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Top Production Assistant Software Programs

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/19/2010

A production assistant helps out on movies, but what does a production assistant software program do? Learn about two popular production assistant software applications and how these programs can make your life easier.

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    What Does Production Assistant Software Do?

    A production assistant or PA is someone who assists with television or film production, and these people generally do tasks like answer phones, deliver scripts or work on the sound stage. Production assistant software, however, generally automates repetitive tasks, and they help you manage events and productions.

    Just like every film production doesn’t need a PA, you probably don’t need production assistant software programs in every scenario. For example, if you are shooting a quick commercial, you probably won’t have that many tasks that you need streamlined.

    If, however, you are working on a festival production or a major motion picture film, then you are going to have a lot of tasks that you need managed. And, you would probably benefit from a system that allows you to streamline certain tasks.

    There are two major production assistant software programs: Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant and K2 Dyno Production Assistant. But, these programs are geared towards two different things. Vegas Pro Production Assistant is mainly for films and broadcasting while K2 Dyno Production Assistant is for live performances.

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    Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant

    The Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant is a software plug-in for Vegas Pro. This tool allows you to simplify repetitive tasks, allowing you to get other things done. It also comes with project templates to help you start new projects. This tool uses a GUI (graphical user interface), which means that you run commands and make projects using radio buttons and checkboxes. You don’t need to know programming to use this tool.

    The batch processing is also a nice feature if you have several media items that you need to process. You simply browse for the media that you want to process, add it to the process screen, and then run the batch process. Then, you simply pick out to where you would like the file saved. You can also audit your projects before you are done to fix any gaps in the system, remove unwanted events and fix resolution.

    The only caveat to this program is that you need Sony Vegas Pro video editing software program to use the production plug-in. As of 2010, the plug-in costs $169.95, and Sony Vegas Pro costs between $500 and $600. This tool is also only for broadcasters and editors, and it's not really geared towards fast-paced environments.

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    K2 Dyno Production Assistant

    While Sony Vegas Pro Production Assistant is geared towards the broadcast industry, the K2 Dyno Production Assistant software tool is strictly for live performances and events, including concerts and sporting events. You can use this tool for fast-paced environments. This tool allows you to control replays, and it uses a continuous FTP bandwidth, which allows you to transfer data to different networks whenever you need to.

    It allows you to manage productions and your staff, and it’s scalable, which means that you can add or remove features as you need them. You can also customize the program based on particular events and/or requirements. You can highlight certain sections of the performance, and it has a VGA multiviewer.

    Other features of this program include the ability to centrally manage content from different sources, and you can send your video to editing services during and/or after the event. This allows you to do some post-production work on your footage.

    You can also review clips before you edit them, and search for material using keywords and metadata. This tool is only compatible with the Windows operating platform.

    The actual cost of this software depends on your needs, but generally the price starts around $1,000 as of 2010. Unlike the Sony Vegas Pro plug-in, you cannot operate this system by yourself. You must have a team of people to use the many functions offered by this production assistant software program.