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Compare Movie Magic with Gorilla

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 vs. Gorilla

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.

Movie Magic Scheduling

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 Scheduling

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.

Disply Screenplay in Gorilla

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

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

Categories in Gorilla


In Movie Magic Scheduling, you can Add, Merge, Duplicate, and Delete Breakdown Sheets.

actions in movie magic

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..

actions in gorilla

Modifying Breakdown Sheets in Gorilla



Watch the Video: Comparing Movie Magic Scheduling to Gorilla


Syncing Features

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

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

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

Shoot Days in Movie Magic


Call Sheets

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.

The Stripboard

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.

Stripboard in Movie Magic

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.

Stripboard in Gorilla

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.

Movie Magic Vertical Board

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.

Strip Design in Gorilla

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

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 link below:

Day out of Days Report.

Additional Gorilla Features (not in Movie Magic)

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.

Gorilla Actors Crew

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.

Gorilla Locations

Locations in Gorilla


Lastly, Gorilla also has a Storyboard module, allowing your to Shot List your project.

Gorilla Storyboard

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.

The Cost

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

Movie Magic Price

Movie Magic Scheduling


Gorilla Price

Gorilla 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.



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