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screenwriting

Oh, another application for screenwriters. Before you wonder about niche-dedicated applications, think about that day you had an epiphany that would be an awesome movie. One of those you would pay twice to watch, like you did with Avatar. Then you looked for an application to write a screenplay only to find out it would cost you more than what you’d expect it to sell for. So you opened your everyday word processor and began typing your story. As you’re finished, you sent to a few movie agents.

You never got a reply, even after your mother got high hopes that her child would become famous. That’s because writing a great story is not enough. The screenwriting business also requires your script to to follow a strict presentation style, which those expensive apps help achieving. Fountain changed the table, allowing regular Jacks to write screenplays in plain text. Slugline takes the game to the next level.

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Screenwriting is not for the weak of heart. Writing the next blockbuster to break into Sunset Blvd is no easy task, and the required applications to do the job often come with an expensive price tag. The film industry itself mostly forces you to use a specific formatting for your scripts and spend more than 200 bucks on an application that is not even that good.

Highland is the prime resource for screenwriters that use the Fountain syntax to write their screenplays. It’s a minimalist, almost distraction-free writing environment that is closer to iA Writer or Byword rather than any other screenwriting application. So if you have any interest in learning a little bit about the struggles to write down your favorite films or have no clue what is this Fountain thing, keep reading.

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FADE IN on a young writer seated at his desk, his face alight with the joy of inspiration. He scribbles furiously on a notepad, trying to capture the magic of his movie idea. Outside his office window, a full moon prods him on.

Later, with his idea captured in handwritten notes, he decides it’s time to start typing. “If I’m going do this right,” he thinks, “I better buy some screenwriting software.” Research reveals that the leading software, Final Draft, costs a whopping $239. Our hero is not a professional writer though, so there’s no way he can justify dropping $239 to support an inspirational whim. He searches for something else, something reasonable, and — dare he think it? — something better.

His search takes him to The Mac App Store, where he finds, for $29.99, a brand new product called Movie Draft SE, and as he presses the buy button, he wonders to himself, “Will this reasonably priced app help take my script from inspiration to completion or will it frustrate me to the point where I abandon my award-winning idea before it can reach the second act?”

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