Final Draft 8 Released Today

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KB
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Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:23 pm Post

Greetings,

Just to let all of those scriptwriters who use Scrivener know, Final Draft 8 was released today. Final Draft 8 is a significant upgrade and has much more of a Mac feel to it than earlier versions. I was lucky enough to beta test, and I really like it; I think most users will be very happy with the upgrade.

More relevant to Scrivener, Final Draft 8 introduces a new XML-based file format, FDX, which replaces the older FDR as the default format. We are very happy to be in partnership with Final Draft and as such Scrivener 1.51, which is also released today, can import from and export to Final Draft 8 FDX format. It maintains FCF support for users of older versions, but FDX import and export is a massive improvement over FCF, allowing for any elements from custom scripts (such as comic scripts) to survive import and export, and also allowing for revisions and Scrivener footnotes becoming script notes and suchlike. Scrivener 2.0 will exploit the Final Draft FDX file format even more, allowing for script summaries to become Scrivener synopses and vice versa, but for now I feel confident that most users will appreciate the added benefits of FDX import and export, allowing for a much more seamless workflow between Scrivener and Final Draft.

Be sure to give me feedback on how you get on. I'll be posting more information about this integration on the blog tomorrow, and there will be a video tutorial on using the two programs together out in the next few days.

Thanks and all the best,
Keith

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Sun May 03, 2009 12:21 pm Post

Sorry if I'm being thick here, Keith, but can you or someone elaborate a little on how and why Scrivener and FD8 would work together. Given all the auto complete stuff in FD I can't quite see why one would want to write a script in Scrivener then simply export it. Is the idea to use Scrivener as some kind of story development tool? Or for putting together a scene-by-scene treatment? Or what?

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KB
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Sun May 03, 2009 12:27 pm Post

Well, quite a few people already do write their scripts in Scrivener and then export it to Final Draft. Although FD obviously has better auto-complete, Scrivener's scriptwriting features make it possible to use Scrivener for developing a script in much the same way as you might develop a novel - placing scenes in different documents and dragging them around etc. Obviously at some point the serious scriptwriter is going to want to get this out to something like Final Draft - hence the better import/export functionality. This was driven by demand from users who already use this workflow - it's not a completely leftfield addition!

All the best,
Keith

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Sun May 03, 2009 12:31 pm Post

OK - will mess around and try. FD8 is a really big improvement all round on what was really very dire software before I think. Though since it seems to be the standard format 'tis hard to ignore. Wasn't trying to diss Scrivener's scriptwriting features but I just wondered why you'd buy FD then write the movie in Scrivener.
FD give you a nice mention here http://www.finaldraft.com/company/techn ... rtners.php

It says 'Scrivener helps you develop your ideas creatively. Whether you are writing a book, short story, script or research-paper, Scrivener provides all the features you need without constraining you to an imposed rigid format. Edit multiple documents within the same project, rearrange your storyboard with an index-card laden corkboard, view an outline of your entire project, associate keywords, even closeout the rest of the world by entering full-screen editing.'

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Sun May 03, 2009 12:44 pm Post

PS - on the subject of monospaced fonts and the P22 discussion here - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5776&p=47165&hilit=P22#p47165

I have to say I just tried the new version of Final Draft Courier instead. It looks pretty good too, and has bold and italic for those who need it. Am torn....

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Fri May 22, 2009 4:09 pm Post

[quote]I just wondered why you'd buy FD then write the movie in Scrivener. [/quote]

It's more like the other way round. If you have Scrivener, there's way less need for FD, which then becomes not much more than a cosmetic tool for spec scripts. If you're in production, it's a whole other thing as FD is the Word of screenplays - the industry standard, particularly in America.

Most of my screenplay writing isn't done as a script - it's done as chunks of prose divided into story beats. Turning this into script is done fairly late in the day, and for me, with the quality monitor off. I can offered to take let loose because I've set myself up a workable structure before I get to scripting. I do the first draft of the script in story beats, a few pages per Scrivener document. Once I've got a script, it's 'something to change', and I like to be able to read it as a single document. That could mean exporting as an rtf, or compiling it in Scriv or, maybe importing it into FD. Depends on my mood.

From the FD website, it looks like FD's moving towards the Scrivener model of chunking things up rather than merely being a formatter, and I'm interested to see how that pans out. I think Keith's got the amount of screenplayness in Scriv about right (though I still can't stand the OS X text engine limitations); I want to see how FD come at it from the other direction.

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Fri May 22, 2009 4:20 pm Post

(though I still can't stand the OS X text engine limitations)


Me too, but out of interest, which limitations in particular?

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Fri May 22, 2009 4:21 pm Post

Okay, posted my response to spinningdoc in his thread, but wanted to chime in here.

I think the answer to the question above is "the same reason you use Scrivener period." Scrivener's chunky method of doing things is a vastly superior way to go about any kind of fiction writing. You can write a novel in Word or Pages or Nisus, but you come to Scrivener for a specific kind of workflow, with a specific kind of flexibility.

I'm a little late to this thread, so I want to go back to FD's website to figure out what Keith means by FD adapting a chunky style. I was getting a different message -- that they figured out what they did well, and were happy to Just Work with Scrivener et al.

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Fri May 22, 2009 4:31 pm Post

Stuff that's been rehearsed on here already really. I still don't understand how TextEdit and its ilk deal with styles at all, to the extent that I just don't use them. And the other one is that styles are done as macros rather than markup, so that if, for instance, I decide to tweak the indent for dialogue, it only works on subsequent text, and then the template doesn't recognise previous versions because it can't match up the settings.

In truth, they're not that big a deal, and massively outweighed by the advantages of Scrivener workflow. To an extent too, since I can't successfully muck about with element settings, it's one less thing to procrastinate over. In the absence of FD, I'm quite able to format in a WP more or less as a final pass before sending something off.

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Fri May 22, 2009 4:33 pm Post

"what Keith means by FD adapting a chunky style"

I think chunky was my word....

All I meant by it was that they seem to have embraced cards and various other structural bits and pieces a bit more.

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Sean Coffee
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Fri May 22, 2009 7:30 pm Post

Ah. Yeah, I don't think that's where they're going. They've nodded in that direction by enhancing their index card functionality and reintroducing the scene navigator window, but I'd be surprised to see FD move a more Montage/Scrivener-like direction. It doesn't make sense for them to do so -- that's a pretty steep learning curve, and they have a responsibility to their installed base. Professionals, especially. When you have almost the entire American TV industry using your software, I think you'd tread lightly when it comes to overhauling the way people use your software.

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Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:39 pm Post

[quote="KB"][quote](though I still can't stand the OS X text engine limitations)[/quote]

Me too, but out of interest, which limitations in particular?[/quote]

I know I've mentioned this, and you responded to me and I completely understand why it isn't possible, but Dual Dialogue.

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Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:08 pm Post

With Scrivener 2.0 you will be able to allocate certain ranges of text to become dual dialogue when it gets exported to FD8 - it won't look like dual dialogue in Scrivener, but it will become so in the FDX file.
All the best,
Keith

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Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:12 am Post

Does this mean also that it would theoretically be possible to export as a dual-column AV script, such as used in Final Draft AV? And even if it isn't really planned, could you (at your leisure, of course) take a look at Celtx's implementation of it to see what I mean? Composition is done in a single column, but Celtx moves the appropriate sections to a second column on export. I know this has been brought up in another thread, but it's worth revisiting.

I tried make an AV template using tables, but that's another limitation of the OS X text engine, one I hope shall be greatly improved under Snow Leopard.

Thanks,
Sam

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Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:20 am Post

Sam

Two column AV scripts are a huge pain, not helped when clients insist on having them as Word documents so they can use the abomination called 'track changes'. I've been known to plead Mac incompatibility and make them deal with pdf's.

And yet, and yet... Word is the least worst I've found for this. I don't like the Celtx/FD AV paradigm because it isn't WYSIWYG. Neo grinds to the speed of sloth with piles, Pages can't split cells, Mellel is pants with tables and its developers openly admit it, Nisus is okay to use but formatting goes askew on re-importing into Word. And as you say, anything involving tables and the OS X text engine is just not worth countenancing.

I'd love to find a way round this.