British Comedy Guide

Script writing software Page 2

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swerytd

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 10:32am
  • Guildford, England
  • 7,524 posts

Don't you know what brads are? I get mine from Barabus Valentine's Carpet Warehouse.

Dan

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chipolata

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 10:39am [Edited]
  • England
  • 30,070 posts
Quote: swerytd @ January 20 2011, 10:32 AM GMT

Don't you know what brads are?


I use big manly staples, not something that sounds like little girls use to tie their hair up.

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David Bussell

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 10:52am
  • London, England
  • 9,943 posts
Quote: chipolata @ January 20 2011, 10:39 AM GMT

I use big manly staples, not something that sounds like little girls use to tie their hair up.


I hole punch with my fists and bind with a pair of venomous cobras.

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chipolata

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 10:54am
  • England
  • 30,070 posts
Quote: David Bussell @ January 20 2011, 10:52 AM GMT

I hole punch with my fists and bind with a pair of venomous cobras.


You must have tiny fists then. Either that or your script pages are door-sized.

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Dolly Dagger

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 11:07am
  • England
  • 10,428 posts
Quote: swerytd @ January 20 2011, 10:12 AM GMT

Here's a 'how to do the format for sketches' and radio sitcom looks pretty much the same from Dan Tetsell: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/writersroom/2010/01/newsjack_script_smart_or_smart.shtml

Dan


I don't get the bit that it's hard altering a script that's been sent that has been written in Script Smart format. Isn't it just the same as altering any Word doc as it's saved and sent as a Word doc?

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David Bussell

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 11:09am
  • London, England
  • 9,943 posts
Quote: chipolata @ January 20 2011, 10:54 AM GMT

You must have tiny fists then. Either that or your script pages are door-sized.


I'm happy to say it's the latter. It's about having your script stand out, Chip. Ask yourself this, if you were an insider, exhausted from a day of reading horrible, poorly constructed scripts, in bed with your beautiful girlfriend who's begging you to take her but no, you promised yourself you'd read just one more before you turn in - which script would you reach for? The one printed on cartridge paper with the staple in the corner or the 7ft tall one propped against the wall with a pair of spitting snakes writhing around in it?

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swerytd

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 11:18am
  • Guildford, England
  • 7,524 posts
Quote: Dolly Dagger @ January 20 2011, 11:07 AM GMT

I don't get the bit that it's hard altering a script that's been sent that has been written in Script Smart format. Isn't it just the same as altering any Word doc as it's saved and sent as a Word doc?


I used to think that. Then I tried altering my ScriptSmart scripts. It seems to be specifically designed for people who can write a script first-time actively discouraging rewrites by blatantly doing whatever the f**k it wants!

Dan

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Dolly Dagger

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 11:29am
  • England
  • 10,428 posts

Cheers Dan and Griff. I never knew that. I've never had any probs with Script Smart film format which I nearly always use - didn't get on with the radio or sitcom formats though.

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David Salisbury

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 12:48pm
  • Reading, England
  • 201 posts

I actually do most of my writing in plain txt files. That way I don't spend hours fiddling with formatting instead of writing. I format things when I send them somewhere - which means I actually think about trying to make the format appropriate.

It does mean spending time formatting a whole document though. Maybe that's why I mostly write sketches. ;)

It also helps if you have a useful text editor like Notepad++ (or for proper geeks, Vim or Emacs).

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David Salisbury

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 1:09pm
  • Reading, England
  • 201 posts
Quote: Griff @ January 20 2011, 12:52 PM GMT

Emacs! Sick

I think one of the benefits of automatically formatting as you write is you get a sense of how long your scenes and speeches are which you don't necessarily if you are writing with vi :setcomedymode.

Laughing out loud (Gotta love vi injokes.)

I can see the advantages of that - you can quickly tell if you have given one character a ten minute monologue! When I need to get down and thoroughly edit something I prefer to have a nicely formatted hard copy.

But if I start playing with that too soon it stops the drive to actually get words down into the laptop.

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billwill

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 1:29pm
  • North London, England
  • 5,820 posts
Quote: chipolata @ January 20 2011, 10:07 AM GMT

How much time to writers waste obsessing about formatting scripts? A lot.
And all you have to do is use Word and your tab key.


Sigh. I think Chip still uses a typewriter.. How do you manage to get your messages on here from your typewriter, pidgeon post?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>all you have to do is use Word and your tab key.

That's what my Toolkit does for you... Automatically. Just choose which format you want from 14 types and all the tabs and quick-keys are setup for you.

Quote: swerytd @ January 20 2011, 10:12 AM GMT

Yeah, what Chip said.

Here's a 'how to do the format for sketches' and radio sitcom looks pretty much the same from Dan Tetsell: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/writersroom/2010/01/newsjack_script_smart_or_smart.shtml

Dan


Quoting from that link:
DO NOT USE SCRIPT SMART. Controversial, I know, here in the heartland of Script Smart usage but, frankly, it's a nightmare. I'm sure it can be useful for longer scripts (though I just use Word without any macros) but for a three page sketch I don't see the point of using it. Plus, we can't edit it - and everything gets edited. When I see that 'Enable Macros?' box come up, my heart sinks, and you don't want my heart sinking just before I read your sketch.

Thats why my Toolkit has a menu function called: "Make Submission Script", which saves an editable edition for your later corrections then strips out the macros and saves the submission script like a plain simple Word document done by an expert Word user.

Quote: Griff @ January 20 2011, 11:21 AM GMT

I suspect the ScriptSmart macros aren't terribly portable between different versions of Word and different operating systems. Certainly when I used to co-write with someone who used ScriptSmart, I could *never* properly edit the scripts he sent me and we ended up abandoning it. As it says in Dan Tetsell's blog post, once you saw that Enable Macros box pop up you knew you were in a world of trouble.


Like I said.. ScriptSmart is not maintained, it is clumsy & confusing.

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Skoob

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 7:33pm
  • Portsmouth, England
  • 38 posts

Maybe I'm being a little old school and naive here - but formatting programmes?

I agree that formatting can be challenging, so my advice would be to leave it alone, read scripts and simply apply the rules through Word, or whatever. Surely it's the content that counts?

Just sayin'

Skoob.

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billwill

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 9:53pm
  • North London, England
  • 5,820 posts
Quote: Skoob @ January 20 2011, 7:33 PM GMT

Maybe I'm being a little old school and naive here - but formatting programmes?

I agree that formatting can be challenging, so my advice would be to leave it alone, read scripts and simply apply the rules through Word, or whatever. Surely it's the content that counts?

Just sayin'

Skoob.


Sigh...

Just TRY my stuff willya, instead of wasting your time. MS Word has templates for all sort of standard documents which make it much easier to do such documents. But Microsoft do not supply template for Scripts; my toolkit remedies that omission.

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Ben

  • Thursday 20th January 2011, 10:04pm
  • England
  • 18,350 posts

I just tried making a quick script simply using the tab button (and words). It was easier than I thought.

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T.W.

  • Friday 21st January 2011, 1:49am [Edited]
  • England
  • 15,786 posts

Does your script look like a script? Yes? Good.

Does your script read like a script? Yes? Excellent.

The first question is quite important in getting your script read by "they who know". However, the second question is the one you really must be able to honestly answer in the affirmative, before you send that script off. People writing scripts tend to fall down more on the second question than the first.

To answer the OP's question (sort of), I use Final Draft. Not because it's any better than any other software mentioned, but simply because I was an clueless idiot who bought it, got very used to it, and now find I simply can't be arsed to change horses midstream. It doesn't make my writing any better, but I know where I am with it, which is one less headache. :)