Final Draft People Watching

There’s a guy sitting outside the window here at Atlantis.  He’s just sitting there at a table, arms crossed, looking forward, blinking, and otherwise just staying out of the rain.  Didn’t even order anything.  He looks like he’s got a load on his mind.  Probably has something to do with a girl.  He’s got that posture.

Oh wait.  He was just waiting for a ride.

I bought Final Draft on the weekend.  It’s the industry standard script writing software that everyone uses (hence the ‘standard’ designation).  I’ve only spent a little bit of time with it, but damn!  It’s great.

Screen plays are ruled by very strict formatting guidelines.  The font must be Courier 12 point.  The spacing and margins must be exact.  Transitions, edits, dialogue, etc must be precisely noted.  These guidelines have been used around the world in this way since the 1930s.  Obeying these rules gives the reader a sense of how long the story is.  In general, one page of screenplay, properly formatted, equates to one minute of screen time.

Straying from these rules will distort the perceived length of the story.  Worse yet, improper formatting will scream ‘amateur’ to a professional reader, and in an industry crammed with wanna be writers, that’s a stink you don’t want associated with your script.

So I loaded my script into Final Draft and fixed all the formatting errors.  I’ve learned that the best thing about this software is that it takes all the formatting out of your thinking.  You just write, the software formats it for you.  I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces on the next episode.

On a related note.  The Riders are back in town today after getting their asses kicked in Winnipeg.  Very inconvenient because I want them in a receptive mood when they read my script.  Regardless, I sent out an email last night to one of my contacts.  Hopefully I can get a meeting with the team this week.

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