Following is a list of the services and tools utilized in creating and maintaining Indievisual as well as Backstory. This certainly is not intended to serve an endorsement for these products or services; these are the solutions which work for us. We encourage you to conduct your own research and test them out to see which ones solve your particular needs.
Dreamhost – Los Angeles-based Dreamhost is a privately owned hosting company who offers top-class services at budget-consciouss prices. The customer service is both incredibly helpful and very friendly–almost laid back (it is California).
CMS (Content Management System)
Self-hosted WordPress – Despite the existence of various CMS software, WordPress seemed the ideal choice for building a magazine site, a blog, as well as facilitating a future roadmap of client-work handling web presence management for Japanese indie filmmakers.
Backstory theme: Hoffman by Anders Norén. Anders’ designs are minimalist and feature outstanding typography allowing your content to take center stage.
Indievisual Magazine theme: Zuki by Elmastudio. Designer team Ellen and Manual hail from Germany but are currently based in New Zealand. They make an array of minimalist themes with versatile functionality. Every theme is supported with detailed documentation as well as video tutorials.
Blog articles are written in Desk. A light, simple, application written by indie developer John Saddington. Magazine interviews and articles are written in Ulysses. Why two different applications? Desk is better suited to writing single posts such as a blog. Its integration with WordPress makes writing drafts and sending a post to the Backstory backend quick and easy. Ulysses is a robust writing system better suited for managing multi-page and multi-story projects such as a magazine. Its “sheets” system is an intuitive implementation of the “index card” methodology for editing and rearranging blocks of text (such as interview questions/answers). Both offer distraction-free writing in Markdown syntax.
Articles and clippings from the web as well as PDFs and/or digital text documents are organized and researched with Devonthink Pro. It provides annotation features as well as wiki-style linking to other articles, not to mention smart data analyzation which draws associations between documents you might not realize. A browser plug-in allows for quick saving of web articles, but if the formatting becomes problematic, Brett Terpstra’s nvALT is often able to successfully convert pages in to markdown text files for later exporting to DevonThink Pro.
Copyright-free images on Backstory are from Unsplash and edited in either Photoshop or Polarr for Mac. Social media marketing imagery occasionally created through Snappa.
From Moleskine notebooks and scraps of paper, to a found pencil or pen, writing ideas, thoughts, questions, notes, etc. by hand will always be a integral part of our methodology. Tools may evolve and advance, but what they are meant to accomplish remain the same.