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The Best Video Production Software

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 6/1/2011

Here is a look at important video production software for different parts of your film's creation.

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    Shifting to a Video Production Software World

    In the age of digital video and HD video formats, the world of production has shifted from one that happens on physical systems in the field to one that is increasingly intertwined with software applications. Part of working on a project today is really about developing it, executing it, and working on it in post-production on a computer with software that is industry and task specific. For pretty much every stage of production you will find that there is video producing software that is able to match your needs and help to organize, prepare, or even do the creative work. Here is a look at the best video production software used in screenwriting, pre-production, and post-production.

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    Celtx

    What makes Celtx a great piece of software is that it is both free and combines the platform of the screenwriting software and pre-production features. Celtx is often outlined a free screenwriting software package, but it is really more than that. Celtx does allow you to write seamlessly in the screenwriting format, changing the text positioning depending on the type of element you are working on in your screenplay. This can mean positioning action prose in the correct format, shifting over for dialogue, and framing scene headings correctly. What is does beyond this is allow you to do most of your pre-production planning for that film project right inside the same file, which is more than most screenwriting software can. Here you can go do and perform full scene breakdowns, identify all the separate items in a scene you would have to acquire, identify location forms, and even do full scheduling. You have the option of then sharing the complete Celtx file with others in your film crew, or exporting the documents individually for a production book or communication. This is what really allows Celtx to stand out in video production because it really allows you to consider the creative and technical process of putting together a film at the same time.

    Download Celtx for Free

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    Final Cut Studio

    The Final Cut Studio is Apple's package of professional video post-production software that is based around their flagship Final Cut Pro. This stands out as the fastest growing professional non-linear editing program because of the package's reasonable price and its absolute power. Here you are going to be able to do complete video editing that gives you all the features and creative controls that a film studio would have. Beyond just the editing program there are a number of other high end video production programs in the bundle that are going to be crucial. DVD Studio Pro is a professional DVD authoring program that will allow you to build and publish your own DVDs. Soundtrack Pro is audio mixing software that allows you to master tracks, repair audio problems, and generally edit the sound in your video so that it becomes as clean as you wanted it. Apple Color is a high end color grading software that will let you change the very character and tone of your video images. Motion is a newer addition to Final Cut Studio and is based around creating motion graphics, titles, and even animations to complete your project. All of this is held together by Apple Compressor, a video codec conversion and video compression program that is going to allow you to deal with the new digital world of file types.

    Buy the Final Cut Studio

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    Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium

    It is a different sort of workflow for those that use the Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium for video production, often because only specific programs within this package are standards in the industry. Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium works in a similar way to the Final Cut Studio video production software package, but you are going to pick out specific programs within it that are going to be of importance. The non-linear video editing system that it is built around is Adobe Premiere Pro, which is less used than Final Cut Pro but remains a good standard. The most important video edit ing software included within this package remains Adobe After Effects, a program that has become the industry preferred model for a lot of visual effects systems. Adobe After Effects is known for its abilities in animation, motion graphics, visual effects, image control, layer based compositing, and a whole range of other areas. Adobe After Effects remains so popular, in fact, that it is often the most required software to know before being hired in a post-production field, even more important than editing software. Beyond this is Adobe Photoshop, which is the standard among photo editing programs and is going to be incredibly necessary when dealing with still images in your project. Beyond these there is the high end DVD authoring program Adobe Encore that will likely rival even DVD Studio Pro in terms of features. Another element that actually sets the Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium apart is its inclusion of full web based animation software like Adobe Flash and vector imaging software like Adobe Illustrator.

    Buy Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium

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    Gorilla Film Production Software

    Film budget software is going to be one of the most important video editing software types that you actually include. Though Celtx offers a number of creative pre-production features, it is not going to give you the finanical outlook for your film project in the way that real film budget software will. With the Gorilla Film Production Software you are going to get all the elements that a producer would need in video production suite. There are complete film budgeting tools that are going to allow you to make changes and follow budget plans in detail. The location monitoring features are crucial and will allow you to bring in things like images of the location and directions on getting there. The film scheduling features of Gorilla are astounding and give you the professional kind of control in preparation. Beyond this you get storyboards, actual accounting features, and control over film festival submission. Gorilla is the perfect video editing software to fill out your business, pre-production planning, and even distribution needs. Gorilla still stands out as one of the best film budget software packages available, and it also includes tools for screenwriting that stand out well.

    Buy the Gorilla Student Version

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    Storyboard Artist Studio

    Some people will want video production software to handle their storyboards exclusively, which is often only a supplementary feature in other video production software packages. Power Production Software is known for its storyboard software that comes in a variety of capacities, with StoryBoard Artist Pro standing out as the most complete of these storyboard software options. Here you can use a complete animatics timeline feature to really see how your video may turn out and to really have import and export features that will allow you to work with other video production software.

    Buy Storyboard Artist Studio