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Open-Source Software For The DIY Filmmaker

– Posted in: Creative Process

The great thing about the modern age is that DIY filmmaking is easier than ever. There are many aspects to this, but I wanted to take a quick look at one: software. There is a bevy of great, easy-to-use, and FREE software out there for the budding filmmaker. Some of these you know, some maybe not, but I’ll make this easy by just pointing out what free software I have on my MacBook Pro:

-Open Office: No need to purchase the expensive Microsoft Office suite, when Open Office has (essentially) all the same features.

-VLC: Plays every type of video file, which is a must.

-Gimp: The replacement for Photoshop. Missing a few bells and whistles, but there is still no reason why Gimp is not more than adequate enough for professional image post-production. I used to have PS, but ever since I downloaded Gimp there has been no looking back.

-MPEG Streamclip: Great for converting and encoding videos.

-Skype: You need to call people around the world as you network, make production plans, etc. Skype’s got you covered.

-Handbrake: Rips DVDs easily.

-iMovie: Yes, it’s iMovie. But when you only need some basic editing, it gets the job done.

-Sophos Anti-Virus: Macs are finally being targeted by viruses. Good thing Sophos has a basic, free version of their security program.

Look at all the things I can do on my computer for free! After purchasing my MBP, I have not put any money into software; there has been no need.

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2 comments… add one
DIYFilmSchool December 7, 2012, 2:20 pm

This is a wonderful article for people who value getting the best deal. Now, yeah, granted, I would probably opt for Final Cut Pro (and it sounds like you would, too), but you’re right about iMovie. If it’s a matter of going out there and shooting a movie, iMovie can work.

I had no idea about Macs being targeted for viruses now. Thanks for that tidbit, too.

Chris December 9, 2012, 9:53 pm

Thanks for posting, DIYFilmSchool. I totally agree about FCP – with FCP X at $300, it’s a good choice. But if you have no dough, iMovie’s there for you! I put together the sizzle reel of my underwater footage that I send out to prospective employers (and which usually is the reason for me getting an interview) entirely on iMovie. I’ll admit that I am thinking of throwing down the $300 and getting FCPX… we’ll see!

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