Technology and information sharing has come a long way since then.  Here, I have listed many of these tools which can help you do your job better and help communicate the production plan to the rest of the crew.

This page is still a work in progress. Working on it.


Scripts are written by writers, not you.  However, it's a wise choice to have the software that is used to create the script in case you do need to make changes.  Oh, and you will need to.  I call this "making the script production friendly".  The Script section covers items you will want to look out for.  Here I have listed the tools you may use to do your work.

Sometimes, you can download free demos to check it out first, before you buy.  See their websites for more info.

Final Draft is the industry leading script writing tool, used by hundreds of projects each year.  They also offer various mobile solutions.

Movie Magic Screenwriter has nothing to do with Entertainment Partner's Movie Magic line of products.  Simply, back in the day, Movie Magic had it all - then EP bought the Budgeting and Scheduling tools.

Story O by Jungle Software  is a feature-rich story outline tool.  When you are done, export it to Final Draft or other script writing solutions.  Transfer elements directly into other Gorilla software too.

Celtx is a collaboration and communication tool used when writing a script.  It then has functionality for prep and production.



Schedules are usually handled by the Assistant Directors, however, in order to do a budget - you need a schedule and all the information it provides.  It is, therefore, critical that you know how to use the software and its features.

Entertainment Partners Movie Magic.  The Scheduling software is used most often on feature films of various sizes, as well as many television projects.

Media Service's Showbiz.  This is an all-encompassing tool that works out Scheduling & Budgeting. 

Scenechronize is fast becoming a well-known tool.  Using an online only interface, this application allows many departments to stay in-sync throughout the production.  Cost varies based on the extent you need to use it.  Scenechronize has another useful feature which allows you to do a script markup and then export that directly into your schedule.  Handy.

Jungle Software offers a full featured scheduling application in Gorilla 5.  This software is integrated with its budgeting software as well. 

Celtx is a collaboration and communication tool used during prep.



Ah, yes - this is the core of it.  Here is where you will spend most of your time, so it's important to choose an application that will allow you to do everything you will need to do.

Entertainment Partners Movie Magic.  The Budgeting software is used most often on feature films of various sizes, as well as many television projects.

Showbiz Budgeting allows production accountants, production managers and independent producers to create all types of budgets for film, TV, commercial, music video, web series and corporate video. But it’s not just a simple budgeting program. Unlike other production budgeting products on the market, this one actualizes, so you can see exactly what you’ve spent and how it affects your overall budget.

Built-in tools allow you to track purchase orders, petty cash envelopes, payroll and more. When production is complete, Showbiz Budgeting stays with you, delivering the reports you need to make your wrap package look sharp. This is the first and last budgeting program you’ll ever need.

Jungle Software offers a full featured budgeting application in Gorilla 5.  This software integrates with their own Rate Book as well.

Hot Budget is essentially an extremely tricked-out Excel file.  Creator Troy Takes designed it for use by Commercial producers and it adheres to AICP standards.



Rate Books

Rates change nearly every year for most unions and guilds.  You will need to keep up-to-date on the new rates and contract changes.  Most Rate Books are published in August/September each year.  If you buy one, most companies will provide you with free updates all year.

Media Services' Labor Rate Guide.  This includes all the rules, rates and stipulations you may need to know as you work through your budget.  Over 80 union contracts are covered in the USA and Canada.

Entertainment Partners' Paymaster.  Like all the other rate books, it lists rates for the crew in various departments, unions, and locations.  Covers USA and Canada. 

zCleve.  Another option for a broad stroke cheat-sheet which you can carry around with you is Cleve's Budget Tools.

Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is the main negotiating body for the collective bargaining agreement unions and guilds.  They are the source for the rate books - and you can get all the rates directly from them too.  You can email Crickett Hoffman for more details.

Global Guru also will assist you with some basic rates and other fees associated with shooting anywhere in the world.


Production Management

There are also many items out there that simply help you do a better job, quicker and more accurately.  Many offer online / cloud collaboration with anyone on the crew and a few other cool functions.

Reel Production Calendar is a useful calendar application but is not yet available for the Mac.  The great thing is that it can track multiple facets of your project and if anything needs to push, it has the ability to push everything (linked items) at once - so you don't have to do everything by hand.  Nifty feature.

Setkick helps the production staff manage the cast and crew, export industry-standard reports, build a call sheet in less than 10 minutes and push this data to mobile devices.

Scenechronize is a browser-based production tool that breaks down scripts, prints sides, helps with scheduling, and more.

LightSPEED  is a web-based entertainment production management system designed specifically for the film and television industry. It centralizes your production information and provides secure access from your computer, cell phone, or wireless device.

Media Services Time Cards is outstanding.  It calculates a lot of things for you to cut down on potential errors.  Great application!  There are different formats for Feature, TV and Commercial crews - as well as one for SAG.

Think Crew creates templates that solve the most common problems that you encounter in production. Their solutions are created in Movie Magic Budgeting, Movie Magic Scheduling, FileMaker Pro, Word and Excel. provides the information on this page as a service to you.  No endorsement is implied.  No payment has been made for the mention of these products.  Check them out for yourself.  Enjoy. 


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