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Ben Yennie: What's the Best Film Budgeting Software?

While we’re proud of our film budgeting software, we know that we’re far from the only game in town.  So, we thought we’d list our major competitors for film budgeting software, list their pros, cons, and cost in one single blog for easy access.

Movie Magic

Movie magic is the industry standard, and that’s for a reason.  Despite the fact that they’re losing traction with younger filmmakers primarily due to their cumbersome UX, they’re still the biggest game in town by a mile.

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-Industry Standard

-Incredibly deep software

-Lots of studio templates included

-Widely used across industry

-Cumbersome UX

-Requires connection to the internet despite not being on the cloud at all.

-Difficult to learn

-Not at all collaborative.

-Expensive

-Budgeting doesn’t talk to scheduling well.

495 for budgeting, or 795 for budgeting & scheduling - One time.

Gorilla

Gorilla is kind of like a light version of Movie Magic. It has budgeting, screenwriting, and scheduling software.  It’s got a much smaller market share, but it’s starting to explore the cloud more than its main competitor of Movie Magic.

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-deep software

-Lots of studio templates included

-Exploring cloud collaboration

-Most affordable of desktop options

-moderately Cumbersome UX

-Difficult to learn

-Less traction than Movie Magic

249 for Budgeting, or 429 for Scheduling - One time.

Showbiz Software.  

Another Movie Magic Competitor, Showbiz software is the software put out by payroll company Media-Services Inc.  It’s also largely similar to movie magic, but the biggest edge is how Showbiz handles Tax incentives directly in line.  

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-deep software

-Lots of studio templates included

-Very well handled tax incentives.

Integrates directly with payroll

-moderately Cumbersome UX

-Difficult to learn

-Less traction than Movie Magic

-Limited cloud collaboration.

399 for Budgeting, 2 installs- One time.

Celtx

Celtx is software that started as a free screenwriter and expanded to production software including budgeting.  They’re considered the leader for the cloud in terms of users, but in our opinion, they’re much better at the creative side than the production side. 

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-collaborative and cloud based

-Full toolset, although not as deep as I’d like

-Decent UX

-Scheduling not industry standard.

-Privacy concerns with what’s public and what’s not.

-doesn’t take advantage of connections as well as it could.  

-essentially a contained silo on the internet.

29.99/user/month

Studio Binder

Studio Binder is what most people think of when they think about cloud based project management software.  The biggest issue is their pricing model and how expensive they are.  Their price point makes them largely inaccessible for Indie Filmmakers.  

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-collaborative and cloud based

-Full toolset, relatively deep.

-Good, informative blog

-Budgeting not very deep. 

-Very expensive

-Feature based pricing

-Business model doesn’t fit Indies very well.

Varies, but EXPENSIVE.

Yamdu

If I’m completely honest, I think that Yamdu is our closest competitor in terms of functionality and design philosophy.  However, I think that we have an edge on them in a couple of ways. 

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-collaborative and cloud based

-Full toolset, relatively deep.

-Reasonably affordable

-Development plans exist

-Freemium plan is lacking.

-Questionable marketing decisions in the past

Slightly less than Sutdiobinder

Spreadsheet Softwares

While I love me some spreadsheets, and I use them extensively throughout my business, I’m not inclined to use them for film budgeting.  They can look cheap and amateur.  But, if you don’t have anything else, they can be quite effective.  

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-Very affordable

-Easily customizable

-Can be very collaborative

-Widely available

-lots of free templates online.

-Not built for film

-Can make you look amateur

 

Free or 9.99/Month 

ProductionNext

Well, we’re pretty clearly biased, but we think we have the best project management system on the internet.  That has less to do with the budget individually, and more to do with the fact that every tool talks to all the others, and every time someone makes a change, the changes ripples through to every connected part of the project, and updates the master system so everyone always has the most up to date information.

Here are the pros and cons specifically regarding the budgeting system on productionnext. 

Pros

Cons

Price Point

-Very affordable

-completely integrates with other tools in the suite like schedule and breakdown.

-Well defined and thought out permission controls

-Backed up as much as 5x an hour automatically.  

-Integrates with financing tools

-tracks donated and deferred costs in line with to be paid costs.

-Not as deep as it will be

-Few templates, but that will change.

-Not presently available offline.

 

Free for basic projections & financing tools

9.95/month for full featured.  

Thanks so much for reading!  If you want to see our budget tool for yourself, then click the link below.  It’s free to try the basics, and you get a 7 day trial of the full features to figure out if you like it or not.  

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