Since I maintain a constant User ID of BillWill across many forums, it's probable that many of you have already encountered me.
I'm not a writer, I'm a freelance computer boffin, but I have been associated with Sitcom writing since approx 1988 when I went to fit a bit more RAM into the computer of two up & coming sitcom writers called Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran.
I've been supporting their computing ever since and provided the computer support to their company Alomo Productions Ltd, through it's sitcom heydays. And as a spin off from that I also did the computer support for a number of other British Scriptwriters.
I did have a bash at the BBC Last Laugh project, because Marks & Gran wrote one of the incomplete scripts, and I thought it would be fun to see their faces if I won or got near the top . Naturally I studiously avoided discussing anything about the competition with them and that was the one occasion where I did not use my normal identity. I would almosrt certainly have been disqualified of course, but it would have been nice to score. However I didn't come close, not even a Long Letter
As some of you might recall I was also a moderator on Writers Dock for a while, but in the end I had to give it up to spend more time with my family (of computers )
Close Encounters of the First Kind with the computing side of Scriptwriting for Sitcoms has meant that I've encountered most of the issues relating to formatting of scripts and in the early days of Alomo I produced a set of Templates to Microsoft Word to make the typing of scripts easy. I made these templates available free to anyone else who wanted them (after all Alomo had effectively paid the Bill). Alas with the absorbtion of Alomo into Pearsons, I no longer had any income from them at a time which coincided with Microsoft releasing a new version of Word, which meant a re-write of the templates.
I called for voluntary donations, but that produced zilch, and so, though I have proceeded with the conversion of the templates to Word 2000 (through to Word 2003), regrettably I now have to make a small charge for intitial use (about 4 beers worth). [After all programming is my skill & my job and if it had been scriptwriting instead, you would not expect me to give away my scripts completely free, would you?] Microsoft have now issued Word 2007, so they need re-doing again, but as budding comedy writers are notoiously impecunious, I've more or less decided that should I decide to re-do the templates, I will re-write them for Open Office Writer instead of Word 2007 as Open Office is available free, wheras MS Word is quite expensive.
Anyway, unlike some around here, I'm not an anonymous bloke, so go read my computing tips and all about Scriptwriting formats & the Scriptwriters Toolkit on my website http://www.datahighways.net/support/ and if Aaron witl permit the plug: http://www.datahighways.net/dhl/toolkit.htm
Have fun with your writing. "Break a Pencil"
Oh and DO remember to do your computer backups !!!
Regards to all