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Final Draft

March 15th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Picked up Final Draft and now I feel sort of spoiled. The grind of manually managing all the character names, centering, parenthetical aspects, stage directions, continueds, etc, through Word and tabs settings wore me down. And then you get those that want it “Samuel French” with character names centered and those that want it in the “Acting Edition” or published format with the space saving left-aligned character names–and the hassle of formatting and re-formatting your script ad infinitum. So, yeah, Final Draft.

Of course, I knew there would be more features, but I didn’t expect some of them. For instance, you can assign voices to your characters and have the script read to you! Sure, it’s a computerized voice and they all sound pretty much the same, and there’s no intonation, etc.; but it’s still pretty fucking cool. There’s a ton of templates: stage play templates from Dramatists Guild, telescript formats with examples from a slew of television shows, three camera setups, query letter templates, treatment templates, etc. The built in “elements” and formatting tools are nice, a quick key stroke and your text is aligned properly and one key tap of an existing character’s name and… up it pops from the list. You can format your script’s scene headings as index cards, hell you can even type on the index cards directly the scene headings and so outline your screen play. You can somewhat automate treatment creation with the scene view option, as well as outline creation. It handles the always tricky problem of script revision–so you can freeze the script and then any changes to a page that exceed the page length are added to A/B pages, as are changes to scenes or scene arrangement. In the index card view you can grab scenes and slide them around to wherever you want them. You can print your drafts and revisions in different colors. You can register your script directly from the program. It has collaboration tools, a split view, name database, built in reference tools, and tutorials, which I’m working my way through now.

There’s a contest that Final Draft offers. The deadline is June 15, so now I’ve got my deadline. I have three or so screenplay ideas and I just picked out the one that most inspires me and that is most developed. I’ll hit that deadline and be done with my first screenplay. Then, working with Illiterite Theatre we’ll start the television script productions…

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