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post production management software

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Ethan Wolvek
post production management software
on May 29, 2005 at 4:27:22 pm

My business is small.

No. Let me re-phrase that... I AM the business and that's the problem. I can't keep up with all the organizing and still do the editing and authoring!

I'm looking for software (for Mac OSX Tiger) that will allow me track projects, clients, asset management (logging in, labeling and releasing tape etc) keep work logs and perhaps create invoices.

A Filemaker template is perfect.

Simpler is better.

Anyone with any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Ethan Wolvek

Big Rig Media Works

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Re: post production management software
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:09:23 pm

Hi Ethan,
Obviously it has been over 2 years since you originally posted, but hey, I figured I'd follow up ... Wondering if you ever found a solid solution for the post workflow management. I'm up a similar creek as you were in your post -- myself and my 1 partner are running outta time in the day for creative work, let alone admin. Neither one of us excels at admin work naturally, but clearly it's crucial, so I'm looking for a solution too.

I've checked out Creative Manager Pro, and some of its competitors, but that stuff is designed for bigger companies, so it's not the best $ investment for me right now.

Any input would be much appreciated.

Christopher Burke

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Mike Cohen
Re: post production management software
on Sep 9, 2007 at 5:58:21 pm

I'll chime in here. As production manager I have to manage the workflow of dozens of projects, not to mention the dozens of smaller projects which may be contained within 1 larger project. I can easily spend 40 hours a week doing project management and other admin work. Sometimes this means doing editing and other project specific tasks which i have delegated to myself during evenings or weekends. For example, i am at work right now (2:40pm on a Sunday). Other times those tasks just slip to the next week. Still other times the admin tasks slip in favor of more urgent production work.

As far as project tracking goes, we have tried using MS project, but that is really for large multi-person team projects, with all the dependent tasks, and it takes hours per week just to manage your MS project documents.

We tried a dedicated admin assistant to manage the admin tasks on projects, but not manage the projects themselves. There again, it took a portion of time each week to keep everyone on the same page.

So now we use a variety of systems.

1. For overall project management, Excel spreadsheets for asset management and milestone tracking.
2. For asset review, we use a variety of custom yet simple websites we have created. There are numerous web dashboards you can use, but those seem geared toward document management and many of the MS project type tasks.
3. If you need to keep track of physical media (tapes, digital media files, drive locations etc), and you are just one person, I would say use Excel. If you are ambitious, or if you have multiple employees, I say hire a freelance web guru to program you up a simple to use mySQL database with a simple web GUI. While you could use MS Access or OpenOffice for this, a web based app lets you access it from anywhere.
4. For invoices and tracking of time spent on projects, again there are numerous apps and no doubt some open source ones, you will have to try them out. We have a person who does this.

While you can spend lots of time evaluating software and implementing solutions, the main idea is to keep things simple. If you run your own business, you have no choice but to devote hours per week to the admin side of things.

However, if you are losing X dollars worth of productivity/billable hours per week doing these tasks, consider hiring a freelance bookkeeper or admin assistant. If you use independent contractors, you don't have to be concerned with payroll and all those issues. If you run your own business you should already have an accountant, so start there regarding per diem help.

Mike Cohen

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