Integrate Movie Magic Scheduling with Google Calendar

So I receive a couple of messages asking how I created this integration between Movie Magic Scheduling and Google Calendar. Instead of answering one by one, I decided to create this tutorial that teaches how to do the integration.

The process is pretty simple. We have to create a CSV file using Movie Magic Schedule. To do that we need to run a REPORT that will transfer all the database info into a pdf file and save this pdf to a CSV file.

In order to do that you need the following software:

  • EXCEL
  • WORD
  • ACROBAT READER
  • MOVIE MAGIC SCHEDULING

PART 1 – CREATING THE PDF FILE

Download and import the following report that I created.

CALENDAR EXPORT – BY MARIO AMADEU.

To import a calendar you have to open a Movie Magic Schedule, click on DESIGN, a list of Report Layouts will appear, click on the IMPORT ICON, select the downloaded file and voilà.

A report called Calendar Export by Mario Amadeu will show up. Run the report by double clicking on it and then click on Print Preview. The content generated will be barely readable, don’t worry about that because I did this way so the whole information stays in one page for exporting purposes. Print the file as PDF so you can transfer to excel. The first part is done.

PART 2 – CREATING THE CSV FILE

Open the generated PDF file, rotate 90 degrees clockwise, and save. Select all, copy and paste to a word Document.

Every line should have a set of information. For some reason the line breaks messes up sometimes when copying and pasting to word. Because of that, I created one more step on word just to make sure everything will be smooth. With the text copied to word, go to EDIT->REPLACE. In the field “Find what:” type “}”, and in the field “Replace with:” type “^p”. Hit REPLACE ALL button.

Note: if the line breaks are fine, then replace “}” with a “blank space”

Save the file as txt. Open Excel and click on DATA->GET EXTERNAL DATA->IMPORT TEXT FILE. Open the text file created on word and a Text Import Wizard will open.

On step one choose Delimited;
On step two select Semicolon;
On step three select the second column and change the data format to DATE MDY
Hit finish.

The excel file will be created. Select the column B, START DATE, and format the column as a DATE with format MM/DD/YYYY. Save the file as CSV. DONE.

PART 3 – IMPORTING TO GOOGLE CALENDAR

This is the last step. To import to Google calendar, you have to open Google Calendar and under OTHER CALENDARS click on ADD->IMPORT CALENDAR. Browse for the csv file you just created, select the calendar to export to, and hit IMPORT.

If for some reason you get an error message, open the CSV file on Excel and break the table down in less records. Save 2 or 3 CSV files, each one containing 30 lines maximum. Repeat the first line with the header and save it for each one. Import the files into Google Calendar. DONE.

CONCLUSION

The good part of this integration is the fact that you can add cast and crew to the calendar, they can see details like maps, description, synopses, page count, estimated time and comments. I am pretty sure that more features will be created in the future, and maybe in a next version of Movie Magic Scheduling we will have this integration built in.

What I am working now is creating fields for call time and more detailed information like inserting day breaks and so on.If anyone figures new things, please comment here and share with the world. Thanks.

New website based on WORDPRESS!!!!

In this post I will go over all the great features that I have on my new website, as well how I built it, explaining the step by step, so anyone could build their own WORDPRESS site.

I had a BLOGSPOT website where the design limitations were upsetting. Changing to WORDPRESS not only gave me better design features, but also interaction and control features that are simply um comparable with BLOGSPOT. The bad side though is that I had to learn how to build a WordPress site from scratch. I didn’t want to use any available WordPress.com templates because I didn’t like them. So I ended up building my own.

Prior to this experience I didn’t have ANY knowledge of PHP, CSS, MYSQL, and DREAMWEAVER. I had to learn everything from the beginning. At first I thought it would be impossible, but it is not as hard as it seems. Of course that I have some knowledge of computer programming. If I didn’t have it, then I couldn’t do it. I don’t suggest for a person that is computer illiterate to jump in here thinking that they can just do it. It will be frustrating trying to figure and managing the gigantic amount of new information. I am definitely not the best teacher, but I will go over how I did it and maybe, just maybe, help someone who is trying to create their self-hosted WordPress site. Please, don’t expect to get all the pieces here. If you are trying to go over this route, you will have to do a lot of research and testing on your end.

It took me one week and a half to build this website. There are many steps in order to create a website totally customized as this one. The steps are: 1- DESIGN, 2 – LOCAL SETUP, 3 – PROGRAMMING, 4 – HOSTING, 5 – EXPORTING.

1- DESIGN

Instead of designing  a site from scratch I started by selecting a custom design from a library of designs that I have. The one that I liked is called Video Flick, from Press 75. I liked the feel of it and the fact that it has a lot of visual links. I started the design by changing the width of the posts and also changing the background. I changed the header for the home page to be different than the header of the post pages. I also changed a lot of little other minor things.

Most of the changes happen in the STYLE.CSS file. The best way to edit the stylesheet file is to integrate your WordPress theme with Dreamweaver.

2- LOCAL SETUP

To work your site locally and create a unique custom design, the best way is to integrate WordPress with Dreamweaver. There is a tutorial that teaches how to do this integration. I followed the steps of Lynda.com. This tutorial got me from the noob level to better than noob, but still noob level. If you want to try the tutorial before buying it, you can always look around for alternative ways of getting it.

3- PROGRAMMING

That’s the hardest part. As soon as I got the hang of it, it became easier. The best way to learn is by trial and error. By the fact that I was working on a local site, I didn’t worry about messing up my page. I made as many mistakes as I could. I just made sure that I had a back up so, if needed, I could reset everything. The only two files that I messed with were CSS files and PHP files.

CSS files contain the styles of each element in your page divided by category. Which in noob terms means that to center a “post content” I would have to set the category responsible for Post Content on a specific CSS file.

PHP files are like HTML files. They contain the  programming of each part of the page. The way WordPress handles pages is by calling a bunch of different php files for each part or function of the page. The header of a WordPress page is inside of the header.php for example. The post content of a WordPress site is inside of the single.php page.

The files that I changed most of the time were style.css (responsible for all the major styles of everything inside the site), header.php, single.php, footer.php, and functions.php. During this process, I did a lot of Googling and I messed up a bunch of times. As soon as I started to make mistakes, and fixing theses mistakes, I became more knowledgeable to a point of knowing exactly where to find my answers when I needed to change something.

4- HOSTING

As soon as I was done with my LOCAL DESIGN, it was time to transfer everything to a web host. There are a lot of good places to find a host for WordPress. The one that I selected was GoDaddy because my domain is register there and because they have a very easy to install platform. I know that you NEED a server that handles PHP5 and you also NEED a MYSQL database. It cost me 100 dollars for 3 years. For this money Godaddy gave me 10 Mysql databases, 10TB worth of space and unlimited bandwidth. Which is a lot for my small personal website.

5- EXPORTING

To transfer everything to the web host was easy. At this point I already knew what folders to copy, what files to change, and how to troubleshoot. A key to this transfer is to keep the folder structure the way it is. WordPress has a unique way of handling the files. I didn’t mess with the structure since the beginning and that helped me to have the site without any code problems.

 

New Feature Film in New York

I am doing the pre-production of a new feature film based in New York.

The director called me from over there and hired me to work for him at a distance. I couldn’t physically travel to New York because I am doing physical therapy and my doctor didn’t allow me to work yet. So we agreed that I would do the scheduling, budgeting, and breakdown before the principal photography starts.

For this production I am using the Movie Magic screenwriter, Movie Magic Scheduling, and Movie Magic Budgeting. These software are really good. They are very helpful with the whole process of pre-production.

The advantages of these software over other software, like Celtx for example, is the industry standard interface. Pre-production of films in Hollywood is made the same way for a long time. Scheduling a feature film is a three-part process: 1 – breakdown the script, 2 – preparing a production strip board, and 3 – determining the final shooting schedule. The movie magic package helps a lot with this process. Little things like the color coding, break down categories, and full integration between script, schedule and budget are key to the creation of a well structured pre-production. Then we have more advanced tolls like Report Design, Day out of Days control, Red Flags features, Calendar Management, and Element linking that makes the scheduling process way more precise.

Another good aspect of the Movie Magic package is that the company who creates the software gives a couple of courses for free. Right now I don’t have time to do them, but as soon as I finish this schedule I might take some courses. I might be able to catch little and more advanced things that I wouldn’t otherwise.

The main production of the film is scheduled to start in July. I am having a lot of work to put everything together as fast and accurate as possible. So far I am doing fantastic. My job is to manage everybody schedule, solve this jigsaw puzzle, and deliver the schedule and budget in two weeks.

 

BRANDO UNAUTHORIZED – San Clemente

I am here at the backyard of a beautiful house in San Clemente, Orange County. Tonight is the last day shooting at this location. This place has breath taking views. The people are warm and everybody seems to like us.

I will give a back story to this production. It was a low budget film, shot with no permits and literally on spot decisions every single day. I had to manage a crew of 35 people average and come up with decisions that would keep us motivated, on schedule, and under budget.

We faced all sort of troubles during this second week of production. Starting with the sudden change of location on Tuesday. We were shooting in Burbank and the idea was to shoot there for at least 3 days with the possibility of shooting 5 days total. Well, the very first day we had the cops getting there all the time. Instead of telling the truth and get over with it, some production people lied to the cops saying that we were doing a party and not a film. Cops by nature are dogs searching for lies. They knew that something was up. We had no permits and on top of that, the neighbors were calling the police all the time.

We ended up shooting one day and a half. The cops, neighbors, vibe, nothing was working. The solution was to move some where else. That’s when we decided to go to San Clemente at Rusty’s House. His wife Debbie opened the house for us and let us use the place for 5 days. We not only used her house but we shot at her neighbor’s house. Her name is Alice.  We were also fortunate to shoot in a multi million mansion overlooking the ocean, which in my opinion was one of the best locations we got.

I had the pleasure to work with a guy that randomly appeared one day on set as an extra and I hired him to be my personal helper. His name was Steve and he had no experience whatsoever in the film business. The very first day of work he managed to help me find the multi million dollar location. He got a hold of a guy called Berry who is one of the most generous person that I had the pleasure to meet lately. He is a very known person by everyone in San Clemente and also a real gentleman and a good friend of Rusty. By the fact that he is so well connected, he managed to get us the place in less than one day. I believe that God provides if one keeps a strong heart on everything that one does. Berry told me so many good things that I will keep for the rest of my life. That day was magical.

Right now we are wrapping the last scene of the day. Today I had to do the 1st AD job because the 1st AD had personal problems. Well, I am here typing on the computer because my actors for the last scene are doing the make up. I felt like writing this post because I think this moment is a very special moment in my life. I will get married in a couple of weeks from now, I am finishing my 2nd feature in less than one year, and I will graduate on my 2nd university this semester. The most important is that I feel God closer to me everyday. He is my best friend, and everything is possible because of Him. Thank You.

 

Fist of Gold

I put together a video for a non profit organization based in Pomona California.
They provide kids with boxing classes and support for competition. Their work is amazing and the Head Coach/Director Jorge Castaneda and his right hand man Jerry are really cool and down to earth guys.

We shot one of the scene of the film Last Act in their gym and they helped us not only with the space but also with a lot of extras. The day we shot in their facility was definitely one of the best days of the production. The person in the production who helped us to get all this done, was the fantastic Coco Cook.

Please take a look at the video below.

Thank you

First part of the film almost done

We are taking 5 days off and we will start production back again this Sunday, December 20. Ron Quigley (dir./e.p./lead) had to travel. His brother with cancer unfortunately past away. We were about to wrap our second week shooting, and the bad news came. Ron tried to hold on and keep going. This is a lot to handle. The best thing for him to do was visit his family, spend some time away, recharge batteries, and come back renewed.

The good part is that the production is on schedule, footage looks amazing, performances are believable, crew is getting along pretty well, workflow is  in shape. I’m pretty confident that Ron is happy with the work that everybody is doing. As for me, I am really happy with my work too. I am feeling more confident about the work that I do. I can manage the crew better now than I ever managed before. We are always getting good results. Best of all, I am making new friends.

Everybody is amazing. I don’t want to leave anyone behind, but as far as I remember there are in the

– camera/grip department John, Pat, Mark, Tra, Bobby
– make up Deonna,
– Art department with Stacy and Adam,
– production with Edward, Suzana, Rich, Felipe Costa, Coco,
– stills by Maria, and Kevin
– catering by Chris,
– audio by Kevin,
– cinematography by Peter Lugo,
– and direction by Ron.

stills in this post by Kevin.

Everybody is doing an amazing job. There is an excitement every time we call action. I hope this excitement will follow us wherever we go.
I hope that Ron’s brother is resting in peace now. I dedicate my work in his name. May God bless his soul.

Start of production and engagment

Tomorrow we will start the film. The guys had already being there today for a test shoot and pre light the set. I was not able to go because I had to get done with a bunch of school work. I had even a test of one of the best classes I ever took: grip. Good thing is that I nailed the test. I am getting my school done and I am ready for the film.

We are going to start tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm. It’s a lot of work but we are getting more people to work with us. Today I met a guy that wants to take some still photography of the film. That’s great. I hope he can join us.

There is also one more thing that I would like to mention.
I am an engaged man. I will marry my princess. She didn’t know that I planned to propose to her on thanksgiving. I prepared everything for when the moment would come. I even taped the whole thing with a hidden camera. It was awesome. I was very nervous and stressed out. My neck was killing me since I decided to take this step. It was about one month ago. I called her parents and they were happy with the news. We will figure our plans after I am done with the film and she is done with her finals at school. Now the world is opening to a new perspective. New adventures. New challenges.

I pray that God will bless the end of 2009.
Amem.

My first Feature film as a Co-Director

I am going to co-direct my first feature film. Just sign the contract today.
I am in a hurry now to make it possible because there are a lot of things to do. I am going to share the direction of the film with the executive producer/lead actor Ron Quigley. By the fact that he is the lead and he is in 80 per cent of the film, he needs someone to direct the film while he is acting. I got his contact through a great friend of mine and the dp that I work almost every time Peter Lugo.
My job is pretty much go over all the aspects of the film, like directing actors, cinematography, schedule, break down, and management. It will be challenging and worthwhile.
At the beginning of this year I told to myself that I wanted to make a short film and then I wanted to make a feature. Well everything you wanted is possible if you persist and work hard. I could not see myself directing a feature because after finishing the short film I was so tired and so broke that I could not believe that a feature would be possible. Well last thing I know is that I was talking to this guy and making this project part of my life.
As soon as possible I will post more information about the project.
Like I said before, I’m in a hurry.