By Paul Schneider
There are many choices of software application to make a production or post facility run smoothly. The criteria very much depends on your company’s existing processes and software and what level of integration is required. Nonetheless, any production/post facility needs to be able to schedule projects, manage resources, the approval process, budgeting (including actualization) and control the assets being created.
Here’s a summary of some of the platforms we’ve used and recommended
“Trello helps teams work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable teams to organize and prioritize projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.”
Trello is an eye-catching, fun, and intuitive app that helps people collaborate around work. The biggest challenge to using it is deciding whether it is the right kind of app to manage your work. Trello is best described as a kanban board app, a software category that’s best for organizing, coordinating, and tracking work as it moves through a workflow among a group of people. It isn’t a great app for traditional project management. Still, Trello’s selling points are its ease of use and ability to share Trello boards with outside collaborators.
Comparing Trello to other kanbam apps comes up short on some features, such as swimlanes and work-in-progress limits. What it does have is a selection of additional features you can add à la carte, making the app only as complex and feature-rich as you want it to be. Figuring out if it’s right for your team and the work you want to manage may take some trial and error, however.
“Google Workspace offers all the tools you need for collaborative document creation from forms, surveys, spreadsheets, slides, cloud storage, calendars, note taking, accounting and reports.”
The Shared Document features within Google Drive is the most powerful and allows multiple users to access and update shared documents, making it ideal for trackers and schedulers.
“Why use Asana? Asana gives you everything you need to stay in sync, hit deadlines, and reach your goals.”
Productivity enthusiasts love Asana—and for good reason. This online team collaboration tool specializes in workflow management, but it also handles the nitty-gritty of task management with aplomb. That said, Asana should not be confused with full-on project management software, despite its new Timeline feature. It includes neither native time tracking nor other advanced tools we expect to see for full-scale project management. But for managing tasks and workflows, it’s a flexible and elegant tool that you can bend to your will. Asana is one of the best collaboration and productivity apps for teams.
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT APPS
“ftrack is the project management, production tracking and media review platform that teams in the creative industries use to collaborate. ftrack connects people, simplifies workflows and increases studio efficiency. Whether a small boutique or global multi-site studio, ftrack scales to your business.”
Ftrack can be configured in numerous configurations depending on your needs, and is thus very flexible.
“Farmers Wife is a highly specialized tool for the media industry with clients in production, post-production, broadcasting, equipment rental, agencies, and education. Specially designed for media professionals, helping you to organize and track project resources, plan and control the project lifecycle, and manage day-to-day tasks. Farmers Wife exists to simplify your work.”
Framers Wife was designed especially for the production industry, so it has a robust set of tools that works especially well for production entities.
Schedu-all is passionate about reducing the complexity of your business down to its most manageable form. We provide unmatched control of your business workflow by fully integrating with your media systems.
Our unique approach to intelligent scheduling enables you to spend less time focusing on operational details and more on business planning and growing revenue.
Sophisticated and comprehensive, ScheduALL directly impacts each project’s operational productivity and financial visibility. ScheduALL delivers a host of valuable features that simplify the administration of facilities, equipment, asset libraries, personnel scheduling, bidding, billing and payments.
ScheduALL users tightly control costs, monitor budgets, connect worgroups, enhance communications, minimize duplication, reduce human error and make better informed business decisions.”
Smartsheet is an online app with the bones of a spreadsheet application that people use to manage and track collaborative work. Depending on how you use it, it could be a project management platform complete with Gantt charts and resource management tools, or it could be a task-tracking app. You can also use it to collect and import information from a web form, automate parts of a workflow—heck, you can even use it as a CRM app. Smartsheet is versatile and highly customizable, but it takes a while to figure out how you can use it, much less how you should use it. If you’ve been looking for a collaboration tool that you can bend to your needs, Smartsheet might be it. -PCMag.com
“NIM is a complete studio management solution, incubated in production and designed to effectively measure and visualize production studio workflows, from production planning to project management through financial analysis. … This enables deep business intelligence for creative studios both large and small.”
As this was created by the team at nTropic, this is the most VFX specific software out there.
The visual platform that manages everything. monday.com is so visual, easy, and intuitive, you don’t need training. Create your ideal workflow in minutes or choose from 200+ ready-made templates based on how real teams use monday.com. The easy-to-use, visual interface lets any team member jump in and get started, no training required. And teams love it: more than 7,000 people ranked monday.com 4.6/5 or above on review sites, including G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, TrustRadius, and GetApp.”
Teamium is media industry’s first cloud based fully digital truly mobile production management platform for video production. Teamium transforms traditional resource management into visual team collaboration on a SaaS platform, integrating end-to-end production processes, tasks and workflows from start to finish. In the new on-demand world, Teamium is building a dominant platform for teams to connect, interact and transact in completely new ways.
REMOTE REVIEW APPS
“Evercast combines video conferencing and HD live streaming in one web-based platform. Experience secure, real-time collaboration – whether your team is across town or around the world.”
Sohonet is approval-quality streaming service
The modern video workflow, (re)defined. Frame.io’s cloud-based collaboration platform enables you to stay connected with all your teams—on videos, images, and more—from anywhere on the planet.
Video review and collaboration. Privately upload, review, and share video with your entire team, anywhere in the world. Instead of endless email threads, Frame.io provides time-stamped comments and on-screen annotations that import directly into your editing software. Deeply integrated with your creative tools, and with an Apple-Design-Award-winning iPhone app, Frame.io provides workflows that video teams actually love. More than 400,000 pros already collaborate with Frame.io.”
Simplify production budgeting, estimating, and reporting with the industry’s most used budgeting solution.
Movie Magic budgeting is most frequently used for scripted content, both long and short. You can’t always (or ever) rely on computer-populated script breakdown so this old school program may take you a bit longer in the setup but it’s a useful tool for a detail-oriented shoot.
Showbiz Budgeting allows production accountants, production managers and independent producers to create all types of budgets for feature film, TV, commercial, music video, web series and corporate video projects. But it’s not just a simple film 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 commercial, TV or film budget.”
A rival to Entertainment Partners and Movie Magic Budgeting, it’s a nice middle ground between Movie Magic Budgeting and Hot Budget.
Showbiz Budgeting Software is best for commercials and music videos, of all sizes. If you are mostly in the commercial and music video space but do the occasional scripted project and are looking for a one-stop shop, Showbiz budgeting software may be for you.
LIVE ACTION PRODUCTION ASSIST APPS
Digital Video Assist on a Mac. They took the power of Apple hardware and years of filmmaking experience to build the most advanced video assist system. Instant record and playback, powerful clip database, real-time image processing, intuitive editing, multi-camera support, stereoscopy, RED and Alexa meta-data… these are just a few features that make QTAKE the future-proof choice of industry professionals.
QTAKE is an advanced software application designed and developed for video assist professionals. It is used to log, capture, playback, edit and process video output of any camera.
QTAKE is the preferred tool of the most wanted video operators around the globe. It is updated on a monthly basis using valuable input from real production environment to bring you the best in Digital Video Assist.
This powerful, but easy to learn system, integrates every aspect of modern video assist into the single solution. Extensive logging capabilities, rapid shot selection with tree-based visual browser, simple and intuitive non-linear editor, media import and export, realtime overlay with blending, keying and wipe… and much more. HDx2 version provides advanced stereoscopy features: live 3D processing, 3D playback and 3D editing.