I think it is pretty much understood that Final Draft is the industry standard when it comes to writing screenplays on your computer. But with a price tag over $200, it is not the ideal solution for a screenwriter who has technically not made a cent from their writing. So, do you believe in the dream and fork over that money (it’s basically a car payment for some people), or you use a cheaper software like Scrivner?
I am a recent convert to Scrivner as I write some non-fiction books for Kindle and use it for easy-peasy formatting into the Kindle mobi file and into the file that I have to use for Smashwords distribution. Scrivner is a really interesting piece of software because it is designed FOR writers specifically. Sure, it is aimed at people who write books, but it can also be used for writing out your screenplay. And it is MUCH cheaper than using Final Draft.
The nice thing about this software program is that it actually has a script writing format that you can use to create your screenplay. So, just by using this template, you can easily be creating your script in an industry standard format. That is definitely easier than manually getting the format correct in MS Word – plus, this program is a lot cheaper than using MS Word. I also like that you can use it on either a Mac or a Windows machine.
And if you’re the kind of person who likes to kind of outline or sketch out your scenes or characters before writing, then you will love this software as it makes that so freaking easy to do. Know that I am not getting paid by Scrivener and I am in no way associated with them, I’m just a fan of the software and wanted to share a cheaper way for you struggling screenwriters to be able to get your ideas down in the correct format without spending a fortune on Final Draft. So if you’re so inclined, give Scrivener a look and see if it meets your needs or not. You just might be surprised like I was when I gave it a try the very first time around.
Trying to think up something for your next script? At a loss when it comes to good ideas? If so, check out the Random Logline Generator. It will give you a good laugh if nothing else…or have you scratching your head asking “what?”
Here are a few of the loglines it gave me:
“A prosecutor and six superficial software engineers worry about their loved ones in a restaurant kitchen.”
“A mutant tax collector, a gelatinous art dealer, and a lead guitarist try to pick up dates in a Broadway musical.”
“In early Twentieth-Century Italy, personal fitness coaches kidnap a tap-dancer in an Alaskan village.”
“A headstrong plaintiff, a romance novelist butler, and a sleazy cinematograper lose something important.”
“An adept philosopher cleans the house of a patriot in a grocery store.”
Thanks to everyone that sent in questions for Blake Snyder. I completed the interview this morning. So look for the first installment of that later this week.
Blake answered a whole host of questions that I think will be a must-read for those of you trying to break into the industry. So, stay tuned!
Being a screenwriter implies a love of movies. So, I think it can be a fair assumption to say that screenwriters are likely to watch more movies that most people. I think it is also a fair assumption to say that screenwriters are a bit more cash strapped than most people. Except of course for the screenwriters that have a “real job.”
So, it makes sense then that screenwriters would be all over services like Netflix or Blockbuster Total Access. I am just wondering which one is the better service?
Netflix was the first service that I tried out. I was more familiar with it and I liked the offer that they had. At any time you can check out Netflix – Only $4.99 a month! No Late Fees. Try it for Free! I really like how Netflix offers up different plans that you can sign up for. The plans that are available are:
- $4.99 = 1 DVD at a time, limit of 2 DVDs a month plus 2 hours on your computer
- $8.99 = 1 DVD at a time, unlimited DVDs a month plus unlimited hours on your computer
- $13.99 = 2 DVDs at a time, unlimited DVDs a month plus unlimited hours on your computer
- $16.99 = 3 DVDs at a time, unlimited DVDs a month plus unlimited hours on your computer
For me, I opted for the $13.99 package. What I like about Netflix is that they have multiple warehouses so that you can get your DVDs quickly. In fact, mine take about 1 business day to arrive from my queue.Blockbuster Total Access
Blockbuster Total Access is very similar to the service Netflix offers only it is primarily through Blockbuster.com
. It is actually almost identical. They offer 1 business day service. And they have several plans to choose from. The main difference here is that you can exchange your movies in the Blockbuster stores for instant gratification when it comes to movie watching. The prices are:
- $9.99 = 1 DVD at a time, limit of 2 DVDs per month via mai plus 2 free in-store exchanges per calendar month
- $11.99 = 1 DVD at a time, unlimited DVDs per month via mail plus 2 free in-store exchanges per calendar month
- $16.99 = 2 DVDs at a time, unlimited DVDs per month via mail plus 3 free in-store exchanges per calendar month
- $19.99 = 3 DVDs at a time, unlimited DVDs per month via mail plus 5 free in-store exchanges per calendar month
So, in evaluating both Netflix and Blockbuster Total Access, I think that Netflix is the better deal. Sure, with Blockbuster Total Access you can get the in-store exchanges – but isn’t the point of the whole online movie rental thing to avoid having to take trips to the rental store?
Regardless, I advise at least checking them both out for the free trial periods. You can sign up for Netflix first, pick the top plan so you can get 3 movies at once. Then cancel before the trial ends. Then do the same thing with Blockbuster Total Access. The end result? A month of unlimited DVD rentals for free! Broke screenwriters gotta love that!
If you are a screenwriter then you already know that you want to see your work on the big screen. Some writers even want to dabble in production. That is why a lot of writers make their own film. But if you just use a credit card, bum the money or what not and make the film on your own, you don’t have any distribution set up. Instead you have yourself an indie film without a distributor. So what do you do? John August tackles that subject in a recent post on Self-distributing an indie feature. Check it out – it’s a good read.
I recently posed the question, Do you have to be in LA to sell a screenplay?
Well, I think you can sell your script from the middle of nowhere but not for as much as you could if you were in Los Angeles. So, if you are a screenwriter that does not live in the Los Angeles area, when you do pack up and make the move?
I think if you are really serious about it then you have to make the move. Sure, you can broker a deal from Podunk, Mississippi. People have done it – I am not saying that it can’t be done.Â It just seems a hell of a lot easier to make the move and sell it in LA.
I say you move to Los Angeles as a screenwriter as soon as you have a few scripts in your arsenal that you think are definitely sellable.Â That is why See Me Sell A Screenplay and Team Talent are moving to Los Angeles at the end of the summer.
Iâ€™ve just added the â€œTop Spotsâ€ widget over to the side. There are only 5 spots available and I have set the price at only $1.00!
While this page does have a pagerank of zero thanks to a Google spanking, there is quite a bit of traffic to the site.
For more info on this widget, or to get one of your own visit http://www.scratchback.com/
Itâ€™s basically a tip jar that doubles as cheap advertising. The only catch is that there is an â€œauto-bumpâ€ feature where every time somebody new tips, that person moves to the top of the TopSpot list.
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With the writer’s strike still going on strong you might be wondering what your options are since you are not a WGA writer. Can you keep trying to sell your script? The short answer is yes, you can try to sell your script. However, there are some limitations to this. And you also have to decide if you’d really want to do that as it would end up getting you labeled as a scab more than likely.
Here is what InkTip had to say about it in a recent newsletter:
Many writers are concerned about the WGA strike and if they are allowed to market their screenplays during this time. After reading through the WGA strike rules and speaking with the WGA, the below is what we have learned:
Writers who are not members of the WGA are allowed to market their screenplays to production companies who are not struck or signatory companies. Many independent, non-signatory producers and production companies are not affected by the strike and can still look at material.
It behooves all writers to not market to struck companies during the strike. This can lead to future complications with entry into the WGA. You can find a list of all the struck companies on the WGA website: http://www.wga.org/subpage_member.aspx?id=2537
We encourage all writers to read the WGA rules listed on their site: http://www.wga.org/contract_07/StrikeRules2.pdf.
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So, I was looking over my ‘categories’ for my posts on this site. I was thinking how I needed to better define the posts and so on. It was mostly some boring thoughts. Then I noticed some redundancy. I have a category named ‘ random thoughts.’ I also have a category named ‘randomness.’ How retarded am I, exactly? No wonder I can’t finish a script – I’m a retard!
I thought that some of you might be wondering about the script. You know – how is it going? Is it done yet? Am I even still working on it? And so on.
Well, guess what? I haven’t worked on it in like forever. And a day. But I plan on it. Seriously I do. Maybe even as early as next week.