Final Draft 8 Released Today

Sa
Sam
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:49 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:25 pm Post

spinningdoc,

I'm in the same situation regarding clients and Word documents with Track Changes, and I have yet to find an elegant solution that works for me. I have a Mac Mini on my desk at home and an iBook that I carry to the office, coffee shops, wherever else I care to write. I have Word installed on the Mini but not the iBook as MS Office 08 is unbearably sluggish on PowerPC machines. I have Pages installed on both machines.

My workflow, which seems to change with every new project, involves some combination of either Word or Pages, Scrivener and a lot of cutting and pasting. I prefer Pages for the back and forth with the client because its I feel its Track Changes feature is more elegant and aesthetically more pleasing than Word's. But Word, when I'm at home to use it, is better for creating the document. I tend to write everything for the right column, the audio column, in Scrivener and then cut and paste the bits I need into Word, filling in the video column in Word after the continuity has all been arranged.

I'd like to know your workflow, especially if you've found a better way to work Scrivener into it. As I noted above, I'm hoping that Snow Leopard fixes the tables implementation in the OS X text engine. Still, it would do nothing to improve the experience on my iBook, which is where I do most of my writing. I'd prefer not to have to open another program until I had everything written for both columns in Scrivener, but until I can think of a better way I'm stuck with Word or Pages.

User avatar
Sean Coffee
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:10 pm

Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:34 pm Post

TO: KB
FROM: SC
RE: AV Script Functionality In Scrivener

Don't. Please. Seriously. Just walk away. Let someone else do it. It'll be too hard, too time-sucking, too not-Scrivener-y. It's bad business, it's bad karma.

I write a LOT of commercials, and I deal with the frustration of Word's multi-column functionality every day. It's bad for all of the reasons mentioned above, and for a myriad of other reasons -- chief among them, Word's works-when-it-wants-to formatting functionality. Why backspacing in a cell suddenly changes margin settings (and even fonts) is beyond me.

That said, as smart a developer as you've turned out to be, I'd hate for you to turn your efforts to such an endeavor, even for a second. Walk through the door of multi-column scripts and you're entering a world of bloat, of frustration, of mandatory Microsoft compatibility. Emphasis on the word mandatory -- if you can't export perfectly to Word, there's no reason to do it at all. So don't do it.

The two-column script is, bar none, the worst format for reading and writing ever. It's ugly and ungainly, like writing a play in a spreadsheet. Having this functionality would make me like Scrivener less.

This is not your fish to fry, my friend.

Best,

S

User avatar
Jaysen
Posts: 5999
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: East-Be-Jesus-Nowhere SC, USA

Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:49 pm Post

[quote="Sean Coffee"]
The two-column script is, bar none, the worst format for reading and writing ever. It's ugly and ungainly, like writing a play in a spreadsheet. Having this functionality would make me like Scrivener less.
[/quote]
Why not use a spread sheet for this (AV)? When you are finished, embed the sheet in the doc. Not that you could pay me to work this way, but seems to me it would work.

User avatar
Sean Coffee
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:10 pm

Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:19 pm Post

[quote="Jaysen"][quote="Sean Coffee"]
The two-column script is, bar none, the worst format for reading and writing ever. It's ugly and ungainly, like writing a play in a spreadsheet. Having this functionality would make me like Scrivener less.
[/quote]
Why not use a spread sheet for this (AV)? When you are finished, embed the sheet in the doc. Not that you could pay me to work this way, but seems to me it would work.[/quote]

A very good solution for others -- I know of a few people who do it this way. Spreadsheets and I don't get along, though. I thought about getting better at it when Numbers arrived, but I frankly don't want to deal with the learning curve for something I don't like doing much anyway.

I'm looking as we speak, however, for a spreadsheet AV script template I can import to Numbers. You never know. Thanks for the incentive.

Sa
Sam
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:49 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:34 pm Post

Sean makes some good points. Unless there exists some brilliant open source Cocoa tables code that you could just paste into Scrivener, it may not be worth your time.

And don't get me started on Word's unpredictable cell formatting. I'm constantly pasting text from one cell to another, erasing everything but the first character to preserve formatting, typing what I'd like to replace it with, then erasing the first character of the pasted text. There are better ways to do this, I'm sure, but I haven't bothered to learn any of them.

So Sean... do you work entirely in Word for AV projects or do you primarily compose in other software? I wish there was a decent two column AV template for Word. I usually take a previously written script and replace the text in the already-existing cells or just create something new from scratch. Both methods leave much to be desired.

User avatar
Sean Coffee
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:10 pm

Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:30 pm Post

Sam:

We work the same way. I'm working off an eight year old template, and I hate it, but it is what it is. I'm not sure any software solution could make an AV script more palatable for me. As for my workflow:

I tend to work entirely off the right side (audio) of the script, as if I'm listening to the spot in another room, without a TV in front of me. I've been on the job long enough that I can break the script into master shots in my head,* making new audio cells where I think the cuts should occur. Then I go back and fill in the visuals.

I've been doing some advertising for the TV networks for the last 4 years or so, and they have abandoned the side-by-side thing. Their scripts are simple Word docs, with the action in italics and the dialogue boldfaced, with the character names to the left and the dialogue in its own tabbed margin. Easy to read, easy to write, although I still tend to do everything in one lump format, relying on the copy/paste format tool after the fact. I wish ad agencies could learn to work like this, but they don't really cotton to new ideas. They like to do things the way Bill Bernbach did them in 1961 -- which is why I tend to have a three-martini lunch before I do any agency work.

Best,

S


*And let's face it, that's all an AV script is: a glorified shot list.

sp
spinningdoc
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:18 am

Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:45 am Post

I don't think there is an elegant solution, and please, Keith, don't try to find one. It's not a job for Scrivener. I think you'd have to write yourself a new text engine.

Like you, my workflow is never the same, but it's generally something like -

- treatment/outline whatever to agree the gist with client
- slap this plus any other bits of email, info, etc. I need into an AV script template I've had for years, which has the cell splitting options, styles, etc set up how I want them.
- expand the treatment into script. I'm not particularly rigorous about audio first, pics second. I go more with the flow to tell the story best... this inevitably means a hurried scraping around at the end to think of cutaways if I don't trust the director to do enough pickups without being told...
- Save the first draft as an rtf or doc and bang it off to the client, asking that they use highlight not track changes as I don't want to know when they've inserted a dodgy apostrophe.
- Recieve draft with Track Changes from client. These come in one of two forms:
1. 'Great, just a couple of minor changes'. These turn out to involve three more actors, another location, and two more days shooting, and worst of all, completely rethinking the script.
2. 'I think we really need to have a long look at this script, it's not what I was thinking of.' This means they don't like where I've put a couple of commas. They're wrong, but they're paying, so they have final say over commas.
- Take out hit contract on client.
- Cancel hit contract on client. Take out hit contract on Gates for his sodding Track Changes not understanding that adding commas isn't the same importance as changing 'Slough' to 'Mauritius'.
- Someone I've never heard of at the client sends over a new version into which he's cut and pasted the mission statement straight off the website, and added three pages of diversity policy completely with nested bulleted points.
- reinstitute client hit
- when the script's agreed, send it to the Director so he can ignore it with complete authority.
- invoice client before it all goes tits up
- receive desperate phone call from director on the shoot asking stupid questions. Point out where the answers are spelled out in the script. He can't find them as he's rewritten it to add helicopter shots because there are none on his showreel so far.
- Receive desperate phone call from the editor asking where the helicopter shot of dwarves rappelling down The Gherkin is meant to go. I have no idea. My script was about training tyre fitters to fill in forms.
- Final cut delivered to the client. The original commissioner has now been moved sideways to Special Projects and nobody cares anymore. Video goes live on company intranet where nobody watches it.
- Director snaffles tapes from the editor to recut the helicopter shots into his showreel.
- Many months later, I am paid.

Did I get off the point a bit?

Sa
Sam
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:49 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:20 pm Post

Hehehe, this is great. I love this especially:

"Someone I've never heard of at the client sends over a new version into which he's cut and pasted the mission statement straight off the website, and added three pages of diversity policy completely with nested bulleted points."

...and...

"Final cut delivered to the client. The original commissioner has now been moved sideways to Special Projects and nobody cares anymore. Video goes live on company intranet where nobody watches it."

All that you wrote pretty much hits the nail on the head. It seems the client is always his own worst enemy.

So from where did you guys procure the templates you use for your scripts? I found one after a long and laborious Google search but it wasn't quite what I needed.

gr
grandstreet9
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:50 am

Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:59 pm Post

I despise Final Draft but have only worked in versions 5 through 7. A friend told me about a software called Celtx -- which is free for anyone who wants to download it. I wonder if others have had similar feelings about Final Draft, if anyone has tried Celtx (in conjunction with Scrivener or not), and, lastly, if Final Draft 8 is really such an improvement that I should go for an upgrade.
If anything, using Scrivener has made the pathetic qualities of Final Draft all the more apparent.

dr
druid
Posts: 1721
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + Linux
Location: Princeton NJ, USA

Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:54 am Post

I just had a very positive experience with Final Draft 8. Developed the script first in Scrivener, used it to export to FD, no problems at all. Revised six drafts with collaborator, used the Navigator, Scene Properties, and Format Assistant to clean up our mistakes, then printed a PDF version to go to the agent. Elapsed time was ten days.

My only complaint is the copy-protection policy; would have been better if our license would support copies on two machines, so we could pass .fdx files back and forth. It would also be great if there were a true Track Changes capability; ScriptCompare is a bust.

Sa
Sam
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:49 am
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:26 am Post

It doesn't allow you to put it on at least one desktop and one laptop? Not even Microsoft is that paranoid.

dr
druid
Posts: 1721
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + Linux
Location: Princeton NJ, USA

Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:42 am Post

Here's the company policy for FD 7; most likely the same for FD 8:

"The standard retail Final Draft 7 and AV2.5 licenses allow for two (2) computers, owned and operated by the sole licensed user and no one else, to be activated. This means your home and office computers, your desktop and your laptop, etc. It does not mean your computer and your writing partner's computer."

http://www.finaldraft.com/support/faq-p ... eid=181670

py
pythagorean
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:52 pm

Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:02 pm Post

[quote="KB"]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[/quote]


Just wanted to add how you do that, because it works great, but this post is one of the first things that come up when you look for "dual dialogue". It tells you how in the manual, but I know most people are going to google it.

All you have to do is highlight the character and dialogue that you want side by side. Then when it is highlighted you go to Format-->Formatting-->Preserve Formatting

It will make a blue box around the dialogue and when you export to FDX it will be perfect dual dialogue. It works very very nicely. No more having to make a note to add the dual dialogue later in Final Draft. When you export it is done-zo-relli.

User avatar
KB
Site Admin
Posts: 20507
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall
Contact:

Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:46 pm Post

Thanks for adding the info here pythagorean, much appreciated (and glad you like it!)
All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."