      • Expense management tools
      • Accounting records


The complete guide is also available as a PDF.                     

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This guide will help you to plan ahead to take your production office remote and manage your workflows, approvals, and reporting with GreenSlate and other technologies. Not only will you help keep your team safe, but you will also keep your employee data secure and save money through greater efficiencies in your processes. Remote digital solutions eliminate travel, office space, supplies, rentals, and storing boxes of files; it adds up.

From prep to post, go contact-free and paperless. Here’s how.

Get started with the basics.

  1. Set up your payroll and accounting with GreenSlate, an all-in-one platform built for digital workflows. The system uniquely leverages one database to allow all crew to submit timecards and start work, view check copies, and initiate purchase orders and check requests in a single online application. Having one platform where all payroll and accounting forms can be completed without paper is critical to contactless operations.


  2. Select production management software that works for your needs and budget. With industry standard tools such as SetKeeper or Scenechronize, you will be able to share scripts, production reports, call sheets, sides, and more, without any paper.

    Establish which technology your team will use for video calling, screen sharing, and messaging (Slack, G Suite, Zoom, etc.), communicate this information to your entire team, and make every effort to hold all meetings online or via phone. 


  3. Set up and check your internet on set. The technologies that allow you to eliminate paper all require internet access. If you are shooting in a remote location, test your internet, and, if needed, set up wireless hotspots.

    To check your internet speed, visit We recommend that your minimum upload and download speed is not lower than 5 Mbps. If your internet speed is slower than this, we recommend setting up wireless internet hotspots. Dedicated hotspot devices can be purchased from most cellular companies


Easily track document approvals in the app

Color coded icons highlight the status of your approvals.






This item or task has  yet to be completed and requires attention.


This item or task has been sent to an approver and is awaiting approval.


This item or task has been completed. No further steps are needed at this time.

Set up your approval flows. 

Think about what you do on set and share your process with our Digital Success team.

We will make sure you have the flexibility you need and everything is configured to work the way you work.

Start with our default approval flows and customize from there!

  1. Designate who your approvers are, by person or by role. 
  2. Indicate the order of approvers.
  3. Indicate whether an approver can be skipped.
  4. Designate who needs to sign.
  5. Set up conditional approval steps based on amounts. 
  6. Set automated notifications throughout the process to help keep everything on track.

Approval flows chart

Customize and manage training for your crew

The GreenSlate training module makes online training quick and convenient. 

  • Build trainings using presentations or videos you already have, or by sourcing content online, and add required checklists or attestation forms.
  • Collect survey, quiz, and attestation responses.
  • Set parameters for how trainings can be completed or course content can be viewed.
  • Add certifications that are valid for predefined periods of time.
  • Track completions.

Manage your production with GreenSlate’s COVID-19 Production Toolkit.

  • COVID-19 safety training: Access the most current COVID-19 health and safety training and certification for your cast and crew.
  • COVID-19 daily health checks: Administer and track an in-app daily health check questionnaire.
  • On-set COVID safety support and management: A one-stop-shop for all COVID-19 safety measures, on-site consultation, personnel, and testing.

Build training into your onboarding process.

Schedule webinars and set up required trainings for your production.

Our Support team works as an extension of your crew. We can customize GreenSlate platform webinars for crew, department heads, approvers and/or accountants, and can set up any required trainings. 

Managing your required trainings

  1. Review your COVID-19 protocols for any specific requirements you need the crew to adhere to. Consult with our Onboarding and Support teams to review your requirements and preload any trainings before production starts. We offer a COVID-19 Safety Training Module, as well as a Health Check Module and on-set COVID safety support and management, to support your production. The mandatory sexual harassment trainings for NY and CA are also preloaded in the app.
  2. Manage required trainings from the app and send reminder emails to crew as needed.
  3. Track completed trainings and certifications in the app.

    trainings module

Manage your production payroll. 

Start work paper goes away and onboarding is completely digital.
We can set up forms to be prefilled and approved as one packet, and if you have additional forms employees need to submit, other than the I-9, W-4, and start form, such as deal memos, we can set up custom forms to capture all the information you need.

  1. Invite your crew to complete the needed forms in the app before they even arrive on set.
  2. Track and approve submitted start work in the application and send reminders.
  3. If needed, all start work packets can be downloaded as a PDF with signatures.

Quickly get answers to any questions with direct access to our Support team over live chat, phone, or email. Software support is available 24/7.

For the Crew:
Crew members can submit start work using any device with the GreenSlate app (iOS and Android) and set up direct deposit immediately at the time of hiring. 


Timecards can be entered any time, from anywhere.

  • View real time status updates and approvals.
  • Eliminate incomplete submissions, readability issues, and the possibility of lost notes and paperwork.
  • Resolve issues via notes and notifications.
  • Save time with hours to gross enabled auto grossing. 
  • Work quickly by reviewing and approving in batches.

For the Crew:
Save time by copying and pasting weekly or daily hours. Access all pay history, pay stubs, and tax documents any time through the GreenSlate app. Learn more in our “Four Ways Crew Can Access Payroll and Production Information Remotely” blog.

Enable your accountants to work remotely.

Get started quickly with multiple budget import options.
Seamlessly import Excel, Movie Magic, or Showbiz budgeting files.

Set up your expense management tools. 
Access all transaction documents and email PDFs of POs with associated backup directly from the app.

  • Initiate and distribute purchase orders digitally. Eliminate trips to the office to submit forms or to photocopy documents. 
  • Replace petty cash with GreenSlate Prepaid Visa® cards or CASHét and eliminate the need to physically pick up cash. Make online purchases, deliveries, and check balances in real time and easily upload receipts from your mobile device.
  • Attach any related backup to transactions, along with system digital signatures/approvals, once bills have been entered digitally.
  • Approve payments, print checks with digital signatures, and access transactions with remote bill payments.

Manage your production accounting records. 
You can check account balances for all projects with one click and monitor the Chart of Accounts and General Ledger in real time on your computer or mobile device without having to run reports.

  • Instantly access information on screen, instead of printing reports, with multi-filter views and drilldowns.
  • Easily open and view backup attachments within the active window when reviewing and approving transactions.
  • Instantly view subledgers and transactions to address questions and investigate spend coding with our interactive Trial Balance and Cost Report Dashboard.
  • View all of your incentive projects with estimation versus actual reporting and recode spend on the fly with our Tax Incentive Dashboard.
  • Easily code or recode spend to track COVID-19 costs with the Edit Transaction Details.
  • Run any report by any currency and rate you require with our flexible multi-currency entry and reporting.
  • Select and filter your document downloads to save them the way you need them, by employee/vendor name, transaction type, or number. 


Robust tools accessible directly in the accounting General Ledger allow you to work quickly.




Filters - Easily locate information
with granular filter options.



Attachments - Easily locate transactions that are missing backup.



Cloud storage - Easily upload backup, such as invoices, receipts, W-9s, etc. to all accounting transactions.

Streamline your post accounting and incentives process.

Implement end to end digital tools to simplify your post accounting and incentives process. 

You can speed up your incentives application and audit, and ultimately the time it takes to get your funds. GreenSlate provides in-house post accounting, for a one stop shop for all your post production payroll, accounting, and tax credit needs. Save money by eliminating the need for paper, bankers boxes, shipping, and storage costs.

  • Cloud storage of all files provides access to all transaction details and speeds up both filing and the audit process.
  • All accounting transactions in the web allow for the upload of backup, such as invoices, receipts, W-9s, etc.

Easily generate the information you need with GreenSlate state tax incentive filing exports.

Automatically generate the documents you need for some of the most complicated state forms, such as the New York State Budget Cost Qualifier.


Cost Qualifier