When making a short film on an amateur level, it is not a very difficult task to lock in and finalize a story (after taking notes and re-working the script) before moving on to the production aspects of the short film.
All things considered, the director of an amateur short film needs only a few things before the shoot starts. One of them is video production management software.
These can be a shooting script that has revisions from the original story draft screenplay, a list of shots for each scene, and some kind of itinerary with the shots to be taken, arranged in the order that they’re supposed to be filmed based on factors like time of day, location availability, etc.
Because of this, short films can be made in relatively no time compared to features.
However, feature film or professional TV production requires multiple departments to coordinate with each other to make sure that the number of shots planned for that particular day is filmed before the deadline.
What is the importance of film production management?
A recent interview with Elizabeth Olsen can shed some light on how complex and intertwined different departments are when it comes to the process of running successful Hollywood productions.
Elizabeth Olsen recently starred in the Marvel Disney+ series WandaVision.
In an ‘Actors on Actors’ interview segment for Variety (to promote WandaVision and The Flight Attendant), Olsen spoke about the constant fluctuations that occur in the production process. The actress shared that Marvel projects are always being worked on, even while scenes are being filmed.
The production is always asked to incorporate rewrites as and when needed. Due to this, WandaVision had a rule where anything that needed to be changed in the production should be brought up a week before the scene is to be filmed.
This would give all the production teams enough time to make the required changes as WandaVision would shoot approximately seven pages of script per day. After a certain scene was shot, the sets would immediately be taken down to make new locations for the show to take place in.
This is why having advance notice was essential to make sure that the production ran smoothly. WandaVision only had nine episodes, but a lot of network TV shows can easily go up to twenty episodes per season.
Considering the complex nature of the shooting process, all projects need to have video production management software. Having a system like this will ensure that the shoot is finished on schedule and no money is wasted on the production due to inefficiently utilized time and resources.
The Best Video Production Management Software
Here is a list of some of the best video production management software out there right now.
While all of them may serve the same general purpose, tiny differences in their features may make one particular film production management software better suited for a certain project than another.
StudioBinder Enterprise aims to bring all the different facets of video film production management into one software for a more streamlined production experience. The website states that Studio Binder Enterprise is like a command center for production.
It can support a project right from the script stage, to having features that allow scheduling, call sheets, and whatever documents one may require in the production process.
StudioBinder Enterprise also prioritizes the safety of one’s IP by having a wide host of safety measures in place.
All the data is stored on a secure server. The software allows one to control how much and when people can view and work on the system to only affect their specific department.
It is used by companies like Buzzfeed, Legendary Entertainment, and NBC Universal to name a few.
Despite this, StudioBinder Enterprise has a free version that is available for everyone. It is similar to project management software like Asana.
Listed below are the basic features offered by the Free plan.
- Ability to work on one project at a time.
- Add an unlimited number of contacts to the project.
- Create and send out call sheets.
- Make upto ten storyboard shots.
- Schedule a shoot for half the script at a time.
- Work with up to ten elements for a scene breakdown.
- Create a production calendar with a maximum of five events.
- Work with multiple screenplays or drafts.
- Studio Binder Enterprise offers plans for Individuals as well as Companies.
- Indie plan for $29 per month.
- Professional plan for $49 per month.
- Studio plan for $99 per month.
- Agency plan for $249 per month.
- Production Company plan for $399 per month.
- Enterprise plan for $1499 per month.
- One of the most widely accessible tools for production management.
- Very helpful to schedule and organize production, no matter the skill level of the user.
- Multiple plans to suit different project needs.
- Some plans can get expensive over time.
- Lacks features to plan budgeting and storyboards.
Yamdu is a project management tool for creative industries. Much like Studio Binder Enterprise, Yamdu also aims to serve all aspects of production from the script stage to the final, finished cut of the movie.
Yamdu can work across different devices and browsers, in the same manner, to be familiar to all who use it, no matter how they’re using it. Yamdu reduces redundancy and streamlines work by simplifying the communication and collaboration that is involved with a certain production.
This is achieved with the help of an inbuilt communication system.
The software also features a singular file-sharing hub. This allows everyone involved with the production to always have the latest, most recently updated information they need to work.
That is something that would be very handy for shows like WandaVision due to the multiple rewrites that were incorporated while filming.
Features: Some of the standard set of features offered by Yamdu are listed below.
- Crew and cast management.
- Making a shooting schedule.
- Import from Movie Magic.
- Work of script breakdowns.
- Ability to import from Final Draft.
- Make storyboards.
- Users can make comments or notes.
- Spark plan for $33 per month.
- Rise plan for $120 per month.
- Star plan for $350 per month.
- Offers many more features than listed above.
- Users can make customized plans.
- Paid plans unlock more advanced features.
- The entire team can work for the price of one plan.
- Only available online.
- Lacks a messaging component.
Celtx offers similar features to the video production management software listed above. It used to be an offline downloadable program but has also switched to a cloud-based program that requires internet access (similar to Studio Binder Enterprise).
Celtx does have an offline mode, but it is only available to premium subscribers who pay for the service.
Just like Yamdu, Celtx also updates information in real-time so that everyone is updated with the latest developments of production.
Celtx benefits from having a very user-friendly, easy-to-use UI. It is said to be extremely quick to get the hang of even for those who don’t have experience working with such software.
- Industry-standard script editor.
- Supports creation of storyboards.
- Index cards can be integrated with the shooting script.
- In-line script breakdowns.
- Organized project catalog.
- Industry-level budget planning templates.
- The scriptwriting plan supports up to ten projects for $7.50 per month for the first year.
- The video production plan supports up to ten projects at $13.50 per month for the first year.
- Export documents to work offline.
- Allows for very effortless collaboration.
- Easy to use UI.
- Files have to be saved in ‘.celtx’ format.
- Occasional glitches in functionality.
What makes Dramatify unique is that while it is web-based like the other software, Dramatify also has a mobile app version to use on the go. Dramatify makes use of a Facebook messenger type of UI to send messages. This UI also connects to email and contact manager systems.
Dramatify not only works for films but also supports documentaries, web series, talk shows, and many different kinds of projects.
- Real-time production updates.
- Offers to schedule the shoot.
- Script breakdowns.
- AV scripts for commercials.
- Suitable for series and episodes.
- Bronze plan for $299 per month.
- Silver plan for $599 per month.
- Gold plan for $999 per month.
- Platinum plan for $1799 per month.
- Useful features.
- Variable pricing.
- Suitable for many different projects.
- Not the best option for beginners.
- Clunky design and UI
Gorilla Scheduling 6 is a desktop-based video production management software. Unlike the previous software, Gorilla Scheduling 6 does need to be installed on everyone’s computer to be accessed by all the different members of the production team.
While the software can support features for call sheets, cast management, etc. They need to be separately installed on each desktop. Gorilla Scheduling 6 also requires periodic updates to function smoothly.
The other software includes collaboration and communication tools, this is also a feature that Gorilla Scheduling 6 lacks.
- Crew management.
- Script breakdowns.
- Call sheets.
- Import scripts.
- $249 for two downloads.
- Simple design.
- Provides all basic features for small production.
- No provision for collaboration.
- Only works offline.
- FewersoftwareFewer software than other software listed.
These are some of the most common video film and TV production management software. While the suitability of each software depends on the project which is intended to be shot, the first two options on the list appear to be the most suitable tools.
This is due to their wide range of functionality and ease of use. Not to mention that they are also the most reasonably charged among the list.