Alexander Williams thantos at gmail.com
Sat Jan 1 17:03:13 EST 2011

On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM, ipah <ipah at me.com> wrote:

> Yes the idea of Markdown is exactly what I'm looking for here. Using

> notepad or something similar with only a few extra characters and having it

> post processed into the proper format. There is Final Draft, which

> is horribly clunky, ugly, slow, etc. There is a lot other ones but, I really

> want something super simple. The issue is to send it to anyone, plain text

> will NOT work, there are very specific formats. Id rather store everything

> plain text but should I need to send it somewhere, having it convert to say

> .fdx or a perfectly formatted pdf.


Given that *Celtx <http://celtx.com/>* is free and that formated 80
character wide monospaced text has been a standard for handing scripts
around in Hollywood since the days where all the typewriters were manual and
all the stage-direction minimal, I think you'll find a mark-up language
(that, coincidently, no one you're likely to send a script to will recognize
any *faster* or more reasonably than straight text formatting), I think the
effort is, at best, misplaced.

Every single script processor I've ever worked with can take raw text and
import it into an editable internal format, then turn around and spit it out
again. Every one, from *Final Draft* to *Celtx* to *Scriptwrite*. The newer
ones can even manage HTML import/export which lets you put it up on your
favourite site with all the CSS bells and whistles you want. There's not a
single producer on Earth who wouldn't prefer to get the nice, tightly laid
out TXT output of a piece of your fave screenwriting software (or even
something like *Scripped <http://scripped.com/>*) than some bit of text with
alien mark-up.

There's a reason that the screenplay format is
Essentially, so that five-thousand guys in a hundred cities can write on a
dozen forms of typewriter and get out largely compatibly timed chunks of
text. That's not something you generally mess with.

Store your scripts in whatever the native format for your preferred editor
is and export it for shipping *in whatever form the person intended to read
it wants it in.* If they want it as a beautiful PDF with a handwriting-like
font on pink background, that's what you export to. At least, if you want
them to pick up your spec. The rest of the time, you'll go with standard
text or increasingly simple PDF.

Alexander Williams (thantos at gmail.com)
*Operation BSU* (http://operationbsu.org)
*Like a morning show, only interesting. And at night.*
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