Filmmaking 101: Nine Scheduling & Budgeting Hacks For DIY Filmmaking

By Julian Grant (doddleNEWS)

If you want to make a successful web-series, short film, or feature with limited funds, it’s all about the advance preparation. The more time you spend figuring out the time available and the money you want to spend in direct relation to your finished script – the better the final project.

Your Script, Schedule and Budget are tied together. Change one of them and it affects the other. Keep this in mind always.

For DIY content creators, there are a number of resources available for you to use. Here are 8 tools to make your next project a reality and 1 shameless self-promoting hack that you need to get today.


1. Celtx

This is the free screenwriting software program that’s grown up into a subscription-based scheduling, storyboard and online asset management toolset. Beloved by film students and DIY content creators, Celtx has all the tools you need to get the job done on short film and web content. No budget component here – but it’s a great organizational tool that’s perfect for first timers looking to streamline. Go here to get started.

2. Jungle Software

Jungle has a wide variety of products available for all price ranges (from Student to Pro) incorporating schedule and budget together in their flagship Gorilla product line. I’ve used this on a number of features and it’s a rich Filemaker based system that is more than capable of detailed organizing and budgeting a feature film or full length web series. Look for their Call Sheet software and Labor Rate Guides for added professional insights and intel. Go here to get started.


3. Fuzzlecheck

Fuzzle, what? The Germans have some funny names for things – and this robust scheduling tool is a kick ass lightening toolset allowing you to organize your shoot in record time. I’ve used this for two feature films and it’s efficient, feature friendly and comes in various sizes to suit your budget. Go here to get fuzzie!

movie magic budgeting scheduling

4. Movie Magic Scheduling & Budgeting

Entertainment Partners software has been the flagship software for the movie business since the 1980’s! It’s what I’ve used for every commercial feature film, television show and big-budget mini-series and is trusted and respected by financiers, banks and investors. It’s also expensive (unless you’re a student and can score a sweet academic discount) but well worth the expenses. Learn this software and put it on your resume. It will get you hired. Get Pro software here. Check out their App Friendly link for the Mobile Version here (note: must have full versions of scheduling or budgeting to use the app.)


5. Quick Film Budget

Here’s an interesting online based budgeting program that’s pricey – but it ties into industry rates, union specifics, local specifics and is perfect for crafting a ‘guesstimate’ for investor reference and pitching. Using a token based system for activation, it’s a timely, accurate and professional way to polish your business plan or package. Get more information here.





6. Shotlister

The mobile app for Mac and Android (that’s being ported to OS and PC) is the DIY phone filmmaker’s brain trust. Plan your shots based on your script and schedule right on your phone. Email your contacts without a worry from anywhere your phone works. This is a robust and well-featured DIY tool that I adore and I use for quick commercial shoots, 2nd unit and pickup shoot days when I need a quick reference and log. Find out more about this number one tool here.

Hacks 7 & 8 aren’t so much softwares as they are destinations. Brick and mortar offices are so 20th century and today’s DIY filmmaker uses a digital production office to get it on. You can meet, store and package your entire production in virtual space and make sure everyone has the latest tools using these next generation cinema hacks.



7. Google Sites

Google still offers free websites and with a quick template design you can store scripts, call sheets, schedules, production photos, updates and more online and share with everyone you invite. I use this tool on every single film I make and it doesn’t cost a dime. Invaluable. Go here for your free Google Site for every production you make.



8. Scenios

Go Professional with next generation online sharing complete with video meet up and department specific resources. This kind of online networking is fast becoming the norm for all media creators as productions span the globe and resources have to be shared. Subscription based and used by many top companies, Scenios does everything right. Go here for more information.

Last, and certainly not least is Doddle’s own software App that is a time-saving mobile organizer for keeping your cast and crew up to date.

9. Doddle Pro

Using this Call Sheet App is a breeze and it makes it a no-brainer for linked cast and crew members to get shooting specifics and detailed call sheets outlining the days work. You can update Weather & Emergency intel along with location photos and sync all of this with an online version available through the App Store. Check out the FREE intro version here and stay in touch with your customizable, industry-focused toolkit designed to make your next shoot a DIY professional production.

Get organized, check your numbers, and share your work online with your team using these Scheduling and Budgeting Hacks to up your DIY filmmaking game.

Check out more of our Filmmaking 101 tutorials here.

About doddle 16407 Articles
Doddle is a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news.

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