FOCUS talks to Dr Laurence Sargent, Owner and Director of Sargent-Disc

FOCUS talks to Dr Laurence Sargent, Owner and Director of Sargent-Disc who will be exhibiting in the FOCUS Green Zone

LaurenceSargentWhat brings you and Sargent-Disc to FOCUS this year?

I am attending, and Sargent-Disc is exhibiting as a BAFTA albert Partner in the Green Zone to encourage better environmental ways of working on production.

What are you hoping to get out of the event and what in particular will you be promoting at FOCUS 2018?

I’m looking forward to meeting international counterparts. We will be sharing information about the Digital Production Office® suite of software which incorporates the CrewStart™, Payroll, Payslips, Payscales, Digital Purchase Order and Production Card applications. It is designed to increase efficiency whilst reducing costs and the carbon footprint on production.

Sargent-Disc is an independently verified carbon neutral company. Our offices are powered by 100% renewable energy through albert’s Creative Energy programme.


(c) Chris Sharp

Please tell us briefly about Sargent-Disc and the services you provide the entertainment industries?

Sargent-Disc is the largest provider of payroll and production management software and services to the UK film and television industries. The company prides itself on service excellence and was named ‘Specialist Payroll Provider of the Year, 2014’ at the Payroll World Awards for its industry specific payroll and auto enrolment workplace pension solutions. Sargent-Disc was founded by Marija and John Sargent and has been at the centre of the British Film industry since 1986. Family owned, today the company is run by brother and sister team Lara and Laurence Sargent and employs about 50 people across a range of software development, support, training and professional services.

An on-going investment in technology has allowed Sargent-Disc to successfully face the challenges of a fast growing industry. As a result of the company’s focus on the security of its systems and processes, Sargent-Disc has been awarded ISO 27001 certification, the internationally recognised information security management standard. With cyber crime increasing, the certification demonstrates best practices in managing information security and is an important part of Sargent-Disc’s strategy to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of customer data.
In 2016 Sargent-Disc celebrated its 30th anniversary by commissioning a short film of its own, showcasing its history and achievements. It can be watched here.

Please tell us about your role as an Entertainment Partners affiliate and the EP products including Movie Magic budgeting / scheduling, EP Vista Accounting that you distribute on their behalf across Europe.

Laurence with Prince Charles at an RTS event (c) Paul Hampartsoumian for the RTS

Laurence with Prince Charles at an RTS event
(c) Paul Hampartsoumian for the RTS

The company was set up as an affiliate of DISC Inc, now Entertainment Partners (EP), based in California – to take advantage of advances in computing technology to increase the efficiency of production payroll and accounting processes. The combination of Hollywood know-how and technical innovation revolutionised production accounting in the industry with Sargent-Disc payroll and MicroDisc Accounting software quickly becoming the industry standard.
Sargent-Disc is the European distributor for Entertainment Partners’ Movie Magic Budgeting and Scheduling, Smart Accounting, Vista Accounting and Scenechronize Smart Hub software.

Any recent software or production workflow tech products launched that our audience would be interested in knowing about?

Sargent-Disc continues to develop and improve its technology in order to simplify our clients’ workload and maintain efficiency of production. CrewStart™ is the newest app created in house, to join the Digital Production Office ® software suite. It is designed to help production teams to automate the processing of contracts, start forms, daily rate vouchers and timesheets. Amongst the benefits is that it enables production companies to reduce administration; to sign contracts securely and submit start paperwork; to calculate timesheets, approve documents and ensure the accuracy of fully auditable reports.

What productions have you been providing services on in the past couple of years.

Over the last three years alone, Sargent-Disc has provided services to film and television productions that have been nominated for a total of 87 BAFTAs, 52 Oscars and 41 Golden Globe Awards. A few recent credits include Mission Impossible: Fallout, Crazy Rich Asians, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, The Children Act, The Crown, Game of Thrones, The Crow, Outlander and Ready Player One.

To meet Sargent-Disc at FOCUS 2018 at the Business Design Centre in Islington in London on the 4th & 5th of December 2018 register for a FREE delegate badge here.

Dr Laurence Sargent

Image 5Dr Laurence Sargent is an Owner and Director of Sargent-Disc and of several other companies in the media and technology sectors. Laurence is listed in Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Leaders (2010 & 2011) and Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Elite – Young Business Leaders (2009). Laurence holds a first-class masters degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a doctorate from Bristol University where he published over 35 scientific papers and three patents in the field of semiconductor laser physics.

Founded in 1986, Sargent-Disc is the UK’s leading supplier of integrated payroll, residual, accounting and software services for the film and television production industry. Over the last three years alone, Sargent-Disc has provided services to productions that have been nominated for a total of 87 BAFTAs, 52 Oscars and 41 Golden Globe Awards. A small selection of recent credits include Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, The Children Act, Game of Thrones, The Crown and Ready Player One.

Sargent-Disc is committed to investing in and supporting the film and television community at home and abroad. It does this through partnerships, affiliations and by supporting a range of industry initiatives. Sargent-Disc is a Bafta albert partner, a business partner of The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB), a patron of the Royal Television Society and a member and sponsor of the UK Screen Association. The company works with them to inform and educate their members and the wider industry.

Sargent-Disc recognises the achievements of UK and International talent through supporting the annual WFTV Awards, the Production Guild Awards and the Broadcast Awards. The company also works closely with academic institutions across Europe through our Movie Magic Academic Partnership programme, and also provide scholarship support to two Production Management Diploma students at the National Film and Television School (NFTS).