the trailer : post-production management

tool : using OmniPlan to schedule your project

this is the first in a series of instructional videos about post-production, using “the darkness rolled over her” trailer as a case study.

the rest of this series will be for paying subscribers only, but i wanted people who haven’t taken advantage of a paid subscription to see what they’re missing. if that’s you, you can remedy that here:

(this video is a necessary first step, but the rest in this series are going to be way cooler.)


i’m about reach picture lock on the film, an important milestone. picture lock means the picture (video) part of the film has been cut to its (hopefully) final form. it is considered “locked” because it should not change from this point forward.

with the locked picture as a reference point, all the other post artists can start their work — color correction, visual effects, sound design, and score. much of this work can be done simultaneously (with oversight). it will all be brought back together for the final master version of the film, which will then be distributed.

up until this point, i’ve been doing most everything myself. but Shane Yoder at puttheminasong.com is going to be scoring the film as well as doing a lot of sound design. Noah Woodard is going to be doing a lot of the visual effects. and i’ll be doing the color, plus helping Shane with sound and Noah with vfx.

so we need a plan — who needs what on what kind of hard drive, who’s going to do what when — that sort of thing. my tool of choice for this point in the game is a Gantt chart. Gantt charts are hard to make by hand, but with tools like Microsoft Project (which i learned in high school / college), they can be made much easier. you can use them to build schedules, assign resources, even budget a project.

i love the products by the Omni Group. i’ve been using OmniFocus as my “to-do” app for a long time now. they have a Gantt chart app called OmniPlan which is beautiful and perfectly suited for project management.

here’s a short video of how it works and how i use it:

i’ve used lots of project management tools in post-production — apps like Trello, Podio, etc. i first learned about Gantt charts from Microsoft Project back in the day, and i think it’s still around. but i prefer OmniPlan. i like the style and support of OmniGroup apps, and i like how they sync well to all my devices. apps like OmniPlan can be expensive, but a lot of the principles can be done on paper. personally, for me, the automation is worth the money.

what do you think?

do you have a better project management system? please share it with us in the comments.