Final Draft

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michaelbywater
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Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:02 pm

Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:54 am Post

The price-of-Final-Draft thing is interesting. I wonder whether it's not also partly the halo effect of the "industry standard" boast.

$250 for a rather modestly-endowed word processor is of course ridiculous. But $250 to be a screenwriter... that's a different matter. You might even say that it's a small price to pay for someone to feel professionally tooled-up, no different from a weekend tennis-payer springing a small fortune on a carbon-fibre racquet which will make absolutely no difference to his game, or a pale old fat guy shelling out for a bottle of Davidoff Cool Water which will certainly not make him look like the young stubble-bound Muscle Mary in the ads. Or so much else in modern branding. I used to think people were stupid to fall for it. I've changed my tune. I don't think they do. I think they enjoy, and spend money to indulge, the fantasy. We're all in one way or another like Snoopy on the kennel roof: "Here's the World War One fighter pilot..." I like conducting along to recordings. And I bought a proper baton -- goddamn it, an INDUSTRY STANDARD baton -- to do it with. It gives me great delight ("Here's the world-famous maestro...") and harms nobody.

FD's the same, I think. Some of us might sit here thinking "If only Scrivener talked properly to MM Screenwriter instead" or "I can't bear rewriting this damn scene yet again, I think I'll go post some stuff on the tubes" but there are plenty of people sitting at their desks enjoying the fantasy of being a Coen Brother or Tom Stoppard just as much as I enjoy waving my £15 stick at the loudspeakers.

So to make Keith rich, we must identify another fantasy and attach it firmly to Scrivener. I just can't think of one.

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Sean Coffee
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:10 pm

Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:51 pm Post

Michael:

I think you're exactly right. While FD is an invaluable tool for professional writers, it's also a pretty calculated Fantasy Machine. FD came of age in the spec boom of the 90s, when writing a screenplay was akin to buying a lottery ticket. I used to bristle at the way the developers loaded up the thing with "fake" features — register your script menus, and endless templates for specific TV show scripts not suited for specs (but great for fan fic!) I'm over it now, as FD's performance has stabilized, and computers have become so powerful that bloat isn't as big a deal.

When FD and MM were the only games in town, the fantasy element seemed like a pretty savvy way to get their money. Now, with Scrivener and Celtx et al, I wonder if they'll need to change.

As for the specific fantasy pegged to Scrivener, I think there is one. It's just that these days, BEING A NOVELIST or FINISHING MY DISSERTATION are pretty much $45 fantasies.

Hu
Hugh
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Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:00 pm Post

Candidates for Scrivener Fantasies:

- This, or

- Being the person who said the following:

"At least once a week I went back to Nicolsons, the cafe... where I wrote much of my first novel... I did most of my press interviews in the cafe, partly out of gratitude for all the times they let me sit over one cold espresso for two hours."
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

da
dafu
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Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:07 am Post

Hugh wrote:- Being the person who said the following:

"At least once a week I went back to Nicolsons, the cafe... where I wrote much of my first novel... I did most of my press interviews in the cafe, partly out of gratitude for all the times they let me sit over one cold espresso for two hours."


Awwwwwwww.


Dave