pre-pro Scheduling and Budgeting Software

Hi there,

I’m currently producing my first narrative feature and am considering which software to use for this (am currently working on the script breakdown, using the method of a pencil/ruler and highlighters).

Movie Magic appears to be prohibitively expensive; Gorilla is affordable. Of course, any freeware or cheaper alternatives would be optimal.

I’m wondering if I need to worry whether people involved with production will need to have/purchase the same software in order to receive/work with certain documents? I have not approached anyone about working on the project yet, so only have a list of prospective cast/crew.

For budgeting, it seems that Excel should do the job. However, a funding body that I’m considering appears to require industry standard documents, created in software like MM.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Staff Member
You might try Celtx. They're best known for their screenplay software, but they do also offer production tools such as budgeting and scheduling.

I use their screenwriting software sometimes on script consulting projects, and it's decent (not my favorite, but certainly fine). Their package is probably cheaper than Movie Magic, and should produce something in line with industry standards.
It's probably not what you want to hear, but Movie Magic is going to be your best bet, both from the standpoint of getting your work done and sharing files with others on your production. If you expect to be producing projects beyond the current one, then it's worth the investment. That said, it does bother me how much they charge for a piece of S/W that hasn't had any major upgrades in years.
For Indy filmmakers I suggest Showbiz Budgeting from Media Services - there customer service exceeds EP aka Movie Magic and they are much more Indy friendly than EP too. You’ll find if you need funding or tax credits that these types of entities will not accept free/shareware and Movie Magic and Showbiz Budgeting are the primary accepted budget software formats.