Screenwriting : Final Draft by Bill Lonero

Bill Lonero

Final Draft


Just curious how many of you are using Final Draft? I've been using it for about a year and really love it. Before that I was using Celtx but it was really limited. I know FD is the industry standard so I'm curious for those of you not using FD, what if any, rejection do you get from the industry for using something else?

Gustavo Freitas

Same here. I used Celtx, now I only use Final Draft.

Bill Lonero

Celtx was good but it didn't seem very intuitive. FD is definitely worth the price.

Bill Lonero

Laura Scheiner Thank you! I've heard a lot of good things about Movie Magic. Good to know.

Sam Borowski

I prefer Final Draft. And, I used it well before I was a Brand Ambassador. It's the only screenwriting software I've ever used. And, I'm okay with that. ;) It really is the industry standard - at the very least, I would say it's the most prevalent.

Dan MaxXx

I think I have 7 writing programs installed on 3 computers and my iphone. Started with FD 1.0 when it was on a floppy disk. FD uses their own courier font. it is slightly different than a regular courier font.

Pamela Bolinder

FD 10

Tony S.

FD 10 as well, but I see a lot of people excited about Fade In. At $80 it's half FD's cost. There's a 20% off coupon for Fade In floating around too.

Jenna H


Dan Guardino

I love Movie Magic but I do use Final Draft because people I work with use it. Script are normally sent in PDF so I don't know why anyone would get a rejection as long as it was formatted correctly. If producer rejected that the producer is probably not a real producer.

Philip Sedgwick

Way back when, I started on Script Thing, which evolved into Movie Magic. Far prefer Movie Magic. Have six script softwares, but Movie Magic is my go to. Easy, not glitchy. I use FD only when I have to... I write about a third faster in MM than FD. Time is money.

Fade In is quite good on the lower cost side of the spectrum.

I avoid any program that works in the cloud as if it is the plague.

Anthony Moore

I use WritersDuet for the first draft because its web based and I can write anywhere. I have Final Draft but I can't load it on my computer at work or use it on my tablet when I'm traveling. After I've finished the first draft, I export it to FD to do the editing and polishing because FD is better then WD for that. As long as the manager, agent, producer, etc... gets a high quality, properly formatted script in a PDF, they don't care what it was wrote in.

John Iannucci

Have both fade it and FD - both computer and app. Both are equally as good. Fade in may be easier (and has a lot more export - import possibilities) FD is more complete. Now I just use FD mainly because I’m so use to it.

Lesley Lillywhite

For those who live & breath as a writer, Movie Magic is better. That F.D. thing fell into the meme of which you mention, only thru repetitious brainwashing.

Pamela Bolinder

Really? Tell me more about Movie Magic. How does it excel? When Laura said she used MM—it got me thinking. Now, you have piqued my interest.

Philip Sedgwick

To me, MM is far easier. Less technical difficulties over years of use than other. A perfect fit into scheduling and budgeting. I write significantly faster on that platform. I find it far more intuitive. Plus the company has been very supportive when I have done presentations at festivals and customer support, on those rare occasions when needed, is superb.

Pamela Bolinder

Good to know, Philip. Thank you.

Pat Savage

I've been using it for about a year and really love it too!

Dan Guardino

I have both and Movie Magic is more user friendly but Final Draft is not exactly difficult. I pretty sure you can test drive them for free.

Pamela Bolinder

Is that it? Just user-friendly?

Dan Guardino

That is it. They both do the same thing. Final Draft is more popular throughout the industry but both are considered to be the industry standard. I did start out using Movie Magic and switched over to Final Draft when I starting taking on some writing assignments.

Dash Riprock

What's an "Industry Standard" and who sets it?

Dan Guardino

The people in Hollywood seem to set what is the industry standard and use it. That is the only reason I was forced to by it.

Dan MaxXx

Final Draft spends $ on advertising and they sponsor a writing contest. They won the “screenwriting software” war in 1990s. Sorta like how VHS beat Betamax for American home consumer market.

Dash Riprock

Well, you're right about that, Dan M, but the "Industry Standard" is quite misleading. I mean, a PDF is a PDF, right? If someone requests your script, how do they know it isn't Final Draft? They don't. "Industry Standard" seems more of a marketing ploy, as there are many pros who use other software.

Phil Bourassa

I used to use Celtx as well, and really loved it. For the most part, it is difficult to see the difference in a printed or PDF that is created in Celtx. I didn't convert to the subscription version. I'm now using FD. While I think it offers a lot of great tools, I also find it a little flakey sometimes.

The one thing I wish it would do is import PDF. When I converted, I figured it would be better to take my other projects and get them in FD format. Wrong! Of course, Celtx doesn't really do it either. It will import, but the formatting is gone.

Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

If your script is getting produced..the final draft file goes well into movie magic, I believe therefore its named industry standard.

Dash Riprock

Actually, there is other screenwriting software that works with Movie Magic.

Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

might be the case, but final draft was the first that did.

Dash Riprock

First is not always best. That's why the "Industry Standard" moniker seems dated.

Dan MaxXx

Dash Riprock just think “classic coke.” FD has been in the game from the beginning when screenwriting software was a niche small market. The name “Final Draft” even sounds cool. I’m so old that I remember FD 1.0 when it was on floppy disks and only for Macintosh computers. Somehow FD just became “industry standard” back in the 1990s. It could be that most Hollywood writers (the world was smaller in 1990s) use Macintosh laptops and FD was the only software around for Mac users.

Dash Riprock

Dan M, I believe you. I'm just saying that the "Industry Standard" of the 1990s may not hold true today, especially since there was a lot less competition then.

James Drago

I use it. It's a little buggy at times, but I've learned how to get around it.

Doug Nelson

In this case, just go with the flow and keep it simple. Why complicate matters?

Beth Fox Heisinger

I have only ever used Final Draft, myself, by preference. And... Final Draft has features that allow for easy pre-production/development, script breakdowns, sharing an editable file between teams/collaborators, etc. So it's not just for screenwriting or creating a pdf, per se, but also a common program often used throughout production and the handling/editing of various production drafts by many on a project, etc. Of course, I assume other programs probably have similar features too... I'm just personally not aware of those other programs’ details. And, of course, it may depend on the preferences of the producer/collaborators you may be working with, which, more often than not, seems to be Final Draft, often called "the industry standard." I don't know, or rather, I haven't heard of any script rejections due to program choice (?). It seems to be more an issue of convenience because I have heard many stories of annoyance with, say, a script written in Word, then having to convert or key-in word-for-word an entire screenplay into Final Draft. So, for me, I'd rather be working in the program commonly used for production. You know, streamline. Lol! ;)

Dash Riprock

I do keep it simple. The software I use (not Final Draft) has everything mentioned above, including the ability to save and import and export as Final Draft files. It's just a lot cheaper.

Tracy Lea Carnes

If you're serious about writing, FD is the only way to go.

Dash Riprock


Rian Johnson

Craig Mazin

Kelly Marcel

Rawson Marshall Thurber

Gary Whitta

F. Scott Frazier ...

aren't serious?

(hint: they don't use FD)

Not trying to belabor the point but I tend to question statements with "only" in them.

Dan Guardino

Dash. If I wasn't working with other people that is the way I would go.

Doug Nelson


Christopher Warman

I used to use Final Draft, but their support is trash. I've been sticking with WriterDuet for a couple years now. It's just as good, and I can write on any device (even on my phone and work computer) whenever I feel like it. I'm always writing, whereas with FD I had to wait till I got home.

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