In the late 1970s, Robert Draney and Jack Peterson founded the Independent Information Services Corporation, or IIS. From a cramped office on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, their pioneer team of five introduced the first time-share accounting and payroll system to the industry, Screen Production Management System (SPMS), in 1978.
The early 1980s found IIS designing, manufacturing, and distributing the MINI, the first portable integrated hardware/software computer system (which in retrospect was actually quite large). IIS also developed the "Cost Report," which became an industry standard. Following this, IIS entered the employer payroll services business and changed its name to Draney Information Services Corporation, aka DISC. A DISC office opened in New York, and the company designed, developed, and delivered its first residual system, integrated fully with the DISC Corporate Production System. By the mid-1980s, the Micro-DISC Accounting System, PC-based and single-user, was introduced.
In the late 1980s, DISC purchased Richmar Casting, which provided background actors to the entertainment industry, and opened an office in Orlando, Florida. In 1990, the Vista accounting system was introduced and soon became another industry standard—the first multi-tasking, multi-user system for the Windows® environment.
By the 1990s, DISC entered into a joint venture with IDC and was renamed "Entertainment Partners," brought the legendary Central Casting into the EP family, and moved to its new corporate headquarters in Burbank, California.
At the turn of the 21st century, EP purchased the Movie Magic product lines, bringing Budgeting, Scheduling, and Virtual Production Office into the suite of product offerings. Markham L. Goldstein was appointed as Chief Operating Officer in 2002 and as Chief Executive Officer in 2003.
On Valentine's Day, 2004, the employees of EP purchased 100% of the company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Central Casting expanded to New York in 2006, and EP launched a Production Incentives division, subsequently opening offices in various other states to serve its expanding production markets. In 2008, the assets of Axium International were acquired and a number of former employees joined the fold.
In 2009, the company was honored with The ESOP Association's California/Western States Chapter 2010 ESOP Company of the Year award. The Movie Magic brand re-launched with new releases of Movie Magic Scheduling and Movie Magic Budgeting. Partnership with University of Southern California funded the Entertainment Partners Production Management Lab, housed in the school's new 137,000 square-foot Cinematic Arts Complex. EP launched Broadcast EP, a YouTube channel which provides training and informational videos on EP's products and services.
EP won The ESOP Association's Employee Ownership Month Poster contest and Annual Award for Communications Excellence (AACE) in the Total Communications Program category. Trustee Colin M. Henderson received the Membership Recruitment Award for a Professional Member from The ESOP Association.
In 2011 EP released MMS To Go, a companion iPad® app to the desktop version of Movie Magic Scheduling. At the 2011 California/Western States Chapter ESOP Conference, EP won the "Most Effective ESOP Committee" award.
EP Financial Solutions' film financing division was launched in February 2012, with John Hadity at the helm. Over the course of the year, EP was the recipient of the Burbank Temporary Aid Center's Top Award for Citizenship in March and was also recognized as one of Achievers Most Engaged Workplaces® in the United States. In addition, EP won The ESOP Association's California/Western States Chapter Awards for "Communications Excellence for Intranet" and "Best ESOP Event" in October.
An affiliate office in San Juan, Puerto Rico was opened in July 2013, offering production payroll and production incentive services to the industry. Our ACA Solutions team was launched, providing Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant solutions for the entertainment industry. This included EP Cares™, our health insurance plan, which offers transferable coverage for non-union production workers. EP Cares™ was the first entertainment industry private healthcare exchange.
EP celebrated 10 years of being 100% employee owned on February 14, 2014. At the annual Awards for Communications Excellence (AACE) in May, hosted by The ESOP Association, EP took home two awards: "2014 Employee Ownership Month Poster Contest Winner" and "Special Events and Promotions – Series of Events, Over 250 Employees." This is the second time EP has won the National Poster Contest. In addition, at the California/Western States ESOP Chapter Conference in October, our own Lauri Veverka won Employee Owner of the Year.
Patrick Baca joined EP as Chief Technology Officer.
In October, EP Cares™, our groundbreaking ACA-compliant insurance program, was nationally recognized with The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism's (IHC) Superstar Award for Private Exchange Implementation.
Jennifer Bender became the Executive Vice President of Central Casting in April, overseeing operations in Los Angeles, New York, and New Orleans. Lauri Veverka was named 2015 Employee Owner of the Year by The ESOP Association in May at the 38th annual conference in Washington D.C. In June, Darren Seidel joined EP as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Today, the employees of Entertainment Partners number more than 900, with offices in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.