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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old June 27th, 2003, 09:06 AM   #1
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Movie Magic Schedule and Budget

Anyone use these on a constistant basis? Is it worth the investment? When I read the descriptions for each they sound great at getting/keeping organized, but is it really easier than just using excel and word? Any input welcome!
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Old June 28th, 2003, 08:31 PM   #2
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Where is the site that discusses them? I went to the movie magic screenwriting software site and couldn't seem to find the links.

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 28th, 2003, 09:18 PM   #3
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Movie Magic Scheduling
Movie Magic Budgeting

I've never used them, but I've been on productions on which the producers have used them, and while it may have helped the producers, during production the fact that all the production data was locked up in proprietary file formats hindered the transmission of plans and instructions from the producers to the direction department, viz., the 1st AD.

It seems to me that if I have a vital budgeting or scheduling change, I want it to propagate through the path of least resistance, and not worry about whether all the folks lower down on the chain of command have some expensive, relatively arcane program installed on their computers, and whether they have the Mac or PC edition, and what version, and so on. Word 2000 and Excel 2000 are, at the moment, the only sufficiently ubiquitous programs to be trusted for such a job, particularly in the stress of a production environment, in which the failure to inform even a lowly PA of an important reschedule can lead to a nightmare scenario.
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Old June 29th, 2003, 02:25 PM   #4
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good point robert. but the very best and most compatible format is still pencil, paper and a copy machine. hehehe.

I was interested because I'm leaning toward Movie magic Screenwriter instead of Final Draft. Both are well regarded, but Screenwriter has more affordable support and more output options. Which is why I was wanting to know more about the scheduliing...since it works with it.
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Old June 29th, 2003, 03:08 PM   #5
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Hey, Joe,

I use and recommend Movie Magic Screenwriter, regardless of any compatibility with any scheduling or budgeting programs. Search around for a good deal on it. I recall buying it for a fraction of the usual advertised price.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #6
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Is there anything comparable to Movie Magic Budgeting & Scheduling that is more affordable?
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Old November 13th, 2003, 10:15 AM   #7
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I use Cinetools and I think it is easy to use. There is a help forum
for discussions and support regarding the Cinetools Product.

Cinetools (formerly The Producer's Toolbox) is a professional business plan and film production software package designed to assist independent filmmakers with financing and producing feature films. It has a fully integrated workspace that permits you to work efficiently to manage all of the movie parts of motion picture production.

Designed as a complete production solution, Cinetools offers a Business Plan and Financial Projection software application, Budgeting and Scheduling software, along with a wealth of additional tools designed to get your movie financed and produced on-time and on-budget. $149.95

http://www.movie-producer.net/cinetools.php?ref=catchall
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Old November 13th, 2003, 10:47 AM   #8
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Thanks Doug! I'll check it out. :)
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 11:58 PM   #9
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damn, tried to find it but the download demo doesn't work on the site.

Does anyone know where I can test this program out before I buy it?
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Old January 24th, 2005, 01:59 AM   #10
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www.junglesoftware.com - cheap, and awesome.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #11
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Thanks Christopher. I downloaded the software...but it's pretty complicated, hah.

Think you could give me some tips on how to use it?

I assumed the budget portion wouldn't be so technical, I thought since it was geared for guerilla filmmaking, it would get rid of those extraneous categories that are common in standard industry templates...but they're all there.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:32 AM   #12
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Brad,

"Guerilla" filmmaking requires more resourcefullness and, well... "hustle" than studio filmaking for budget breakdowns. A studio already knows the standard union and rental rates.

YOU won't be paying those.

The software does not know what your script requires. Only YOU, the producer knows. So the software template, if it's worth anything at all, will include all the "usual" categories that ANY film requires. Sure, an indy film won't use as many categories as a big studio production, but it might or MIGHT NOT, require ANY single category that a big budget film relies on.

Food
Film
Transportation
Accomodations
Makeup
FX
etc, etc.


Follow me?

You really have to do the legwork to grasp what your script calls for and plug the numbers into the templates. There is no software that can read your script, look at your zip code, go to the phone book and make the calls to get the numbers, talk to your cast and crew and find out when they are available and what they will work for, talk to the location owners and determine availability, call an insurance company and price your insurance, call the local restaraunts and caterers and work out a deal, call the city and get permits, etc. etc. etc.

That's the job of the line producer. THEN, with those figures in hand, he/she will plug them into the software and begin to generate the cost breakdowns, call sheets, etc. etc. etc.

It's all about BTU's. Especially in guerilla filmmaking. You need a line producer who can get the job done, if you are not willing or capable of doing it yourself. This point in pre-production is CRUCIAL to the success of your production. You need to have these numbers nailed down as tight as you can get them, and the schedule as smooth as you can manage, before you shoot a frame of film. (or video).

Because once you start shooting, it's going to need adjusting, and you should know WHERE you can cut corners and where you can't.

Best of luck.


Richard

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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #13
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Hey Brad, I can't do the work for you..sorry. I'm learning the software myself too. It's a great piece of the "puzzle" to have in your toolbox.

In my opinion, learning this software is just as important as learning how to shoot. You can't have one without the other....IF you want to be successful. Myself personally, I've taken the approach that Producer/Director requires two very different hats. This software is all about the Producer...organized, simplified and presentable for others to see.

I've tried other software, but to me they're all complicated to an extent. It's just my opinion, but I don't look at it as complicated. It's like building a house...you don't go out and randomly buy wood and sheet rock. You have a master plan, get all the specs right first and bring on board specialists that can do the work for you.

The Guerilla software is setup for that way of thinking. It helps you prepare and organized, but also let's you "build" your house practically. (just like other film software, but I just prefer cheaper "indie" geared software)

Murph
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Old January 25th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I'm probably just going to end up using the ole pad and paper =P

Yeah I know I'm going to figure it all out for myself, but I was just hoping there was an easy way out =P I guess I should stop thinking like that, or get into another business!

From what I've learned so far, there's no easy way out.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #15
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A well prepared Excel worksheet will do wonders too (for budgetting). You can make a template and use it over and over, refining it to your needs. I have MM Budget (Entertainment Partners) and it crashes a lot (I use a Mac) and in the end it's just a luxurious spreadsheet program. I end up making anything but the largest budgets in Excel.
I have tried MM Scheduling and of course it processes all your changes in the entire production schedule, which is very complicated to do without such software. I may buy it, or Gorilla. But I find it teddious to use (slow and unstable on my iBook G4).
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