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Open production on the commons

I am in the midst of juggling several productions again. We have a series of mirco-docs on the go and about to enter a second production and post-production phase, live performances that draw in part from the micro-docs series, further development of a touring exhibition / installation series, a couple of short films simmering on the horizon, a requiem and another album of sorts.

Managing all these projects remotely presents one with significant challenges. For one, I can’t carry a white board with me nor can I draw on a production assistant with ready access to all the resources, networks and services I require.

Additionaly, all these projects are low budget and therefore entirely reliant on good will support, where possible, and a suite of free and open software from which to manage and drive these projects with.

Project management tools are often cumbersome, come with features that one may never use and require far too much time to maintain. In some instances, you need a project manager just to keep these tools fed! It defeats the purpose. You want tools that are easy to use, ensure efficiency of one’s projects, provide scope for shared access to them and interoperable with portable devices and platforms. 

Now-a-days I’m using a combination of:

  • Openoffice (spreadsheets, script templates, etc.)
  • Google documents
  • dotProject
  • MediaWiki

All great tools, but neither designed specifically for media arts, video / film production. Hence, I am now looking at the media production software, Celtx. The desktop application, available for all platforms, is free. The online studio, in where all resources can be shared, is subscription based charged monthly or annualy.

I’ve yet to make a decision to throw myself into this… my basic concerns are around asset and production management. I’m yet to be convinced Celtx can offer this. Besides, it’s not FOSS, but it’s affordable and appears to be created by media producers for media producers.

Perhaps my old fashioned production tracker spreadsheets will suffice in tandem with what appears to be a very sophisticated application.

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  1. April 24th, 2009 at 13:01 | #1

    Article describing how a FOSS based production studio might be run:


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