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hunnypot
06-11-2009, 10:17 PM
I'm currenty using word but am thinking of getting a scriptwriting software. I am UK based so would be aiming for UK based people to send my scripts to but also want to keep US open. Isn't the UK and US format of feature film scripts exactly the same? But I also wish to write for UK TV which I know do not have the same format as US TV. Which screenwriting software would be best for UK/US features and UK TV? Thank you!

alleycat
06-11-2009, 10:54 PM
The BBC Writers Room has some free software (or they used to) in both UK and US versions. There's also Celtx, which is free.

What not use one of the free software programs for now. It would be fine until you actually got to a point where you wanted to submit something, then you could look at one of the professional packages. I use Movie Magic; it and Final Draft are the top pro software programs in the US.

Writer2011
06-11-2009, 10:55 PM
I use Scene Writer Pro...which costs but you can work on individual scenes without messing up your entire script.

odocoileus
06-12-2009, 11:36 AM
The pro standard is either Final Draft or Movie Magic. Try both demos. If you prefer one or the other, and you've got 150 Euros in your pocket, order away.

Free solutions like Celtx, Page2Stage, and the BBC Writers Room templates work fine for new writers. Celtx in particular seems to keep getting better.

I haven't tried Zhura, but it looks pretty good at first glance.

Hang of Thursdays
06-12-2009, 12:04 PM
Thirding Celtx: http://celtx.com/

That thing is magical

iforgot120
06-12-2009, 07:44 PM
Celtx is very good as a free option. I've never used any software that I've had to pay for to write a script, so I can't compare Celtx to anything like that but it's still really good.

ATP
06-13-2009, 09:00 AM
I covered this same subject in an earlier post:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3597089#post3597089 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3597089#post3597089)
[see post #6]

and the broader picture/overview is covered here:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24087 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24087)

Scriptsmart is the free software offered by the BBC, and is what
I am using at the moment (my first script). Though a bit "clunky", it is a simple-to-use bare bones piece of kit.Quite sufficient for the beginning screenwriter.

Though free, Celtix comes with a hell of a lot of other functions, much related to pre-production, which beginning (& even veteran) screenwriters will likely never use.

iforgot120
06-13-2009, 11:38 PM
That part about Celtx is true. At first, I figured that since they were there I might as well make use of them but it got tedious and I dropped it fast. Celtx is good because it formats everything for you and it's free; the extra options it has don't mean too much.

TheUnknownAuthor
06-14-2009, 05:11 PM
Good stuff. Checking out Celtx as we speak....

Team 2012
06-21-2009, 04:26 AM
It's really hard to see a good reason for NOT trying out Celtyx for openers. It is, after all, free.
Maybe screenplays will not be a long-lasting fascination. And if you move up, you'll have something to baseline your impressions of other programs.

ATP
06-23-2009, 07:10 AM
Sorry, this is not the "correct" attitude-go for "x" software essentially because it's free.

For beginning screenwriters, Celtx is actually bloated with a lot of functions that they will never need. The script writing component is a small part of the total 'package', which is really geared toward pre-production, and use by production people (obviously).

If it is free that is most important to you, there are other more suitable scriptwriting software applications which deal only with screenwriting: Roughdraft, Page2 Stage.

There are other on-premise screenwriting software equally as good which cost only a small amount of money:screenpro ($10-$20), scriptgenie ($30).

ATP
06-23-2009, 07:13 AM
I use Scene Writer Pro...which costs but you can work on individual scenes without messing up your entire script.


Yes--it costs USD99.

Doug B
06-23-2009, 05:48 PM
I have both Celtx and Page2Stage and for writing I far prefer P2S.

Kosh
06-26-2009, 03:17 AM
I have both Celtx and Page2Stage and for writing I far prefer P2S.
I never heard anyone say that; can you tell me why?

Team 2012
06-26-2009, 06:58 AM
That is a pretty unusual preference.


Celtx is actually bloated with a lot of functions that they will never need.

Unlike which program that you're aware of? It compares to Final Draft and Movie Magic like a Yugo compares to a Caddy pimpmobile.

And yes, being free IS a good reason to try something to start out with. Think that one over a minute.

And yes, there are lots of free templates for Word that are cheap and free and allow you to work within your familiar environment.

Here's a free template for Open Office, if you use that to write:

http://www.geocities.com/n2geoff/OO/oo.html

Doug B
06-26-2009, 07:34 PM
First, I write stage plays not movie scripts.

Page 2 Stage is infinitely customizable - down to the number of spaces after a period and the strike weight of the printer fonts (it is amazing how much difference there is between different courier fonts and how easy it is to tweak their appearance to make them look good).

Page 2 Stage is very intuitive to use - the learning curve is about zero.

Best of all, Page 2 Stage always seems to know what I want to do next when I hit the ENTER key

On the down side, the company who wrote and sold Page 2 Stage has abandoned it so there will not be any more improvements unless someone takes it over.

Doug

P.S. I also have the BBC MS Word templates but I hate MS Word so much that I never use them. Wordperfect forever!!!!

Jim McLain
06-30-2009, 04:40 PM
I have used both MovieMagic and celtx. I like MovieMagic. The trick is use what you like so long as it gets you there. I have spent my life however using other people's tools and decided that I would spend my money for tools that work for me and not necessarily settle with what I could get cheapest. Sometimes free is best and sometimes it isn't. Look at what a program does and what your needs are and then get the thing that closest approximates that.

ATP
06-30-2009, 07:30 PM
And yes, being free IS a good reason to try something to start out with. Think that one over a minute.

I don't wish to nitpick. However, I am sure that you're aware that in many cases when it comes to free software, the general view is the bigger the better the more bang for the non-buck. Even if the end user will use only a tenth of what is offered on the 'ware.But this last point seems to be disregarded.

In this case, when only 10% is ever used of the free software, and there are other smaller, more suitable warez, equally free (or maybe even for a small fee), then I think I know which I would go for.

For a slightly different analogy, how about mobile phones? Have an ever-increasing range of functions, but how many of them are actually used? or used frequently? There you have it...



And yes, there are lots of free templates for Word that are cheap and free and allow you to work within your familiar environment.

Here's a free template for Open Office...yes, a good example of what i was referring to.

Team 2012
07-03-2009, 08:07 AM
I am sure that you're aware that in many cases when it comes to free software, the general view is the bigger the better the more bang for the non-buck.

Actually, this tendancy is much more frequently encountered in programs that cost hundreds of dollars, and want to sell upgrades and new versions.

Steve Rotramel
07-04-2009, 03:37 AM
If you're going to spend the money anyway, take a look at the Movie Outline demo. The cost is about the same as Final Draft or Movie Magic.

I've used all three fairly extensively. Movie Outline is the most intuitive for me. Company is based in London by the way.

Team 2012
07-04-2009, 04:20 AM
If you going to spend that much, you may as well get Final Draft even though it is not very intuitive (one might even say counter-intuitive) and kind of wrong-headed...because it's such an industry standard.

If you're getting you feet wet, pick up a bunch of Word templates (of which most have something wrong with them) or Celtyx. Once you've done a script or two you're in a better position to try out others. Most of the biggies have demo versions for test-driving, by the way.

Steve Rotramel
07-04-2009, 06:42 PM
I'm not so sure "industry standard" matters too much.

Once it's printed you can't tell the difference.


Quote from Team 2012 - "Most of the biggies have demo versions for test-driving, by the way."

Best advice yet.

Team 2012
07-04-2009, 07:14 PM
It matters a very great, looming deal when you're working. You start exchanging scripts with revisions and notes and such, everybody has to be on the same page.
In television work, which is a gangbang from the get-go, vital.

Obviously not a concern for doing a spec script or testing one's waters.

ATP
07-05-2009, 05:44 AM
I'm currenty using word but am thinking of getting a scriptwriting software. I am UK based so would be aiming for UK based people to send my scripts to but also want to keep US open. Isn't the UK and US format of feature film scripts exactly the same? But I also wish to write for UK TV which I know do not have the same format as US TV. Which screenwriting software would be best for UK/US features and UK TV? Thank you!

I think Derek may well be in a good position to answer this question directly. Besides the fact that he is also based in the UK, I think that he is better placed to answer the question of UK vs. US formatting for film and UK tv.

HardBoiled1920
08-25-2010, 08:54 PM
If you going to spend that much, you may as well get Final Draft even though it is not very intuitive (one might even say counter-intuitive) and kind of wrong-headed...because it's such an industry standard.

If you're getting you feet wet, pick up a bunch of Word templates (of which most have something wrong with them) or Celtyx. Once you've done a script or two you're in a better position to try out others. Most of the biggies have demo versions for test-driving, by the way.

You make the difference between Final Draft and Movie Outline 3 sound like difference between a (counter-intuitive Windows) PC and a (intuitive) Mac. (IMHO)

HardBoiled1920
08-25-2010, 09:12 PM
Yes--it costs USD99.


Where I come from (USA) Scene Writer Pro costs $29.99 as of 5 minutes ago when I checked.

kahless
04-05-2011, 02:21 PM
Does anyone else use Scripped (http://scripped.com/)?

I've been using it for a few months and its very user friendly and has all the tools required. The is a free version as well as a "Pro" version which you pay for.

bellabar
04-06-2011, 09:56 AM
Do you by any chance have a Mac? Scrivener is lovely to work with, and you can download a thirty day trail for free.

bellabar
04-06-2011, 11:13 AM
Sorry. Thirty day trial obviously. Why are typos so much clearer after you hit the reply button than before?!

graceangela9
05-28-2011, 11:12 AM
Final draft is the best software for UK based residents.Final Draft is screen writing software for writing and formatting a screenplay to meet the screenplay submission standards set by the theater, television and film industry.

movieman
06-14-2011, 02:59 AM
Final draft is the best software for UK based residents.

So long as you don't mind it randomly deactivating itself so you have to either call California or send an email and wait for the next day to be able to use the software you paid for. That happened to me at least three times with Final Draft 7 before I gave up and went back to Final Draft 6 with just the CD check.

ddarion153
10-12-2011, 01:24 PM
I use Scene Writer Pro...which costs but you can work on individual scenes without messing up your entire script.
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Dwaltjj
10-12-2011, 11:24 PM
Hello,
I've actually been told by people that scripts wont be read if they are not written on Final Draft as it shows that you are not professional. I've gotten to the point where I just nod my head and try to move onto to another topic.

The bottom line is, a writing program is only as good as the writer, it main function is to take care of the formatting so that you only have to concern yourself with the work of writing and telling your story.

That being said, Final Draft is a great program if you can afford it, so is MovieMagic Screenwriter and Celtx. Those are the three I've used and bounce around from depending on the project and who I'm working with.

If you want to write and are on a budget, then Celtx is the way to go. It saves out quickly to a PDF and like others have said you'll never use the bells and whistles.

For the other, more expensive ones, it comes down to the bells and whistles. I like Screenwriter for its simple outline feature, and honestly ever since my copy of Final Cut got corrupted I haven't had a need to use it. But, I think the newer version, and correct me if I'm wrong, has some really good features for online collaborative writing and it handles track changes very well.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Screenwriting
09-28-2013, 11:17 AM
If the software made a real difference, you might have a point. Free or very cheap is definitely the best way to go until such time as one needs the bells and whistles of Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter.

It's what one writes that makes the difference.

Also, one can always import later from Celtx to Final Draft:
http://support.finaldraft.com/article/1001/546/

Is that true of the ones you recommend? I couldn't find anything on the Final Draft website about importing from them. Didn't check how to go from other formats to Movie Magic Screenwriter.


Sorry, this is not the "correct" attitude-go for "x" software essentially because it's free.

For beginning screenwriters, Celtx is actually bloated with a lot of functions that they will never need. The script writing component is a small part of the total 'package', which is really geared toward pre-production, and use by production people (obviously).

If it is free that is most important to you, there are other more suitable scriptwriting software applications which deal only with screenwriting: Roughdraft, Page2 Stage.

There are other on-premise screenwriting software equally as good which cost only a small amount of money:screenpro ($10-$20), scriptgenie ($30).

inkwork
03-19-2014, 05:11 AM
I use "Rough Draft"
Quick simple....dose screen play other options like line space 1.5 for editing.

sekime
03-22-2014, 05:03 PM
Final draft is the best software for UK based residents.Final Draft is screen writing software for writing and formatting a screenplay to meet the screenplay submission standards set by the theater, television and film industry.

Horrible advice.

Best free software: WriterDuet.
Best paid software: Fade In Pro $50 USD

Best software to date for screenwriting: Fade In Pro. I does so much and if there's a problem, there's free support the developer answers/fixes/listens to anything/everything to improve the software.

odocoileus
03-24-2014, 07:08 AM
Horrible advice.

Best free software: WriterDuet.
Best paid software: Fade In Pro $50 USD

Best software to date for screenwriting: Fade In Pro. I does so much and if there's a problem, there's free support the developer answers/fixes/listens to anything/everything to improve the software.

That post was from 3 years ago. FIP had just launched, and WD didn't exist yet.

On top of that, neither program has TV templates for different types of sitcom and hour drama as Movie Magic and Final Draft do.

I hope you pay better attention to your writing than you do to message board posts.

sekime
04-16-2014, 09:54 AM
That post was from 3 years ago. FIP had just launched, and WD didn't exist yet.

On top of that, neither program has TV templates for different types of sitcom and hour drama as Movie Magic and Final Draft do.

I hope you pay better attention to your writing than you do to message board posts.

If you're a Movie Magic and Final Draft user, good for you, but there's no reason to be stuck with either program.

Nothing stopping you from making your own template. ::rolleyes::

I hope your more resourceful in your writing than you are in your board posts and template fears.

dpaterso
04-16-2014, 12:30 PM
Yeah this is an old thread but it's been left open because "Which software should I get?" is always going to be a question someone wants to know the answer to. Everyone should feel free to update as new software becomes available and known.

Snarky bickering always makes you look cool, knock yourselves out.

-Derek

Doug B
04-17-2014, 08:05 PM
"Snarky Bickering" I love it !!!! ;-)

Doug

odocoileus
04-18-2014, 06:31 AM
Barky snickering. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o58ypeFFWk)


:D

ComicBent
10-08-2014, 11:00 AM
The best software, of course, is what works best for you.

Yes, this thread is old, but as Derek said, a question about which software to get is a perennial one. I have used the following:


Final Draft (all versions starting with 4.x).
Movie Magic Screenwriter (including the now antiquated but still most recent version, MMS-6).
Fade In Pro (this is what I have been using more recently).

I recommend Fade In Pro (http://www.fadeinpro.com/) for various reasons:


It is fast, really fast.
It lets you develop your own additional styles (helpful in some situations, especially stage plays).
It is Unicode compliant.
It imports and exports other formats well. In particular, it will import a .fountain file, which is a text file with minimal formatting and markup. This means that you can write with a text editor and import the file into Fade In Pro, which will store the file in its native .fadein format. You can then export to Final Draft format if you need to. By the way, the .fadein format is really an .xml format, similar to Final Draft .fdx, but the Fade In Pro file is zipped. In other words, .fadein is really a zip file. This is not anything that you have to worry about or even be aware of as a user.
You can import a PDF from Final Draft and Screenwriter if the PDF was created with the built-in PDF driver of Final Draft or Screenwriter. (However, PDF files created with other drivers do not import so well.)
Fade In Pro only costs something like $49, which is a very reasonable price, especially since the license allows you to use it on all of your own computers.

Again, though, the best software is what works for you. Download the free trials and see what makes the world spin for you. :)

AN AFTERTHOUGHT:
By the way, sometimes when I go to the Fade In Pro website, I get a malware alert from my McAfee antivirus software. I do not know why this happens, but I just ignore it, and I have been going to the site for a long time without having any problems. If you download the software, be sure to download the Courier Screenplay font also. It may come with the program (I do not remember), but you can download it as a separate download. There is also a Courier Prime font, but I do not see that it offers any advantage over Courier Screenplay, and it has an italic face that I do not like as much as I do the italic in Courier Screenplay.

Overkill
01-18-2015, 02:08 AM
I went and created an account at celtx, and I was just in there and it is now telling me that my free trial is almost over and that I will need to subscribe. is that supposed to happen? I THOUGHT IT WAS FREE? DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG?

dpaterso
01-18-2015, 11:33 PM
Alas, sometimes companies and developers change their software and/or their terms. Celtx used to be a freebie program that you downloaded to your PC. Looks like they've upgraded to the online version and altered their terms. If you don't like that, there are other software choices, as you can see above and in the tips (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24087) thread.

-Derek

cbenoi1
01-19-2015, 12:13 AM
> my free trial is almost over and that I will need to subscribe

You have probably been given the 'standard' plan at C$10/mo for a while as a freebie and now have to pay. Just convert the account to the $0 plan and you should be fine.


> Celtx used to be a freebie program that you downloaded to your PC.

This still works if you have it, but it's no longer available from CeltX.

-cb

Fitch
03-05-2015, 02:32 AM
The best software, of course, is what works best for you.

Yes, this thread is old, but as Derek said, a question about which software to get is a perennial one. I have used the following:


Final Draft (all versions starting with 4.x).
Movie Magic Screenwriter (including the now antiquated but still most recent version, MMS-6).
Fade In Pro (this is what I have been using more recently).

I recommend Fade In Pro (http://www.fadeinpro.com/) for various reasons:


It is fast, really fast.
It lets you develop your own additional styles (helpful in some situations, especially stage plays).
It is Unicode compliant.
It imports and exports other formats well. In particular, it will import a .fountain file, which is a text file with minimal formatting and markup. This means that you can write with a text editor and import the file into Fade In Pro, which will store the file in its native .fadein format. You can then export to Final Draft format if you need to. By the way, the .fadein format is really an .xml format, similar to Final Draft .fdx, but the Fade In Pro file is zipped. In other words, .fadein is really a zip file. This is not anything that you have to worry about or even be aware of as a user.
You can import a PDF from Final Draft and Screenwriter if the PDF was created with the built-in PDF driver of Final Draft or Screenwriter. (However, PDF files created with other drivers do not import so well.)
Fade In Pro only costs something like $49, which is a very reasonable price, especially since the license allows you to use it on all of your own computers.

Again, though, the best software is what works for you. Download the free trials and see what makes the world spin for you. :)

AN AFTERTHOUGHT:
By the way, sometimes when I go to the Fade In Pro website, I get a malware alert from my McAfee antivirus software. I do not know why this happens, but I just ignore it, and I have been going to the site for a long time without having any problems. If you download the software, be sure to download the Courier Screenplay font also. It may come with the program (I do not remember), but you can download it as a separate download. There is also a Courier Prime font, but I do not see that it offers any advantage over Courier Screenplay, and it has an italic face that I do not like as much as I do the italic in Courier Screenplay.

I tried all sorts of stuff on trials including FinalDraft (which I didn't like actually) and ended up with Fade In Pro. The only time I had an issue, I sent an e-mail to their support and had an answer that solved my problem in less than ten minutes.

The SW is ridiculously easy to use and, at least on my computer, has been bug free.

Fitch