Anyone tried screenwriting softwares ??

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  12 December 2004
Question Anyone tried screenwriting softwares ??

I'm interested to know if screenwriting softwares are useful (especially for short films) or just some word-like gadget...
I found 2 of them on over the net like Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter.

They seem to be very professional software as the price and the screenshot show...

Personaly when i have an idea i begin to wrote it on a simple piece of paper then i develop it with Word...

So is it interesting ? If you have other names and you find them good feel free to share with us...

  12 December 2004

Hey Cipher,
Having taken both screenwriting and directing at my university, for writing a script, we used the Scrennwriter's Bible by David Trotter (3rd Edition ISDN: 1-879505-44-4). For my Directing class, we used Directing-Film Techniques And Aesthetics by Michael Rabiger (3rd Edition ISBN: 0-240-80517-8).
Though the programs you mentioned seem to be the most used, I would highly recommend learning the basics of script writing structure from the book. That way you will have alot better understanding of what those programs offer as far as options go. I have messed around with the demo of Movie Magic, and at first, all the options it offers was a little overwhelming till I learned how to write in school. The industry is pretty set as to how a script is expected to be structured, and just what content it should have, depending on whether it's a draft (you should end up with many drafts!) , a final draft, or a shooting script. Read the book several times! Then you'll know alot more clearly how to proceed with your idea. I mention directing because theres alot that goes on with a script once it has reached a director, and having an idea of how a production works with a script will help you to better retain the "spirit" of what you first put on paper. A director takes many libertys with a script, so do not get too attached to it! By the time it's a shooting script, it's not yours anymore anyway, unless you do the whole production.
I hope this helps your venture some. Good Luck!
"If your not livin' on the edge, your just not livin'!"
  12 December 2004
Having written tons and tons of scripts for various media (comics, film, TV, animation) I have to say that I'm still in love with Word templates. I've tried Final Draft and a lot of the freeware programs out there, and nothing beats the simplicity and variety you can get by building a good template. Not to mention that if you're in the middle of a script for a short film, and then you decide that it's getting a little long, you can just adjust a few parameters and viola! Full length script format.

The only downside to this is that you do have to know the many many quirks of each format. I have a standard format I use for my own work, but when I'm submitting it to a company, the first phone call I make is to the submissions department to find out exactly which script format they use. It can vary company to company.
"Some people are like Slinkies. They're pretty much useless, but you can't help but laugh when they get thrown down a set of stairs."
  12 December 2004
Besides using Word templates, I use a program called Sophocles, It has a few analysis tools without getting too cumbersome. It was easy to learn.

For me, the oddest story development software has to be Dramatica, Its story theory is so complex, it's literally about as difficult to learn as a 3d app.
  12 December 2004
I use SceneWriterPro from

Nice and cheap, and the way scenes are handled makes it easy to manage your plot, jot down notes, and find the scenes you want to work on. I find it much easier to use than a word processor.
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  12 December 2004
I've tried just about all the storywriting development softwares out there, and most of them are very limiting or too tedius to use except for one, but I forget which one. LOL The fact is, if you couldn't write without one, you won't be able to write with one either. No software will turn you into a good writer, all they do is help you organize and brainstorm ideas and story detail, but if you don't have the talent or good taste, all you're doing is polishing turd anyway. Writing and music absolutely takes raw talent, more so than art or photography. One simply cannot be taught to produce excellent works in writing or music, but most people can be taught to turn out some pretty decent photography or artworks.

As far as screenwriting softwares go, they all have their pros and cons. I tested all the major ones out extensively, with two rising to the top--Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000. Sophicle has interesting features, but overall lacks compared to the stronger two. Other than these three, all the other ones I tested shouldn't even be bothered with unless you can't afford the better ones.
  12 December 2004
Great, a lot of ideas in there right now that's cool !

As i could read, screenwriting softwares are good tools to organize and give a shape to the writings...
As i'm still a self taught/futur student i will take a look at the Bossgator's book advices in order to learn more about theories and principles... and then if i need a software i will go for them but they first seem very useful for profesional in the industry and not necessary for a student like me...

  12 December 2004
Microsoft Word works fine. I've used some screenwriting programs and in the end even textpad will work as long as you can get soemthing down...
  12 December 2004
I don't know about these "pros" programs but what I do know is that when I have an idea I will write down what the basic "units" are and then develop my character or characters. When I have all that onto paper I will open my very old friend microsoft word and then I'll start writing.

Then I will take my script appart and outline the shots and camera angles.

Now if anyone could come up with a "sceneStoryboarder Pro" I'd be very grateful because that would save me countless hours on storyboarding
Sergio Aris ROSA

Disclaimer: My opinions are not those of my employer
  12 December 2004 - Very good screenwritting program
  12 December 2004
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Writing and music absolutely takes raw talent, more so than art or photography. One simply cannot be taught to produce excellent works in writing or music, but most people can be taught to turn out some pretty decent photography or artworks.

I don't agree. I think you're biased because you are more professionalized in photography and art so you see the ordered matrix more readily in those fields. what people see in your art work as raw talent, you recognize as a compunded series of techniques which have become second nature to you. The very same is true in music and writing, there are formulas and techniques behind everything. I ran a professional music studio for 5 years, making music for TV commercials and radio as well as regional record labels. Anyone with enough time and motivation can learn the series of techniques it takes to make great music. I believe the true genius behind the genius in any artistic field is being able to find the time and motivation to push for the highest levels.

Talent is a formula.

Anyway, on topic. I use Final Draft, and it's worth it because it increases your speed. And speed increases your quality because the more interations you can make of reviewing your work, the better it will be. When you write, write fast.

Last edited by Quizboy : 01 January 2005 at 06:08 PM.
  12 December 2004
Quote: Talent is a formula.
I don't know. I'm a firm believer that formula is the death of talent. Formula is what's killing Hollywood & TV. You CAN teach somebody to write. You just can't teach them to be creative.

Anyway, back to the subject... I use MS Word. Programs like final draft are good, but I prefer to go it alone, as I know the basic writing conventions for screenplays.
DISCLAIMER: The views presented herein do not necessarily represent those of my brain.
  12 December 2004
Any FREE Mac OSX stuff for screen writing. I really new in this area of conceptualization so any app that would speed up the process is a big help.
  12 December 2004
I used MS word for awhile and really couldn't get into I went with Final Draft and I love it. Its really easy to use and even easier to learn. I haven't written anything in awhile tho but yeah, Final Draft is a great program.
  12 December 2004
Originally Posted by cookepuss: I don't know. I'm a firm believer that formula is the death of talent. Formula is what's killing Hollywood & TV. You CAN teach somebody to write. You just can't teach them to be creative.

But remember that sometimes working within the confines of a formula or system can be a breeding ground for creativity.
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