Chances are good that you won’t have the budget to hire an army of crew. Don’t let that be a cause for despair— there are plenty of production-focused software programs to help you problem-solve your way to a successful movie.
Acid Pro ($299.95; www.sonycreativesoftware.com) • For those of us who weren’t blessed with innate musical talent, there is Acid Pro. This unique software is a complete audio workstation, offering full multitrack recording and mixing and looping capabilities.
Budget Forms Pro ($129.99; www.movieforms.com) • You likely didn’t become a moviemaker because you’re a math whiz. With Budget Forms Pro, no one will know the difference. The software provides Excel templates for film, commercial and music video budget forms that will take you from the earliest days of pre-production all the way through post. Most importantly, the templates take care of any and all calculations you will need.
FrameForge Previz Studio 3 ($399.00-$899.00; www. frameforge3d.com) • No need to waste your REM cycles dreaming of what your movie will look like once you’re on the set. Import your Final Draft or Movie Magic script into FrameForge and—voila!—you’ve created a virtual 3-D set on your computer! Optically-correct storyboards show shots just as they’d be seen through the lens, allowing you to save time and money by making adjustments before you step foot on set. The application has the ability to create the effect of a pan/tilt, dolly, zoom or crane shot and gives the options of focal length, depth of field and camera height with the click of a button, too.
Gorilla Software ($399.00-$849.00; www.junglesoftware.com) • With the sheer amount of tasks this production software can perform—like keeping track of your schedule, budget, calendar, storyboard, shot list and accounting and even provide information on film festivals—it’s surprising that it doesn’t offer to fetch cappuccinos and scones for your leading actors. Maybe that’s coming in a software update. (It’s a half-caf soy dry cappuccino, by the way).
Movie Forms Pro ($59.99-$149.00; www.movieforms.com) • Paperwork may not be the most glamorous part of the moviemaker lifestyle, but it could be the most important. Movie Forms Pro puts copyright forms, releases and a ton of different (and totally necessary) agreements at your fingertips. Put it in writing now and save yourself a dozen headaches later.
Movie Magic Budgeting & Scheduling ($399.00-$499.00; www.entertainmentpartners.com) • Excel spreadsheets might have been great for formulating a budget for the cinematic masterpiece you created in lieu of a book report for your 10th grade English class, but now that you’ve moved on to bigger and better things, you need something a bit more sophisticated. Movie Magic Budgeting and Scheduling combine necessary features with ease of use.
Movie Plan ($39.95, www.movieplan.net) • You might have the next hugely successful summer blockbuster/Oscar winner/modern-day classic all planned out right down to the brand of shoes your main character will wear in the nightclub scene. But if you can’t get investors interested, that film will remain stuck in your head forever. That’s where Movie Plan comes in; it’s investment memorandum software designed to help sell your project. If you’re independently wealthy with a few million to spare on self-funding your project, feel free to disregard this software. But for the other 99.9 percent of you, it’s a smart investment for less than $40.
Showbiz Software ($99.00-$399.00; www.showbizsoftware.com) • Showbiz Time Cards makes it easy for tight budgets to calculate down to the last penny, all the while making sure everyone is reimbursed correctly. It’s all set to calculate required union costs, vacation pay and sixth and seventh day calculations. With Showbiz Producer, all contacts, vendor information and deadlines are listed and ready for easy access and future reference.
StoryBoard Quick ($299.99; www.power-production.com) • Many aspiring indie directors can’t afford a storyboard artist, and many have never honed their drawing skills past the stick figure stage. For when those two unfortunate states overlap, there’s PowerProduction Software. the company’s StoryBoard Quick program has built-in templates and allows directors to create professional storyboards even when they can’t draw. Never again will you hear “What’s this duck doing in the climactic fight scene? Oh… that’s a tank.” MM