Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Scriptwriting Tools

In the day, writers would talk shop on typewriters. Now, it perhaps is Scriptwriting Software that gets bandied about the place during writer catch ups. Although I hope not because that would seem to me worse than "Geek Speak". Imagine sitting around with a bunch of writers talking about Scriptwriting Software, if you loathe this idea as much as I do, don't continue reading this post.

Whether it be Final Draft or ScriptSmart (Which integrates with Word). I use Montage for Mac. I did use ScriptSmart but I found it problematic because it's editing capabilities immediately locked up if opened in Word without ScriptSmart. Sometimes I needed to do rewrites on other computers, so found myself in this predicament a lot. An easy to install stand alone software would be the free Script Editor from Mindstar Productions, but I have never used it and therefore cannot vouch for it.

Montage works well with Final Draft so I drifted in that direction. In my University days back in early 2000, I used Final Draft.

It is all a much of a muchness, as long as you get the script written but sometimes ease of formatting allows a writer to concentrate on other more important aspects of screenwriting ... like the idea.

I used to bang out scripts on a Hermes 3000.

Hermes 3000 pic from Mr Martin's Web Site Typewriter Museum.

In those days I used a plastic transparency with the script formatting measurements on it, and little holes to pencil in the margins etc. It was somewhat of a process but these days having everything automatically adjusted does make life slightly easier perhaps too easy. Putting those little pencil marks in often allowed a few minutes pause on an idea, but these days it's like sliding down a mud mountain. Actually it is hard enough getting up the mud mountain.

So dear to me was my Hermes 3000, that when after ten years of me having used it and it finally kicked the bucket, I buried it wrapped in my favourite but falling apart Don Lorenzo leather jacket in the backyard. I was going somewhat cuckoo in those days.

I have a break over Christmas and the New Year in order to devote some time to my scripts which is foremost a priority at this point. Anyone have any anecdotes on their writing life leave a comment on the snuffboxfilms Blog.

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