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BryanR32
11-02-2005, 02:59 AM
i remember seeing a small program in this forum somewhere for writing scipts
can anyone point me in the direction of it, or know what i am talking about?

DeadBoy
11-11-2005, 05:23 PM
www.FinalDraft.com (http://www.FinalDraft.com)

That's pretty much the standard- it costs a pretty penny, but I got mine several years ago off Ebay for $100. And it was worth every penny.

LordMout
11-11-2005, 05:32 PM
Simply do a search on Google and you'll have a bunch of them. Some are freeware, some are limited time demos. Finaldraft has its flaws but is certainly the reference if you can afford it. Look also for "Sophocles" which is a bit less userfriendly!

Cheers

malcolmvexxed
11-11-2005, 09:20 PM
I usually just take the time to build templates for microsoft word.

DeadBoy
11-12-2005, 02:26 AM
Templates do work to a degree, but it is easily recognizable to people in the industry. My agency makes it a habit to throw away any script that doesn't look exactly as a professionally formatted script does (and believe me, they can tell). The idea behind this is that a professional would use professional gear. Personally I think it's an excuse not to read another screenplay:)

Athenieus
11-13-2005, 04:23 PM
Personally I'm a Final Draft mark. I use Final Draft 6 instead of 7 though.

malcolmvexxed
11-15-2005, 09:09 PM
Templates do work to a degree, but it is easily recognizable to people in the industry. My agency makes it a habit to throw away any script that doesn't look exactly as a professionally formatted script does (and believe me, they can tell). The idea behind this is that a professional would use professional gear. Personally I think it's an excuse not to read another screenplay:)

Sigh and yet they make Deuce Bigalow 2.

redmonkey
11-16-2005, 04:56 PM
they would just throw it out? i find that hard to believe....im thinking if the first few pages dont grasp whoevers reading it, then they throw it away. sure the overal appeal is one thing...but that quote "dont judge a book by its cover" means another.

id have to say that story matters more than how it looks on paper. just my 2 cents.

Shade01
11-16-2005, 10:28 PM
they would just throw it out? i find that hard to believe....im thinking if the first few pages dont grasp whoevers reading it, then they throw it away. sure the overal appeal is one thing...but that quote "dont judge a book by its cover" means another.

id have to say that story matters more than how it looks on paper. just my 2 cents.

If you were talking about anything other than a screenplay, I'd agree with you, but in this case, I'll disagree. Really seasoned readers, agents or producers are judging your screenplay before they read a single line. If anything looks out of place, it's a taken as a sign that it's probably amatuer and not professional. An agent that's been around for awhile told me she can look at a script without reading it and tell if it's written correctly by the amount of space- dialogue and action written on the page. I'm not hear to say that she's right or wrong, just that that is how agents who have to read dozens of scripts on their desks think.

Oh, and those types of exclusionary tactics seem to be the norm, not the exception in that segment of the industry.

malcolmvexxed
11-17-2005, 03:27 AM
I've heard some of the same things from Head Hunters.

Again I think this stuff helps explain why movies are horrid.

ZaKKoS
11-17-2005, 07:56 AM
sometimes they read the first and the last 2 lines :D

Anyway, for what i have to do, i use celtx. http://www.celtx.com
It's based on mozilla firefox and it does a pretty good job. It has its limits but you can deal with that!

norbykov
11-17-2005, 02:35 PM
Don't be naive, of course they won't bother reading your script unless it looks well formatted, they get thousands of scripts a day. So they'll think: "Hmm, we have 2345 scripts for today, 2344 of them is properly formatted. They look like they're written by people who know how to write a script. But lets start with this one that looks amature! It must be the best script ever!" :D

My point is: don't give them an excuse. Make them read your script, even if it's only the first two lines. :) And if you truely believe that format and "looks" don't matter. Well, don't even bother sending out your script, UNLESS you have a killer synopsys.

I'd recommend Final Draft, if you can afford it...

DeadBoy
11-17-2005, 05:46 PM
Okay, since I get asked this question a lot, I figured I'd tell you what agents (and production companies) usually do before diving into a script. In the past five years I've had three agents, all of whom vouched for this:

1. Is it protected?
is there a (C) or WGA Reg on the cover page? That is the first thing they check- that you have protected your work. DO NOT SEND THE SCRIPT TO YOURSELF. This has never held up in a court of law, and production companies need assurance that you own the material you are sending. Some people copyright, some people register with the WGA- personally, I do both. If there's one thing I take seriously, it's ownership of my material.

2. They check for page length: anything more than 125 pages, and it goes in the trash. If it's a kid's flick, it has to be under 110 (kids have shorter attention spans). So don't think that because your story about a crime-fighting vampire trying to repent for crimes past is unique and groundbreaking, that it can be 200 pages.

3. This is a weird one- they turn it upside down and flip through it. The reason for this is because there are two kinds of writers: book writers and script writers. Book writers write with 90% narrative, 10% dialogue. Keep your narrative down to FIVE LINES or under each paragraph. If you can't get across your story with dialogue, you are doing something wrong. Flipping the book upside down is an easy way to see what the ratio of dialogue to narrative is.

4. Proper formatting. We covered this one. If you're serious about being a writer, suck it up and buy the software!:)

5. NO DIRECTING. Unless you are filming this story yourself, drop all the CLOSE UPs and PAN RIGHTs and all that jazz. Prod cos have directors they use to figure out this, and they get kind of insulted when a writer presumes to know how to do their job.

6. HOOK EM IN TEN. What that means is, your inciting incident better happen by page ten. If you don't know what that is, it's the event that kicks the story into motion. The company I am working with now asked me to bump mine to page 7, showing again that audiences have shorter attention spans and need to be hooked ASAP. So no long buildup, no "I promise there's a twist later!", just hook em!

Other than that, just try to find a voice. Don't be a Quentin or a Cohen or a Farelly. They can tell when you are mimicking someone else, and will pitch it if you're hacking. Hope this helps!

Ivyn
11-17-2005, 11:44 PM
You can try Celtx (http://www.celtx.com/). It's small and free and formats nicely, but I didn't like how it saves your work, too unconventional.

jussing
11-22-2005, 05:31 PM
Oddly enough, I had the opportunity to touch and read a professional in-production script recently, and it didn't look anything like David Trottier's guidelines, whatsoever.

- Jonas

DeadBoy
11-22-2005, 09:10 PM
I'm not sure the guidelines you are referring to, but there are several different kinds of scripts (shooting draft [with transitions], reading drafts [most common] Cole and Haag, etc.). If you were referring to my guidelines, which have nothing whatsoever to do with David Trottier, I assure you that is how it's done.

fwtep
11-23-2005, 12:39 AM
Oddly enough, I had the opportunity to touch and read a professional in-production script recently, and it didn't look anything like David Trottier's guidelines, whatsoever.The guidlines in books are for spec scripts. Shooting scripts are a slightly differnet format (and TV is even more different). Also, the format can vary for several reasons, for example, if the writer is also directing, he has a lot more freedom. Also, different production companies might do things differently. Adhering to the basic guidlines in the screenwriting books is still the best bet.

Fred

jussing
11-23-2005, 07:34 AM
If you were referring to my guidelines, which have nothing whatsoever to do with David Trottier, I assure you that is how it's done.I believe you, but I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to read your formatting guide lines. :)

- Jonas

DeadBoy
11-23-2005, 04:40 PM
Hey Jonas,

Checked out your demo- very nice work! Lava was incredible.

I guess the rule of thumb here would be to find out who your script is intended for, and what kind of format they want. Software like Final Draft of Scriptware can do all different types, but the one rule that remains solid is to keep the narration down. As long as your script reads like a script, and not a book, you're already ahead of the pack. Stay away from Voice Overs- theyre fun, but frowned upon. Then just get a good story idea and run with it! Good luck!:D

asphaltcowboy
11-27-2005, 11:53 AM
Cinergy Script Editor. It's a free part of the Cinergy production management package that you can download seperately from the rest of the (non-free) software. Anything you write can either be saved as an .rtf or exported to .pdf format, which is very handy indeed! You can find more information here (http://www.mindstarprods.com/cinergy/scripteditor.html), or you can go straight to download it from here (http://www.mindstarprods.com/cinergy/preview.htm) (second item down). It does lots of stuff for you and generally makes it very quick to get stuff down onto the page!

Hope someone finds that useful!

Isopod
12-06-2005, 07:17 PM
I'm currently on the planning stages of my short film and I stumbled on this awesome and FREE (open source) Scriptwriting/Pre-Production software CELTX (http://celtx.com/overview.html) So for those who are looking for a free substitute to Final Draft...here it is!

cheers,
--Isopod

malcolmTG
12-07-2005, 04:57 AM
3. This is a weird one- they turn it upside down and flip through it. The reason for this is because there are two kinds of writers: book writers and script writers. Book writers write with 90% narrative, 10% dialogue. Keep your narrative down to FIVE LINES or under each paragraph. If you can't get across your story with dialogue, you are doing something wrong. Flipping the book upside down is an easy way to see what the ratio of dialogue to narrative is.


but what about something thats more action based. as an example, how do you fit in a lot of dialogue in a car chase, or do you just say "and then there was a car chase" and leave it to the director to work out the actual flow of everything? because i see alot of movies where there is just stuff happening for like 10 minutes and maybe a couple words interspersed.

peace.
malcolm.

DarioD
12-07-2005, 07:24 AM
Well, you have to remember that lots of these CRAP movies are made by people who've made movies before, and don't neccessarily need to "strive" to get their POS scripts made into movies. Once youve made one movie, you can care a lot less about format....a LOT less.

jussing
12-08-2005, 09:14 PM
Trying Celtx right now...... not very happy about it yet.

I never like programs who want to surf the internet around my back, and Celtx is the worst one so far.

It takes an extra 30 seconds to load if you stop it in the firewall, plus the "Import" function will be entirely disabled - even if you only want import a .doc or .txt file from your local hard drive...

And I haven't been able to import ANY .TXT document succesfully (except a script exported from Celtx), and get Celtx to register things like scene headings, even though they all start with EXT. or INT...

I know, I know, it's free, so what can I demand...

I might learn to like it... ;)

- Jonas

PS, and why the hell does it have a Google browser tab??? If I want Google, I'll open Google myself!

ZaKKoS
12-08-2005, 09:30 PM
It has google because it's based on firefox so is like having the whole firefox installed and to be true you can use celtx to browse... (a proof is that when you install some plugin one of the browser is firefox and if you have it already is like having 2 firefox...) and since firefox has the search function integrated they thought that it could be useful to have a google/google images/imdb search just were you are working...well i said this in a very complicated way :banghead: but i hope you've understood :p

DeadBoy
12-13-2005, 05:25 PM
Actually Dario, formatting is needed regardless of how many scripts you've done- a reading draft is converted to a shooting draft (with scene numbers, camera direction, etc) and used by the director and crew- therefore while obviously the script can stray slightly out of the format for those purposes, it is still in script format.


Jussing- if you want a car chase scene, you can of course write out the action sequence in "beats"- break up the action into small narratives of five lines or less, and don't go overboard with the details. Give the director enough to go on, and leave out the unecessary details. Once a script is bought, the action sequences are usually choreographed by the director and stunt crew anyways, so there is no need to catalogue every punch that is thrown.:)

DarioD
12-13-2005, 08:05 PM
I understand, but what I mean is, someone who's made a movie before (especially someone big) wouldnt need to format his original screenplay very well (if at all) in order to get *accepted.* The big-shots already know who he is and that he can pull it off. When it comes time to make the movie, of course someone will format it so they can make use of it.

Look at George Lucas for example. I have doubts (though I am uncertain) of whether he formatted his original Star Wars screenplays *at all* when he scribbled them down in his little red notebook. Would be rather annoying... Easier to just pay someone afterward :)

(of course, what I'm saying only applies when a non-writer writes a screenplay... a "writer" will of course use formatting, cuz thats his job)

DeadBoy
12-13-2005, 09:10 PM
I see what you are saying:) and yes, when I started the one I am working on now, I used a ballpoint pen and a notebook as always. As I've gotten closer to my deadlines (the prod co I am working for sets up several every month), I have to conevrt it to an actual formatted script with Final Draft.

And when you get to be in George Lucas's situation, where you are making your own movies, you can do whatever the hell you want.:) Maybe thats why his dialogue was so friggin poor in the last star wars!

John Ryan
01-20-2006, 11:28 PM
I like to use Smart Script Gold. It's free and easy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scriptsmart/scriptsmart_Gold.shtml

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