Reformatting from left-justified

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  • #16
    Re: Reformatting from left-justified

    Great news, and thanks for the advice! It is written in Times New Roman pt. 12. I thought scripts were in Courier New (read it somewhere), but I guess I was wrong.

    Going back through things now, I see I've over-written some descriptions, especially action. Not by a lot but a bit. I'll try to trim out any words that don't need to be there on a final pass to see if it will take it down a few pages. I'll be very happy if I hit the 180 mark. I think I could justify the film's length in a pitch if it's that long.

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    • #17
      Re: Reformatting from left-justified

      Comic,

      I wonder what the stat are on 1st kiss to page to box office #s

      RotLA it's 93 minutes in

      Moonlight 54 minutes
      Ricky Slade: Listen to me, I intentionally make this gun look that way because I am smart.

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      • #18
        Re: Reformatting from left-justified

        Originally posted by Julysses View Post
        Comic,

        I wonder what the stat are on 1st kiss to page to box office #s

        RotLA it's 93 minutes in

        Moonlight 54 minutes

        For box office numbers, it is probably better to have some people screwing no later than page 3.

        "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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        • #19
          Re: Reformatting from left-justified

          Originally posted by Merrick View Post
          It is written in Times New Roman pt. 12. I thought scripts were in Courier New (read it somewhere), but I guess I was wrong.

          Going back through things now, I see I've over-written some descriptions, especially action. Not by a lot but a bit. I'll try to trim out any words that don't need to be there on a final pass to see if it will take it down a few pages. I'll be very happy if I hit the 180 mark. I think I could justify the film's length in a pitch if it's that long.
          Screenplays (i.e., "scripts") need to be in a Courier font. You can find various varieties of Courier, but they all look very similar, and you do not have to worry about which variety you use. However, you should select one that is clear on screen, looks good in a PDF, and prints out clearly.

          Windows includes Courier New, but it is terrible for printing out a manuscript. You can download free Courier fonts from many places. As I said before, two of the best are Courier Screenplay and Courier Prime, from the Fade In website. I usually use Courier Screenplay, because it is very clear on screen and prints out beautifully. The other one, Courier Prime, prints out great, too, and looks good on screen except that the 's' character looks a little blotchy (only on screen; the print is fine).

          I think that the Mac has its own version of Courier, but I have nothing to do with Macs.

          When you get ready to submit your script, you will probably need to provide a PDF. Various PDF print drivers are available, and they are not all equal. I suggest using the ones that come with screenwriting programs, or use the free Bullzip PDF driver. Most of these drivers automatically embed the font that you use, and you always want to embed the font; otherwise you will probably get a default Type 1 Courier, which is basically like Courier New.

          Try to avoid using any PDF driver that has the word 'Microsoft' in the name. It produces really junky PDF files that do not import into Fade In, and maybe not into other screenwriting programs.

          Again, good luck!

          "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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          • #20
            Re: Reformatting from left-justified

            Originally posted by Bono View Post
            You can download free trial see if it will help you format it, although I suspect you will have to tab stuff around.

            https://www.fadeinpro.com/page.pl?content=download
            I think this is probably the best of the bunch, if you're actually trying to break into the business. Relatively small, clean application that basically does everything. This is probably what I would buy if I thought I was actually had a chance to work in the business. Meanwhile Trelby works well for me (and I'm used to it).

            Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
            There's also,

            http://www.celtx.com/
            http://www.trelby.org/

            which as far as I know are still free.
            There's also KIT Scenarist and WriterSolo. WriterSolo now has a downloadable version (as well as still being online) — but I almost think they're trying to do too much with this platform (lots of features, but some glitches, at least in the Linux version). WriterSolo is put out by the people who host WriterDuet, their specialty is online collaboration. It appears that KIT Scenarist will soon be going to a paid version in future development, and the free version (after a few bugs are fixed) will remain where it is. (Still good.)

            https://kitscenarist.ru/en/index.html
            https://writersolo.com/ or https://freescreenwriting.com/

            Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
            And then there's Screenplain,

            http://www.screenplain.com/

            which takes plain text and converts it to a screenplay.
            'Afterwriting also does this online. Its advantage is that it defaults to a nicer font, Courier Prime instead of using Courier New. (It also defaults to A4, so you'll have to change that in the Settings if you want Letter size. Its publisher is, I believe, based in France.)

            https://afterwriting.com/

            YouMeScript is more of a traditional screenplay formatter (available online) that will import a slew of file types (and it specifically exports to Final Draft 11, the only one I've seen that does this). My issue with it is that its margins are too narrow. PDFs produced on YouMeScript run about 8 pages longer per hundred pages, which is definitely going the wrong direction in this case. But you could use it to import a file and then export to Fountain and use something else to create the PDF.

            https://youmescript.com/

            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
            i believe Trelby and Celtx are still free, i don't know their capabilities of converting files.

            any "free trial" is going to limited functionality.

            you're going to have to do some research to determine which software will allow you to import/export your file with as little work as possible. you don't want to buy something only to discover you have to re-enter every word.
            All the above will import Fountain. Most, with the exception of Screenplain (I believe) will import Final Draft (.fdx) files. Trelby will import Fountain, Final Draft (.fdx), Celtx (.celtx), the defunct Adobe Story files (.astx), Formatted text (.txt) and Fade In Pro files (unless Fade In has changed its format since 2012). Not sure what Celtx will import, but it's pretty complete so I'm guessing most formats. The main disadvantage of the free Celtx application now is that its PDFs are watermarked ("Produced with Celtx free" or something like that). You could probably get around this by exporting to Fountain and using something else to make the PDFs.

            Free trials of Fade In Pro and Celtx have limitations. No limitations on the others listed here.

            Good luck. Definitely easier to type screenplays on a dedicated application. It automatically prompts for repeated names and scene locations, saving a lot of typing time.

            Should add ... if you're using a Mac, lots of folks like Highland 2 or Slugline (which closely integrate the Fountain format). And, if you're using a Mac, Trelby is not an option.

            https://quoteunquoteapps.com/highland-2/
            http://slugline.co/

            Neither of these are free, but they're not expensive... $40 to $50 I believe. I think both have trial versions (I don't have a Mac so I have no personal experience).
            STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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            • #21
              Re: Reformatting from left-justified

              this is so interesting. my sci-fi action thriller clocks in at about 195/124.

              this is how distance, time and experience changes you even within a few scripts.

              this script started at 128 my manager at the time thought it was a bit long, but okay. this spec also received some 8s & 9s, who knows if that means anything. it went to i think, like 5 people. all passed too expensive for an original ip. blah, blah, blah...

              it started at 128 started rewriting to cut the overwriting. got it down to 125 1/3 the way in. then started adding scenes to increase the character relationships based on the notes from the Black List, went back up to 127. now i continue to delete **** that looks good, reads well, but it totally unnecessary, so now i'm back down to 124 and i'm on pg 69. let's see if i can get it under 120. for a sci-fi epic, that's key. when i wrote this, i was like, this is as tight as i can get it.

              haha. that's funny.

              sorry to digress. my point was that ComicBent is right again. that average is pretty accurate.

              be well all.
              "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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              • #22
                Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                That is the one thing I did consider when writing is budget.

                I'm not a line producer by any means, but I would guess mine can be made in the 3-10 million range, depending. There are only a few high budget films made per year, so the lower the budget you write for, the more likely you are able to raise funds.

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                • #23
                  Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                  I finished writing. I'm doing the final cleanup now. 20% of the way through and already deleted 1000 words.

                  Once finished, I'll take a few days break then do a last read through for flow / pacing / anything else that stands out. Hopefully it's all the way there cause I'm ready to move on.

                  Then I'll reformat here and let you all know the results (how many pages / which suggestion worked best).
                  Last edited by Merrick; 08-08-2019, 12:10 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                    I got it as far as I wanted to write in OOO. Then edited it this morning (took maybe 2 hours?) to Fountain format.

                    I then tried this suggestion:

                    https://afterwriting.com/

                    It didn't come out 100% perfectly but very close.

                    185 pages, so I'm very happy.

                    The whole time, I was nervous this was ballooning over 200, actually was suspecting closer to 240.

                    I'm going to play around with some other suggestions here and see if any of these ones will let me start to edit in-line as a script format, as I think I need to finish that way.

                    Seeing it laid out as a script will help me hack out a bit of the longer descriptions, and I'll feel confident bringing this out in the 165-180 range.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                      Okay, so ... I went through all the suggestions and downloaded the Fade In free trial, Trelby, KIT Scenarist, WriterSolo, and Magic Movie Screenwriter free demo.

                      I am wary of cloud-based solutions, so I skipped CELTX and Screenplain.

                      Here are the results, and I could use a little help here.

                      * Fade In easily took the fountain format and spit out a nice-looking 203 page script. Watermark also embedded on free trial.

                      * Trelby easily took the fountain format and spit out an okay-looking 183 page script. I changed it to Courier Screenplay and increased the spacing before slug lines. Looks about the same as Fade In now.

                      * My computer refused to unpack the KIT Scenarist due to the publisher's signature.

                      * Took me a few minutes, but I finally figured out how to download WriterSolo. It took to the fountain format about as well as Fade In / Trelby. There are a handful of unknown characters in the text which come up as ?'s inside diamonds. Things like dashes, parentheses, and ellipses. I guess the other two programs just hid them without errors. This came in at 203 pages as well.

                      * M̶a̶g̶i̶c̶ ̶M̶o̶v̶i̶e̶ ̶S̶c̶r̶e̶e̶n̶w̶r̶i̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶t̶a̶l̶l̶.̶ ̶I̶n̶ ̶f̶a̶c̶t̶,̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶w̶e̶n̶t̶y̶ ̶m̶i̶n̶u̶t̶e̶s̶,̶ ̶i̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶t̶a̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶I̶'̶m̶ ̶g̶o̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶g̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶u̶p̶.̶ Actually, it finished right when I went to cancel. Refused to import any files however. Said it's incompatible with 64-bit versions of Windows.

                      What would you do?

                      I could probably have this whole thing from OOO to perfectly formatted script in 3 hours total, which is amazing.

                      Thanks all!

                      UPDATE:

                      I started playing around with page margins, format, etc. It grows and shrinks considerably if I change things around. Is it problematic to format as A4? And with these margins: 1" top / 1" bottom / 1.5" left / 0.5" right?

                      That gets me to 184 pages in Fade In.

                      Please note, I'm based in Europe, but this script is meant for US market.
                      Last edited by Merrick; 08-13-2019, 06:32 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                        Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                        Please note, I'm based in Europe, but this script is meant for US market.
                        Just curious if you're using A4 or Letter sized paper. A4 will lower the page count but, if it's for the US market you'll probably want to use Letter size. (Not that I really know much about this.)

                        Since you seem to like 'Afterwriting and don't want to use an online solution, you might want to take advantage of its offline feature (if you haven't already). It still works in your browser, but everything is done locally (offline) on your computer. (There's also a way to use 'Afterwriting via the command line.)

                        Trelby's margins can also be tweaked. And (as you mentioned) it's amazing how much the page count can change with tiny changes in top and bottom margins. I think the top and bottom margins default to something like .5" and 1.0" in Trelby (in Letter size). Just by changing those to .5 and .5 you can probably trim five (or more) pages. (Trelby will show you how many lines you'll get per page as you tweak these settings. Its default (.5 and 1.0) comes out to 57 lines per page, .5 and .5 jumps that up to 60.)

                        You can also change your PDF fonts in Trelby. Courier Prime or Courier Screenplay are much nicer fonts than the default Courier New (at least they are in my opinion). What you can't change is Unicode. In Trelby there is no em or en dash (for example). So with Trelby you'll get...

                        INT. LIVING ROOM -- Day

                        instead of...

                        INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

                        At any rate, sorry to ramble. Good luck.
                        STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                          Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                          * My computer refused to unpack the KIT Scenarist due to the publisher's signature.
                          That's odd. I've never had any trouble installing KIT Scenarist - but it's almost always been on Linux (though I have tried it on a couple different Windows installs).

                          If you have any interest in fixing it, you can contact them via the Contact Page. Dimka Novikov will probably respond within hours.
                          STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                            Thanks a lot! Yes I did a lot of fiddling around after this. I'm enjoying most the editing in Fade In.

                            Question is what kind of margins can one get away with on each side? And is it okay to e-mail A4 PDFs to professionals in the US?

                            My film has a large amount of dialogue, a good portion of it meant to be spoken quickly. So I don't think it's fudging that it would come out around 3 hours or just below.

                            I don't want to freak anyone out with page counts. I started doing even further editing in Fade In and already got rid of 1 page by page 10. At that rate, I can get to around 167.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                              Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                              Thanks a lot! Yes I did a lot of fiddling around after this. I'm enjoying most the editing in Fade In.
                              Fade In is a great application. If I was a serious writer I would probably own it.

                              Originally posted by Merrick View Post
                              Question is what kind of margins can one get away with on each side? And is it okay to e-mail A4 PDFs to professionals in the US?
                              Just guessing... I probably wouldn't tweak them more than a 1/4" on either (or both) side(s). The width difference (I think) is going to be a bit more obvious than the length difference. Of course, there's no real "standard" so maybe I'm wrong here.

                              I think people who read scripts for a living will probably notice the difference between A4 and Letter, but it may be common to receive A4 scripts from other countries (I don't know). Probably ComicBent (or others) can give a better answer here.
                              STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Reformatting from left-justified

                                Originally posted by Centos View Post
                                Fade In is a great application. If I was a serious writer I would probably own it.



                                Just guessing... I probably wouldn't tweak them more than a 1/4" on either (or both) side(s). The width difference (I think) is going to be a bit more obvious than the length difference. Of course, there's no real "standard" so maybe I'm wrong here.

                                I think people who read scripts for a living will probably notice the difference between A4 and Letter, but it may be common to receive A4 scripts from other countries (I don't know). Probably ComicBent (or others) can give a better answer here.
                                people don't normally stock A4 paper in their offices here, at least i don't think they do. just save it as a normal 8 1/2" X 11" paper. that way if they want to print it the page won't get cut off.

                                also, A4 isn't going to represent the actual page count correctly-- i believe it's a few inches longer, right?
                                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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