I want to share with you 10 tools that will help you to stay focused, organized and what’s most important highly productive during your pre-production game.
Because as filmmakers we know (or have to know), there is nothing more important than a STORY. And finding/writing that story is the only first step in front of your journey called “Filmmaking”. Then you have to make sure you will be able to bring maximum emotions, effects, impacts to your audience, through that story. So, let’s get started with it.
Of course, before you move to production you have to do your homework, really well. In other words, take care your pre-production first. Below are ten tools that will significantly enhance that process.
1. FILM TOUCH
$9.99 / one-time charge.
Film Touch lets you keep track a call sheet and makes sure everyone in your crew is one the same page. And going to production without call sheets is like fishing with no casting rods. Won’t be really fruitful.
This is how the app works: Production emails you a call sheet, using iPhone (the app only supports iOS) you send it to Film Touch app. And the app within 60 seconds converts your call sheet. Then it appears in your job list section, where you are able to track scheduled jobs and get access to contact numbers of the crew members.
2. GOOGLE DRIVE
Free Up To 15GB.
Words can’t describe how much I love Google. I could dedicate whole blog outlining benefits of using Google products and sharing my own experiences using them. But let’s get back to our subject. The next tool I found extremely helpful in pre-production is Google Drive.
It’s an app that allows you to store any type of files in the cloud servers, and share among other users. For filmmakers it means, you can upload your scripts, call sheets, demo reels, raw footages, adobe files and much more. And have instant access to them from any device, from everywhere.
To use Google Drive, all you need is to have Gmail account. One more thing, Google allows you to store your files for free up to 15GB, then if you wish you can move to premium plan and extend your storage. I’ve been using Google Drive for more than 7 years now, and still haven’t even passed 50% of my storage, just saying.
Free – Basic. From $9.99 and up – Premium Plans.
Celtx is one the most popular app designed for writing scripts, organizing media files and plus can be used as a collaboration tool between your crew members. The app is especially known for its auto-formatting the scripts to industry standards. While writing your script you can also share it with your other writers or anyone who might be helpful in giving feedbacks.
Also, using this app you can create call sheets, sides, manage production expenses and again share them with your crew members. Very helpful app, definitely needed in your pre-production.
$10/month or $100/year
Muse Storybuilder as the name suggests, is all about storytelling. Not to repeat my very first sentences of this article, but where there is no story there is no film. You can’t simply overestimate the importance of having a good story.
And this app based on 4 Pillars of Story: People, Places, Purpose, and Plot. It will take you through all of them, step by step, by showing how to make most each of them. Useful app if you wish to maximize the power of your story using external tools.
Free – Basic. From $6.57 and up – Premium Plans.
Slack is an online Collaboration Tool. And we all know filmmaking is all about collaboration between your crew members. So this app allows you set up online instant messaging, share media files, documents between your group, create different channels for each script, even make them private go give access only to filmmaker you wish. Overall, pretty impressive with lots of more cool features to discover. And definitely one the app that could tremendously impact to your pre-production game.
Free – Basic. From $6.57 and up – Premium Plans.
Shot Designer is a specialized tool for Directors or DP’s. As the name suggests the app lets you creates Animated Camera Diagrams, with Shot List, Storyboards and Director’s Viewfinder. It also has lighting diagrams, incorporates actor and camera blocking. It’s a wonderful tool that might help you take your craft to the next level.
$0.99 / one-time charge.
Storyboarder is another app that might be useful during your pre-production. The purpose of it is to stay on a schedule during a film set. The app has options to adding your pictures, different shot angles, numbers and so on.
Free – Basic. From $34.99/year and up – Premium Plans.
Evernote is another app that I absolutely fall in love with. Living on this “Digital Era” where everything evolves so fast, where we have lots of material to deal with. Especially in the world of filmmaking, where there are tons of planning, scheduling, script reviewing, footage sharing, location scouting and so on. This app can be your life saver. It lets you organize all your files into one platform, create a to-do list with a calendar, brainstorm new ideas, share them with your crew members and so on. It comes very handily when you can access to all of that using any device, whether it’s your phone, desktop or tablet.
9. SHOT LISTER
Shot Lister another great app to use during pre-production. It allows directors and producers to build, schedule and organize shot lists. It’s very handy, and saves you lots of time (time is very crucial in filmmaking), instead of sketching all the shots and ideas on a piece of paper.
10. SHOT PRO
$39.99 / one-time charge.
ShotPro is an app specialized for Directors, DP’s and Storyboard Artists. This pre-visualization app lets filmmakers set their own compelling 3D sets and place all type of characters, from the large selection of the library. You can also mess around with some weather effects, such as raining, snowing and smoking.
There are other more interesting features provided by the app, like adding Voice Over, music track from preloaded choices, the variety of props and much more. Check it out!
Now, you have a good amount of tools that can be more than beneficial in your pre-production process. Feel free to explore them, try to make most out of each app. But always keep in mind, if you don’t have a good STORY no app in the world would enhance the quality of your FILM.
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