Filmmaking and Construction: Two Project Production Systems

Glenn Ballard1, Christin Egebjerg2, Trond Bølviken3, Sigve Endresen4 & Brittany Ballard5

1Research Director, Project Production Systems Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. [email protected]; +1 4157105531.
2Assistant Professor, KEA Build, Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, [email protected]
3Director of Strategy, HR and HSE, Veidekke Entreprenør, Oslo, [email protected]
4Sigve Endresen, Producer and Chairman of the Board, Motlys AS, [email protected]
5Brittany Ballard, Independent Filmmaker, [email protected]


Both filmmaking and construction are project production systems, along with shipbuilding (air and sea), new product development, software engineering, performing arts productions (theater, dance, etc.), and more. Because they are similar in fundamental ways, there is potential for learning one from another, and for further developing the principles and methods peculiar to the project production systems through which all artifacts are created. This paper is the first product of design science research underway to improve both filmmaking and construction. Based on a review of the literature and the experience of the authors as practitioners in construction and filmmaking, the paper offers a comparison of the two project production systems, in an effort to understand key similarities and differences. From that comparison, a hypothesis has emerged; namely, that the future state proposed by advocates of lean construction already exists in filmmaking. Hypothesis testing and transfer of knowledge from filmmaking to construction will be reported in future publications.


Culture, filmmaking, lean construction, production system design, relational contracts



Ballard, G. , Egebjerg, C. , Bølviken, T. , Endresen, S. & Ballard, B. 2016. Filmmaking and Construction: Two Project Production Systems, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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