You've probably noticed how often we talk about technology for video & film production. We're not just turned on by the idea of moving the film industry forward, but we do believe that some latest innovations like automatic script breakdown can breakthrough the way people work and think. That's why our piece today is extremely applied: we've put together a selection of software for film production, so let's explore them together.
Disclaimer: This is a selection of what we think are the best tools for filmmakers. We don't aim to compare them by functionality, because each platform prioritizes certain features or may complement each other.
Filmustage is the first cloud-based platform that provides access to an AI-powered script breakdown. In reality many film professionals still have to manually go through the screenplay scene by scene and word by word to break down the movie script into key elements such as props, costumes, tag cast, locations, sound, visual FX, etc. Filmmaking, however, is an extremely fast-paced industry, so all production processes are naturally automated and accelerated. But it's not the case with the script breakdown processes.
The Filmustage neural network is trained on thousands of well-formatted scripts in order to successfully tag the most essential elements. The principle is very simple: upload your script in .fdx or PDF formats and get a beautifully broken down script in a matter of minutes.
You can choose to continue working with the results in the manual mode: it is possible to add custom categories to tag scripts’ elements yourself without any need to create a category again and again for each component you want to highlight.
Script summary feature will not let you lose any key information. Being compatible with the film industry standards, now you are fully ready to export the results in Movie Magic Scheduling, Gorilla Scheduling, Spreadsheets, and PDF files. You can also export your broken down script with tags in fdx and continue working in Final Draft.
Filmustage can be used to plan your project. The user-friendly interface guides you through all the tabs you need. Our magic Scheduling feature is not revolutionary but presents a solid and stable performance. For example, a first for this category is the ability to write a scene synopsis. It seems like a small thing, but many producers point out that the synopsis helps to navigate the blocks of information through your scheduling stripes.
A central goal of Filmustage is to create a universal pre-production platform so that screenplay writers, film directors, producers and production departments can form a clear vision for the project. Being able to shape the image of a feature film, video or series is crucial to budgeting a movie, which is why we are very proud of the Production Reports with Visual References, which provides the opportunity to convert your thoughts into visual images and share them with the crew. You're free to attach a reference to each and every tag in your breakdown summary report by choosing pictures from the asset stores, image stocks, or by uploading your own. Sort by one of the attributes and add notes to the tag.
Rest assured that working with Filmustage will not only be productive but also a pleasant pastime, and a friendly support team is online 24/7, so no problem will go unnoticed. With the starting point of $39, you'll get access to all the Filmustage's key features, including AI automatic script breakdown, script summary & scheduling template based on your screenplay text. As Filmustage is a young company there are still many interesting features they expect to add in the near future to impress the client.
Many filmmakers are familiar with Studio Binder videos, where they talk about the film industry and the theory of filmmaking. But the most crucial is to understand what Studio Binder's key feature set offers. Well, the company positions itself as a developer of universal film producing software.
Studio Binder, as well as us at Filmustage, explicitly says that with all the technology in film production, many processes are still implemented "the old way". And the process of working with the script writing, its breakdown, and scheduling can stretch for weeks because of the manual approach to work. However, this process doesn't have to be unpleasant. Studio Binder software offers comprehensive functionality to prepare and develop your script for filming. Write your script and then share the result with a line producer or 1st AD to break down the text into elements such as props, wardrobe, cast, and more. Moreover, Studio Binder supports all the most popular professional file formats, so you can effortlessly upload your finished script and subject it to processing.
Another essential feature of Studio Binder is a package of features that meets the requirements of efficient script management. These include File Sharing for collaborative and one-shot work; Shooting Schedules & Shot Lists for the right balance of time and budget; and Storyboard creation to help you build a picture of your future project.
However, for all the obvious advantages, it's worth noting that Studio Binder doesn't solve yet, in our opinion, an important problem. The overall space sounds cool, but the work is still manual. While bringing interactivity and intuitiveness, there's still the routine of manual labor. According to the clients’ review, support service is not always responsive. Also, if you're an indie filmmaker or small company, the question of the price will obviously be a thrill. Starting at $29, you'll have access to some of Studio Binder's key features, including limits on the number of projects and file storage. For $49 and $99, respectively, all the big tricks and features will be unlocked.
Another all-in-one solution that opens up the possibilities for writing, planning, managing film projects, and more! Celtx claims to be game-industry friendly, which clearly broadens its profile with story maps and rapid prototyping tools.
The key difference of Celtx is that it is primarily screenwriting software, which is what its main features are related to. Despite the intimidating image of filmmaking and screenwriting, in particular, Celtx makes this job a lot easier due to Auto-Formatting, which will allow even inexperienced screenwriters to focus only on the quality of the story - and the rest is a matter of technique. Amazing Script Insights will help you keep track of all the key points in your text thanks to constant background analysis of the script.
Working in Celtx, on the other hand, you will be strictly limited in the formatting of your text. This means that you cannot change the font, font size, or spacing. You are strictly attached to one single "output" that cannot be modified. In addition to the extremely flexible functionality of storyboards, Celtx also has a crucial feature - script breakdown.
As we see it, Celtx is similar to Studio Binder in the following way: everything in these production management platforms is focused on teamwork and interactivity. The Sharing and Permissions feature makes it easier to work, but clients are not always satisfied with the interface that can occasionally be clunky and buggy. Also, for the same reason, Celtx is unlikely to be a suitable platform for novice productions or indies, because cloud technologies are the foundation of Celtx and are only fully revealed in large production. Moreover, multi-app cloud based design and fragmented functionality does not always satisfy the user who needs an all-in-one solution.
Final Draft has been on the market for a long time and is the industry standard. Many filmmakers find it difficult to use other software because the industry has become so attached to Final Draft that many producers simply refuse to work on scripts outside of it. Well, it's fair to say that this reputation is well-deserved.
From streamlined writing and editing tools to the ability to plan the whole story. Final Draft seems to represent every possible formatting and scripting option. With over 300 script templates for screenplays, teleplays, comics, immersive storytelling, graphic novels, and stage plays, you won't be left out of the industry.
Good structure is the key to the success of a quality script and the Final Draft is extremely functional when it comes to getting your text in order. You can visualize, outline, report, and then brainstorm with colleagues around the world. In addition, there is an option to leave notes in the Final Draft that is available right while you are writing - so you won't lose a single valuable thought.
To begin with, Final Draft predicts separately downloadable software, which for many is a big advantage. The pricing isn't subscription based - you only make a one-time purchase ($249.99 and $99.99 for further software upgrades).
Gorilla 7 Scheduling is a software for scripts post processing. Users can make an import from the most popular filmmaker’s software, as well as break down the script and schedule it. The program is fully compatible with the highly sought-after Final Draft and will also import all your notes & synopses, so you don't lose valuable information about the screenplay.
Plus, Gorilla Scheduling has a synchronization tool that will correlate the changes in the shooting schedule with the film script. Also, when working in a team, you will be able to sync the schedule prepared by colleagues with yours in just a couple of clicks.
The Stripboard feature helps filmmakers to organize scenes and shooting days. This is not something unique or extraordinary, but it should not be underestimated - sometimes it's a key to a successful shoot. In Gorilla software, Stripboard includes the ability to add days breaks and sort the board according to different criteria.
Another useful functionality is Call Sheets: create them directly from your calendar by adding cast and crew, call time, atmosphere, etc. Once you're done, you can send the results to the team directly. That goes for each of the above working profiles, whether it's Stripboart or Calendar.
What preparations are made for filming without thinking about locations? Gorilla Scheduling has taken care of this, so you can attach location references to certain scenes as well as detailed information in the Location managers’ feature.
Gorilla Scheduling is only part of the software package. Jungle Software presents a suite of software which organizes a collaborative space for filmmakers where you can seamlessly transfer results from Gorilla 7 Scheduling to Gorilla Budgeting. Gorilla is not a cloud-based software solution so users can send schedules and budgets to one another, at the same time the packages they offer cover only very specific functionality.
Before we get to the sensitive issue of price, it is fair to mention that despite the really solid functionality, its interface remains extremely old-fashioned and not user-friendly. We assume that this solution will not be suitable for indie filmmakers who are looking for beginner-friendly platforms. Gorilla 7 Scheduling gives the opportunity to try out a free trial first and if you want to keep using it for a long time, it costs $240 a year.
The developers of Movie Magic Scheduling, Entertainment Partners, claim that their solution is the best film scheduling service in the industry. Entertainment Partners’ software is honed to work with film industry-standard programs, so you are able to import a .fdx file to Movie Magic with no problems. However, unlike its competitor - Gorilla 7 Scheduling - the notes will not be moved along with the script. Many will find this aspect a negative one.
A fairly loaded interface allows users to compare scenarios with each other, as well as solid functionality to form an understanding of how to turn a text into a movie. Movie Magic Scheduling helps filmmakers manage their script breakdown & scheduling from single episodes to full scenes. Manage the most essential parts of the script by marking them into such categories as talents, locations, props, and more. Unfortunately, there is no color coding ability, so you can't highlight items. Familiar to all filmmakers the Stripboard feature is also present in the Movie Magic Scheduling and in many ways has the same functionality as the previous software presented. Conveniently, your Stripboard is directly linked to the calendar, so you can easily move data from one space to another.
Storyboards and Shot Lists follow similar principles to those in the Gorilla Scheduling (location management feature): import, edit and rearrange images. After synchronizing all the creative elements of the script, you can prepare a comprehensive report that will obviously be useful throughout the production.
Movie Magic Scheduling is available anytime, no matter if you are online or offline. Also, Entertainment Partners offers several related solutions, such as Movie Magic Budgeting, between which you can switch easily.
Unfortunately, Movie Magic Scheduling does not have a free trial period and buying this software is a serious decision. Even though this is a one-time purchase for 2 installations, it is priced at $469 for Movie Magic Scheduling 6 Premiere Edition. Moreover, to use this software you need to have specific system requirements that may over complicate your life and provoke a lot of technical inconveniences.
WriterDuet is a writer platform that has all the features you need for writing scripts according to the main standards of the industry. This app is great for real-time collaboration among screenplay writers and editors: write your script and share it via virtual chat, videos, comments, and replies. Moreover, you can work together on your script with a few writers.
WriterDuet supports .fdx, .doc, and PDF imports as well as exports of literally every format in the industry. The advantage of WriterDuet is that it is completely free and possesses a very modern and user-friendly interface. The platform itself is localized into 23 languages. Despite the limitation of only three projects, young filmmakers will benefit immensely from the experience of writing a real script with no watermarks or fees.
Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month and open up unlimited projects, real-time collaborations, offline writing & desktop app. There are two more plans for more outstanding users, but with very accessible prices.
As we can see, there are enough options for filmmakers to work with the script, storyboards, and scheduling. And our list is filled with both traditional and mature players in the industry, as well as young and promising programs that have yet to reach their potential. Notably, some give you stability and confidence that you'll never be on the margins of the industry, while others present innovative solutions that are the future. Personally, we are in the second league and are carefully preparing for that future. In the meantime, we'll leave you to decide which of the 7 solutions presented is right for you. See you soon!