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Compare Movie Magic with Gorilla

Comparing Movie Magic Budgeting and Gorilla Budgeting

Which is best for you? Movie Magic or Gorilla?

Basic Overview of Both Programs

Movie Magic Budgeting and Gorilla Budgeting are both Budgeting software designed to create budgets specifically for film, televison, and other media platforms. Both have been around for a long time, and both are solid products with reputable companies behind them.

Movie Magic is by Entertainment Partners (EP) and is a film and television payroll company based in Burbank, California. Gorilla Budgeting is by Jungle Software (no deception here, that's us!) based in Simi Valley, California.

I am going to point out some of the features that Gorilla has that Movie Magic Budgeting doesn’t, and I am going to point out some of the features Movie Magic has that Gorilla doesn’t so you can make an intelligent decision based on your needs as a filmmaker.

Movie Magic vs. Gorilla

Movie Magic Budgeting vs. Gorilla

The Topsheet

In Movie Magic Budgeting, when you first load a budget, you are taken to what is called a Topsheet – a summary page for your budget.

Movie Magic Budgeting

Topsheet in Movie Magic Budgeting


It resembles Microsoft Excel in many ways, in that you have rows and columns that summarize categories.

It resembles Microsoft Excel in many ways, in that you have rows and columns that summarize categories. The account number for each account is on the left along with the row number along with the account description.

In the toolbar, you can see various buttons that can navigate you throughout the program. The “T” is for Topsheet.

In Gorilla Budgeting, when you first load a budget, you are also taken to the Topsheet, which is laid out very similarly to Movie Magic.

Gorilla Budgeting

Topsheet in Gorilla Budgeting


One difference is that there is a Page Column in Movie Magic Budgeting that is activated after you print or preview your budget giving you the page number of the account detail items. Gorilla Budgeting does not have this feature.

Gorilla Budgeting does have a Section Add-On feature. This allows you to add an amount whether it be a flat rate or a percentage to any section and will total on the Topsheet.

Addon in Gorilla

Add-On Feature in Gorilla Budgeting


You can insert rows and delete rows on the Topsheet in both programs.

The Account Level

In general, there is not much to do in the Account Level except to add and delete Accounts. The one big difference on this level is Gorilla’s Accounting module, which is explained below in another section.

The Detail Level

The Detail level of the budget is just that. This is where you enter the amount, units, and rate which will multiple together to give you a subtotal for that row.

Detail Level in Movie Magic

Detail Level in Movie Magic Budgeting


So, if you don’t want to see the Currency column, which is not needed on a non-international budget, you can hide that column.

In Gorilla, there are two views you can choose from. You can choose to view all the columns and the buttons, or you can choose to view the detail level in Slim view which hides the lesser viewed columns. You can always toggle back and forth between the views.

Detail Level in Gorilla

Detail Level in Gorilla Budgeting


Both Movie Magic and Gorilla have Advanced Budgeting features, such as Globals, Fringes, and Tax Credits. They are similar, and if you want to view a video on each feature, click the appropriate links below.

Globals Fringes Tax Credits


Watch a Video about Globals

Watch a Video about Fringes

Watch a Video about Tax Credits

Watch the Video: Comparing Movie Magic Budgeting to Gorilla


Comparison Feature: Movie Magic Budgeting Feature

Movie Magic has a comparison feature, which allows you to compare two or more budgets right on the screen.


Linking to Scheduling: Gorilla Budgeting Feature

In Gorilla, you can link your budget to a Gorilla schedule and import cast, crew, elements, and locations directly from your schedule.


4th Level

In Movie Magic Budgeting, you can add a 4th level to your budget – the 4th level goes beyond the Topsheet, Account, and Detail levels of the budget, which are the first 3 levels of the budget.


4th Level Movie Magic

4th Level in Movie Magic


It works sort of like an added Excel spreadsheet that you can add to your line item.

Gorilla also has a 4th level, however, it allows you to import an Excel spreadsheet and calculates it accordingly. So they are similar, but work a little differently.

4th Level in Gorilla

4th Level in Gorilla


The Ratebook vs. Paymaster

Gorilla allows you to integrate The Gorilla Ratebook, which gives you access to thousands of unions rates. Once installed, you can click on any detail line item, select a union, then a position and a rate. That rate automatically pops into that detail line item.


Movie Magic has rates in their Paymaster program, but it doesn’t integrate into Budgeting so you have to look up each rate individually and then type in the rate in the Rate field.

Gorilla Ratebook

The Gorilla Ratebook


The Accounting Module

Gorilla has an Accounting module which allows you to set up different accounts and then track expenses against your budget. You can then run a Budget Balance report to see if you are on budget.


Exporting the Budget

Movie Magic allows you to export your budget to their Vista Accounting program and to a tab-separated-text file.


In Gorilla, you can export your budget to Excel, FileMaker, or any of the shown formats, including a tab-separated-text file.

Printing the Budget

In Movie Magic, you can print a standard budget report.


In Gorilla, you can print a variety of reports including e-mailing the report to your cast and crew.

The Cost

Ah, this is what you've been waiting for.

Movie Magic Price

Movie Magic Budgeting


Gorilla Price

Gorilla Budgeting


I hope this article helps you understand the differences and the similarities between Movie Magic and Gorilla. To explore more about film scheduling and budgeting, download a free trial of Gorilla.

For a complete working demo of Gorilla Budgeting click here for Macintosh or here for Windows.



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