UPDATED: This Beta group is now closed. Thanks everyone for your willingness to participate. I think those of us who have been using the new software are pretty impressed with the results.
Thread: NEW Screenwriting software
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06-13-2012 03:45 PM
Last edited by JoeRawlins; 09-01-2012 at 09:59 AM. Reason: New developments.
06-14-2012 06:22 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
- Lvl 6 (catacombs)
Without a list of features, especially something new over existing software, and no screenshot of the interface, what is the motivation to sign up to beta test it?
06-14-2012 10:09 AM
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Nothing wrong with FD either IMO.
06-14-2012 10:58 AM
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
I'd love to see the new software, and I've signed up. Celtx tries to do everything, and it does it all, partially and with what I consider mediocre results. For tiny projects Celtx might be all you need. For my $60K short it wasn't even close to meeting our pre and post production needs. Final Draft is great for screenwriting (that's what we used), and that's it. If you don't use MM Scheduling you're kinda starting over when you start using other tools to manage your production once the script is locked. Tagging elements shouldn't be part of a screenwriting app in my opinion if it can't do anything intelligenty with the tagged elements, and isn't smart enough to recognize a tagged element in one scene across the entire script.
06-15-2012 10:08 PM
CeltX, Final Draft, Scrivener, and Pages are the software that I've used and with all of them i've experienced similar problems. Basically,t he way that Screenwriting software thinks is the same as a Word Processor, it puts "un-printables" into the page that tell it where there's a page break, a carriage return, etc. But on a screenplay, it's not just paragraphs, lines and embedded elements. It's a very clearly-defined list: Scene heading, action, character, parenthetical, dialogue, transition, etc.
What I find is that I write a script as fast as I can to get it out on the page and then I go back re-work it and re-work it, sometimes deleting whole scenes, sometimes moving them or moving lines of dialogue.
The problem is that when you do that, you move the unprintables, too. Final Draft has the fewest problems but I run into it with them, also, where a line of action will suddenly bleed into a line of dialogue and it can't be convinced to go back. Or you delete a parenthetical and moves the parentheses into the name of the character. You hit carriage return on that and now your script analysis thinks there's a Character named "Kevin" and another named "Kevin(".
But the biggest gripe I have with FD is that it's so expensive when all that i want is software to write the screenplay and maybe a small handful of really useful tools.
CeltX big threee: PAGE BREAKS PAGE BREAKS and PAGE BREAKS. And project management tools that no one uses, sluggish and clukny interface, just all-around poorly-created product. If you haven't experienced the Page breaks issue, you will. Basically, every once in a while CeltX will lose track of where your page breaks are supposed to go and it will lose a chunk of your script - it's there, it's just invisible because it's caught in no-man's land between page breaks. Try as you might, there's only one solution, print that s*%t out with it's broken pages, open a fresh document, type "FADE IN:" and re-type it by hand because you are screwed buddy. Happened to me on three different scripts before my patience ran out and I went to Scrivener, which I like better than any of them but still has tons of issues with the way it organizes it's files, unprintables, etc.
This new software is database-driven, not word-processor-driven. You type in the elements and the computer takes care of the formatting and there is absolutely no bleed-over.
Now this is a true-blue, in-development piece of software. It's not perfect so if you've got no patience for it, don't rain on the parade. It's a chance to put in your voice to creating something better for all of us. I can't be the only guy that the developer goes to for feedback.
06-15-2012 10:14 PM
06-15-2012 10:19 PM
This new software processes the formatting for you, so you never have to think about it, just get your ideas out on the page in blocks, then edit and organize them as you will and the software redraws the script as you go. THe developer is looking for feature writers actually want and need to help improve their script, not just throwing in features because he can, but building the things you need. I have worked with this guy before and he is a genius at using technology to solve problems. I told him "i need software that allows me to 'Shut up and Write'" and he took off with it! I am very confident that that is what it will be.
06-15-2012 10:27 PM
Really that's the problem with Final Draft - to me - i feel like it's software that doesn't know who it's master is. Directors have a system they use and producers have systems they use and no one wants a writer to tell them "I wrote this in CeltX, so if you want my notes, you have to manage the project in CeltX." I need software that helps the creative process of creating a screenplay and developing the story quickly. The theme of the design that i gave to Tim, the Developer is: "Shut up and write!" and that's what he's built.
Here's one peek: in this software, when you are typing away and create a Character entry for a block of dialogue, the software looks for the name of that character in every existing scene and CAPITALIZES it's first occurrence in every scene. There are also going to be ways to recognize a prop, or a location or anything that occurs frequently and say "That's a scene element" and the software all-caps's the first occurrence in every scene, automatically.
This really is a tool by screenwriters for screenwriters, because at the end of the day, what you will sell to Hollywood is a PDF, anyway. And even if you write for your own stuff, I prefer a simple, straight-forward screenplay without the fuss, anyway.