Thursday, 20 December 2007

Script Smart

An automatic script layout template for Word makes script writing easier, and I use Script Smart as supplied by our lovely Brits at the BBC - the reason I use the British layout is because in Australia that is what we officially use to write our scripts with, the British method that is not necessary Script Smart. I find it simple to use, efficient, no mucking around, and terribly English by way of its no nonsense functions. American script-writers fear not because Script Smart Gold also comes in a US format. The other bonus with Script Smart is that it has versions for Mac but the Gold is only available for Mac in the British standard.

When I first started scriptwriting I joined up to an awful correspondence course which I never completed and in those days I received in the mail bundles of literature in the form of booklets on scriptwriting hints, tips and information. Some of it was useful but most was rubbish. With it was supplied some plastic sheets with script layout measurements on it that you actually lined up in your typewriter and then stenciled the margins - how far we have come in the past ten years or so.

Any script to be taken seriously needs to follow this code, although I don't really agree entirely with all the format restrictions because having read a lot of plays for the theatre I have come to understand that adapting style for content is justifiable in a creative world, but frankly why cause trouble for yourself, get it right the first time otherwise you'll have a fantastic story knocked back because you didn't use the right fucking font or something.

There are other templates however, like Screen Pro, which I imagine is probably American. If you live in Australia, be very aware of using the American layout, our funding bodies are extremely pedantic on the way your script is presented and apparently decision makers in the ranks get offended when they don't receive the right paperwork.

Another bunch of useful templates can be found at Dependent Films, once again I imagine these to be American but if you read snuffboxfilms and you are American, I hope you find it useful.

I don't know about the script layout in other parts of the world but I imagine there might be a few different ones.

I'm off editing tomorrow my one minute short and hopefully everything will run smoothly. I have two weeks of holiday from work and am planning many a fruitful night getting in some solid writing time.

Here is a screen grab from the film, as I have previously shown here at snuffboxfilms in my Vlog post.

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