Screenwriting : What's the big deal with final draft? by Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson

What's the big deal with final draft?

Okay so I got a screenwriting app called storyist it was ten dollars. It is great, best screenplay app ever I don't plan on getting final draft because I'm pretty happy with what I have. The app is beautiful and Its wroth more then 10 dollars but a few people only want writers who have final draft. What's the big deal?

Victor Daniel Vera

I hear there's a new software called WriterDuet or something along those lines. I use Celtx, but I don't know if that's even acceptable anymore. I hope it still since since I really really like using it.

Jacob Buterbaugh

I think most people want Final Draft because it can probably do more during pre-production. For instance, can Storyist lock and number the scenes? Can it breakdown the script? Can its files be exported to scheduling software? I'm asking because I don't know anything about it. But if the answer to any of those questions is no, then that is probably why. Screenwriting (or development) is only 1/5 of the general filmmaking process. I think people prefer Final Draft because it can be used for more than just screenwriting. BTW, I don't have FD yet either. I'm using Fade In for screenwriting and Celtx for preproduction.

Erik Grossman

The thing with Final Draft is that it's used so much, everyone in the industry knows what it looks like on the page. For some reason, Celtx and others format their margins different... and it looks different when printed out. "Who cares?" You might be thinking... well, the industry does. Keeping format uniform helps the process move along smoothly. Now there are programs that are cheaper and keep the Final Draft font, font size, and margins. I personally use Highland that saves directly to an .FDX document or PDF. I believe Writer Duet does the same. But the big thing is that Final Draft is the standard for format... deviate from that, even with another professional screenwriting tool, and an executive will assume you're an amateur. Same rules apply to writing a school paper: double spaced, times new roman, 12pt, standard margins. Use any program you want, but stick to the rules. Same goes for screenplays. Use any program you want, but keep the format as it is in Final Draft.

Brittany Haigler

I'm with you on this Emily, everyone wants Final Draft. It's nerve-wracking to be honest, especially when you already use a software that you know so well.

Jody Ellis

@Brittany I'm not sure why it would be "nerve-wracking" to switch to FD. Took me all of 30 seconds to figure out, and I wouldn't say I'm super computer literate.

Brittany Haigler

@Jody, well I was mostly referring to cost, but I guess I should have explained it more clearly...and yes FC isn't hard to understand

John Michael German

Dear Emily Ann Jefferson: When I first researched about screenwriting, one of the things that came up consistently was the fact that they wanted it in industry formatting. Final Draft, and others, put a lot of the formatting in place for you. If a characters dialogue continues over action elements, the (CONT'D) appears after the characters name. The only reason I bought Final Draft 9 was due to it being rated one of the top software applications for writing; I figured if I was going to do this, and do it seriously, I was going to buy Final Draft so that formatting wouldn't, or it shouldn't, be an issue. That is just some information for you to consider with what you currently have. Sincerely, John German

Dan MaxXx

FD was the 1st writing software for Mac Users. As Macintosh computers dominated sales, so did FD. There was a PC software competing against FD but lost the "Industry" race. Sorta like VHS tapes Vs. Beta tapes. Before you were born :)

Pierre Langenegger

I just had a look at their site Emily and I think for the money you've spent, you've done very well. It looks easy to use, has a clean format and best of all it imports and exports fdx files. My main software of choice is FD but I may consider adding Storyist as well to accommodate extra clients who use that software.

Dan Guardino

Final Draft is good program. I don't own stock in their company so use whatever you want as long is formats the way a screenplay is supposed to formatted.

Craig D Griffiths

It was the first and like Coke has become a default. I use an entire Celtx workflow. More than happy with what I have. FD will keeps it marketshare until it disappears or is beaten by something with a compelling feature.

Andrew Martin Smith

It's the industry standard software that every writer, producer and director that I have ever worked with uses. The alternative is a bit like working on an old Triumph motorbike and discovering that you need to use Imperial spanners not metric. Everybody wants to work with a platform that they are familiar with and work with drafts that are brain dead compatible. Anything else is a pain.

Dan Guardino

Andrew. What you say is true but 99.9 percent of the people writing spec screenplays aren't working with other people in the industry so they can use whatever floats their boat.

Ruben Diaz

Adobe Story isn't bad if you already have a Creative Cloud account. I use Scrivener now for not only screenplays but all my writing. It's $45 and has every bell and whistle and then some. Even exports to a variety of formats.

Benjamin Pearce

I still use Celtx because I am cheap.

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