software for script writing???

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  11 November 2005
software for script writing???

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?
 
  11 November 2005
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.
 
  11 November 2005
Screenwriting softwares

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
 
  11 November 2005
I usually just take the time to build templates for microsoft word.
 
  11 November 2005
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
 
  11 November 2005
Personally I'm a Final Draft mark. I use Final Draft 6 instead of 7 though.
 
  11 November 2005
Originally Posted by DeadBoy: 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.
 
  11 November 2005
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.
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  11 November 2005
Originally Posted by redmonkey: 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.
 
  11 November 2005
I've heard some of the same things from Head Hunters.

Again I think this stuff helps explain why movies are horrid.
 
  11 November 2005
sometimes they read the first and the last 2 lines

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!
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  11 November 2005
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!"

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...
 
  11 November 2005
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!

Last edited by DeadBoy : 11 November 2005 at 06:18 PM.
 
  11 November 2005
You can try Celtx. It's small and free and formats nicely, but I didn't like how it saves your work, too unconventional.
 
  11 November 2005
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
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