Is final draft 11 a “must have?”
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No, it's not a "must-have". There are other programs out there. That said, I have always used FD.
No. FadeIn Pro.
I use Writer Duet I love it.
I'm still using FD 9 - works like a charm.
I am still on 10 , the only thing I like about 11 is that it has a dark mode.
For me; FD9 works just fine. Why fix somethin' that ain't busted?
No. There are free ones and heaps of alternatives. The FDX file format (which is what Final Draft uses) may be seems as an industry standard. But a lot of applications use it as well.
I use Writerduet. For me it is the best at collaboration. I have a producer in New York for one project and a director in the UK for another. We can work in drafts together, they can review, make notes and approve changes all in the software. Not cheap for the full kit. But I am in Sydney and it is cheaper than plane tickets.
Use whatever makes you effective. If you end up working with someone that demands FD. Then you can buy it.
For me it is. I think it's also about what works for you. As other's have stated, they've found software that works well!
No. All the programs do the formatting for you. It comes down to comfortability. Get Fade In!
I use FD10 for my own projects and WritersDuet for collaboration (since FD won’t allow me to collaborate with someone who has FD11). I’m told FD is industry standard, but that proper format rather than using a popular program is paramount.
Definitely not a must. So many options! I've used Celtx, Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter. DON'T get MMS if you have a Mac, at least until the new Catalina-compatible version surfaces -- it's been a long and ridiculous wait. For me it comes down to functionality and aesthetics. FD and MMW used to be the "Big Two", but MMW has fallen from grace based on development hiccups. Final Draft feels visually 'spare' so I use it for playwriting, which matches the 'stripped down' tone of my plays, whereas MMS is more visually inviting -- feels a bit 'artsy' -- and is on tone with the visual vibrancy in my screenplays. But! Can't use MMW now bc it needs an update. So, I'm about to jump ship ... maybe to Fade In, used by Craig Mazin (CHERNOBYL), Rian (KNIVES OUT), Gary Whitta (ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY). John August's Highland might be another one to check out. It comes down to industry standards, price, compatibility, features, and aesthetic preference. As long as you're not reinventing the format I think you're good to go. :) Here's one of many comparative reviews you might find of interest: https://www.scriptreaderpro.com/screenwriting-software/
I've been happy with Trelby. It's a free download and pretty user friendly.
Thank you Leontist for raising the question and thank you those who have responded. I have been looking at possible software packages but was not sure which would work for me at present. Your observations and comments have helped.
Final Draft is only necessary if you are already working in Hollywood and doing rewrites where they send you FD files. Even then its possible to get around that with software that is FD compatible and can export work into an FD file.
Like Andi Bee, I use FD and WriteDuet. FD at home and WD (online) on the go. All scripts eventually become PDFs and no one will know what screenwriting software you used to create it.
FD has its own courier font than the competitors. If you got $250, buy FD and get over "industry standard" stigma/marketing bs. Just focus on writing.
From personal intel, TV Writers room commonly use FD. Employer buys everyone FD and laptops. Company owned. Pages are passed around from Writers to SR bosses to Writers Asst/Script Coordinators who proof, print, date, share w/ crew. Something to think about if you want a job as WA/SC .
I think so. It's an industry standard.
My computer crashed. I didn't lose any scripts. I had all my screenplays in hard copy and two on a flash drive. Back up your work. I had my customer numbers from FD 7 and FD 9, emailed them and they sent me a link to download it back into the new computer. I'm back to lying again and making up stuff. LOL
Buy WriterDuet instead. A better, intuitive, and more user friendly experience
As long as you can output to PDF and something that can be read by Gorilla or MM Scheduling.
I think I'm on 10.43729 - That's enough for me.
I'm loyal to Fade in myself You can import/export in FD format effortlessly and it only costs 80 dollars. It has not crashed on me, even with all their updates.
hey, Aray, I noticed when I convert FI to FD file, bold and italic words change back to normal FD courier font.
I use Fade In and love it.
Dan MaxXx hmmm. that's an easy fix
Thanks for the advice guys. I’m in the middle of the 2nd act of my new screenplay and I realized when I’m having fun and trapped in the evolution of my characters... I hardly ever notice which FD I have. Eventually I will upgrade but for now I am going to finish imagining my character drop kicking the crap out of Commander Bad Hair! That’s you Mr. Trump - yep I went there
I'm using Movie Magic, yet I'm told by others that Final Draft would make my writing life much easier.
I agree Laurie. Although FD is the only software I’ve ever used but our fellow writers have given me something to reconsider
In creating a worthy screenplay - the software you use is irrelevant.
No, it's not. There are so many free screenwriting apps and software out there. Celtx is a common one.