In 2021, Hollywood powerhouse Ava DuVernay started ARRAY Crew, a searchable database for film crew workers. The project originally started as a list of 500 names but quickly grew to more than 11,000 industry professionals, serving as a hub for studios looking for workers, according to The LA Times.
The platform started as a mechanism to diversify film and TV productions by connecting women, people of color and underrepresented workers with entertainment gatekeepers looking to hire. The platform, which has been running for two years now, has been used to find verified crew members who have been involved in more than 900 films, television shows, commercials, and video projects.
Now ARRAY Crew is expanding through a partnership with Impact, the online professional network founded by Oscar-winning filmmakers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. DuVernay and her two fellow filmmakers say they have thus created the largest hiring network in the entertainment industry.
“We were having challenges breaking into new markets and figuring out technology that would work worldwide. Our challenges are that you have to become a tech company in order to run this as a robust digital platform,” DuVernay said of ARRAY Crew to LA Times.
“What I really loved about Impact is they were saying, ‘We want to make a new system and we want everyone to feel like they’re included. So why don’t you come in with us?’” DuVernay explained.
In this regard, ARRAY Crew is now on Impact’s platform, with a total of 40,000 active users. Through the partnership, the platform will have access to a larger network of 1.2 million entertainment industry professionals.
What is more, ARRAY Crew members will be identified with special badges and the platform will have a filter to make it easy for people to specifically search for ARRAY Crew members. For now, the platform remains free for crew, studio, and other industry executives. However, the platform will charge studios to pay for the service as the platform grows.
The partnership comes on the heels of strike action by Hollywood writers and actors, leading to the shutdown of the industry. But when things get back to normal, the partnership will become very useful, the three filmmakers said.
“When the lights go back on, folks are really going to be searching for a road back to normalcy. And so our goal was really to prepare this, to have everything ready. We’re just trying to make sure that we hold that line,” said DuVernay.