November 03, 2023

Andy Olymbiou - Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis at Fremantle
Andy is an experienced production finance executive with a demonstrated history of working in the entertainment industry at the top level.

Mastering the Art of Production Finance: Insights from a Seasoned Professional

Q: Can you tell us about your journey into the entertainment industry and how you got involved in production finance?

Andy Olymbiou: My journey began in the United Kingdom, where I spent several years working in auditing. I was fortunate to experience a paperless office environment that taught me the value of digital solutions. When I transitioned to the United States and entered production finance, I encountered a stark contrast with the heavy reliance on paper-based systems, especially in payroll. This was the starting point of my journey into the world of production finance.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced when dealing with paper-based systems, and how did you address them?

Andy Olymbiou: The most significant challenge was adapting to the paper-based payroll systems prevalent in the U.S., which were in sharp contrast to the digital processes I was accustomed to. This became evident during my involvement in the Nickelodeon production, "America's Most Musical Family," where manual union time cards were the norm. To address these challenges, I started seeking alternative, digital solutions.

Q: Could you share some of the software tools and solutions you've worked with that have streamlined your production finance work?

Andy Olymbiou: Absolutely. Throughout my career, I've had exposure to several software solutions that have significantly improved our workflow:

I have experience with Revolution, a digital payroll system that includes ACA tracking and reporting tools. These platforms were instrumental in reducing our reliance on paper-intensive workflows.

ProCal is another software product we used, particularly for project management and communication in production companies. It helped eliminate the need for extensive paperwork.

ProHire was a game-changer when we encountered challenges with manual union time cards. It simplified the process and allowed digital recording of critical data, such as union contracts.

Q: You mentioned working both independently and as part of a team. How does the transition between the two affect your work, and do you have a preference?

Andy Olymbiou: Transitioning between independent work and teamwork brings its unique experiences. When I worked independently, I had to shoulder immense responsibility, especially when I needed to manage tasks while abroad. However, the digital solutions I embraced allowed me to oversee operations even from a distance. I must say I prefer working in a team due to its efficiency and the boost it provides to the overall work quality.

Q: As a seasoned professional in production finance, what qualities do you look for when hiring or mentoring new team members?

Andy Olymbiou: When hiring or mentoring new members, I place significant importance on certain qualities:

Communication: Effective and open communication is a non-negotiable. Being transparent and responsive is essential in the fast-paced world of production finance.

Strong Excel Skills: Proficiency in Excel is a fundamental requirement. I assume that prospective team members have strong Excel skills.

Learning from Experience: Hands-on experience is invaluable. Every job or project presents an opportunity to build upon your knowledge and develop expertise.

Learning from Superiors: Learning from more experienced individuals in the field is a powerful approach. I encourage aspiring professionals to seek knowledge from their superiors within their organizations.

Q: How do you stay updated with the latest technological trends or advancements in the field of production finance, and do you recommend any refresher courses or programs for those learning the ropes?

Andy Olymbiou: Staying updated in the field of production finance is essential. While I don't have specific courses to recommend, I believe in the value of achieving a formal qualification, such as becoming a chartered or certified accountant. In my experience, having such a qualification on your resume is often a prerequisite for many finance-related roles. Additionally, working with teams and organizations that actively communicate about changes in accounting standards is crucial for staying informed about the latest trends.

Q: As a final piece of advice, what would you say to aspiring professionals looking to make a career in production finance?

Andy Olymbiou: I would offer the following advice:

  • Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask questions. Seek to learn and understand the intricacies of the field.
  • Strong Excel Skills: Ensure you have strong Excel skills, as they are fundamental in finance.
  • Learn from Experience: The most significant learning often comes from hands-on experience. Embrace each opportunity as a chance to learn and grow.
  • Learn from Superiors: Seek knowledge from those with more experience. Learning from your superiors is a powerful way to advance in the field.
  • Communication: Effective communication is vital in the fast-paced world of production finance. Be open, honest, and responsive to succeed in your career.


In conclusion, the world of production finance is dynamic and challenging. As Andy Olymbiou's experiences reveal, embracing digital solutions, staying open to learning, and seeking knowledge from experienced mentors are essential for success in this field. With the right tools and a commitment to efficiency, you can navigate the intricacies of this ever-evolving industry.

The Revolution Team

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