Comparing Movie Magic Scheduling and Gorilla Scheduling
Which is best for you? Movie Magic or Gorilla?
Basic Overview of Both Programs
Movie Magic Scheduling and Gorilla Scheduling are both Preproduction software for organizing your breakdown sheets,
production reports, shoot days, and more. 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 Scheduling 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 Scheduling 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 Scheduling vs. Gorilla
Importing a Screenplay
The first thing that I am going to compare is importing a screenplay. Both Gorilla Scheduling and Movie Magic
can import the .fdx file format, which is Final Draft’s screenplay format.
We are going to take a look at the same screenplay imported into both programs. Below is Movie Magic Scheduling, and all
the information that is pertinent to breaking down the scenes are displayed. The Set, the Page Count, and the attached Elements.
MMS Script Breakdown: Final Draft Imported
In Gorilla, as shown below, here is the screenplay information. Gorilla also imports the first line of ACTION in the
screenplay for the Scene in the Synopsis field. Movie Magic also has a field for that, but nothing comes in from the Final Draft .fdx file.
Gorilla Script Breakdown: Final Draft Imported
Also, Gorilla has the ability to see the actual screenplay text, including the DIALOGUE by clicking on the Screenplay
button for the Scene in the Scene Navigator.
Display Screenplay in Gorilla
In looking at the Categories in Movie Magic, such as PROPS, COSTUMES, STUNTS, VEHICLES, SET DRESSING, etc.,
there is no color-coding.
Categories in Movie Magic
Gorilla color codes the Categories so that they are the same colors as seen in Final Draft’s Tagger program.
Categories in Gorilla
In Movie Magic Scheduling, you can Add, Merge, Duplicate, and Delete Breakdown Sheets.
Modifying Breakdown Sheets in Movie Magic
In Gorilla Scheduling you can do the same with these toolbar buttons, and access these
functions from the pull-down menus..
Modifying Breakdown Sheets in Gorilla
Watch the Video: Comparing Movie Magic Scheduling to Gorilla
Gorilla Scheduling also has two sync features. You sync a modified Final Draft .fdx file into your existing schedule,
which allows you to retain any changes you made to your schedule, while importing additions and changes made to the revised screenplay.
Syncing a Screenplay in Gorilla
You can also sync the entire schedule. So, if someone else has a copy of the same schedule, and they made modifications or changes
to the schedule, you can import their changes into YOUR COPY of the schedule.
The Calendar and Shoot Days
In Gorilla, Shoot Days are arranged in Production Phases, and you can create as many phases as you want. This
makes it easy to easier to organize a shoot that is shot over many weeks or even months.
Shoot Days in Gorilla
In Movie Magic, you define multiple calendars. And in the Calendar, you can specify which calendar set is attached to
a board, so it is similar. You can attach a board to a calendar. But it doesn’t seem as if you can attach multiple calendars
to multiple boards, which you can do in Gorilla with Phases.
Shoot Days in Movie Magic
In Gorilla, you can create a Call Sheet right from the Shoot Days screen, adding Cast & Crew to the Call Sheet
and all the appropriate Call Sheet information, such as Call Time, Makeup Times, Scenes Shot, Cast Needed, Parking info,
Atmosphere, Standins and more.
Gorilla does have the ability to print a Call Sheet. Jungle Software also has another alternative to
create even more detailed and professional call sheets with Koala Call Sheets.
Koala Call Sheets
can import scheduling information from Gorilla, or can be used as a standalone application.
Movie Magic Scheduling does not have a Call Sheet feature.
Next, let’s compare the Stripboards. A Stripboard in film terms, is a way to organize your scenes and shoot days.
Both Gorilla Scheduling and Movie Magic Scheduling use a Stripboard to do this.
In Movie Magic’s Stripboard you drag a scene up or down the board to the desired location. The black strips indicate a Shoot Day.
The Stripboard in Movie Magic
In Gorilla’s Stripboard, many of the same features exist, including adding a day break, sorting your board by different
criteria, allowing multiple boards per schedule, a Boneyard section to place strips you don’t know what to do with, and more.
The Stripboard in Gorilla
Both Gorilla and Movie Magic have a vertical display option, so you can move strips in that view if you want.
One nice feature in Movie Magic is the ability to see the Board ID’s (sometimes called the Cast ID’s) which are the numbers
allocated for the Cast Members, here in this horizontal column in the vertical view – you can see them in Gorilla, too, however,
they are displayed vertically like the strip.
Board ID's in Movie Magic - Vertical Stripboard
Both programs allow you to print the board in Black & White or in Color.
Another added feature in Gorilla, is the ability to customize the look of your board, using the Strip Design Feature.
This allows you to position the breakdown sheet fields in any location on the strip or hide any information that you don’t
want to display or print. You can even save the design.
Customize the Stripboard in Gorilla
Movie Magic has a calendar stripboard display, which allows you to move the strips in a calendar view from one day to another.
Calendar in Movie Magic
Another feature in Gorilla Scheduling is the ability to e-mail any report, including the Stripboard, the Call Sheet,
the Shooting Schedule, the Day out of Days report, etc., automatically from Gorilla to your Cast & Crew with a click of a button.
Both Gorilla and Movie Magic has a Day out of Days report (DOOD). This is an essential production report that
shows you the days that a Cast Member is needed for the shooting schedule. To learn more about what a DOOD report is, click the
These are the basic comparisons when it comes to Breakdown Sheets, Shoot Days, and the Stripboard in both programs.
Beyond these features, some of the additional features that Gorilla Scheduling has that Movie Magic does not, include the
Actors & Crew module.
Actors & Crew in Gorilla
Gorilla also has a Location module. Perfect for creating your locations, attaching photos, and attaching scenes to that location,
including entering crucial location information that any Location Manager or Location Scout needs to gather for a film production.
Locations in Gorilla
Lastly, Gorilla also has a Storyboard module, allowing you to Shot List your project.
Storyboards and Shot Lists in Gorilla
Now, Movie Magic does have a similar feature that allows you to import images to each scene – however, once entered,
you cannot easily rearrange those images in a different order, as you can in the Shot List/Storyboard module in Gorilla.
Further, in Gorilla, you can attach elements to each shot, and more information such as Equipment, Camera and Lens information, and Notes.
Ah, this is what you've been waiting for.
Movie Magic Scheduling
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 Scheduling click here for Macintosh
or here for Windows.