Friday, March 09, 2007


Ok, which do you use, Final Draft or Movie Magic? By placing in the Final 10 of the Screenwriting Showcase Awards, they are sending me Movie Magic as one of my prizes.

I've been an avid Final Drafter for a long time now, and don't have any real plans to change that. But at least now I'll have some kind of back-up if my computer implodes/Final Draft disk melts.

Which do you guys/gals prefer, and Y?


Aaron said...

I use Final Draft 6 and have for several years. I don't see a reason to upgrade and I don't have any complaints. I tried using Movie Magic at one point but trying to change just became annoying so I stayed with FF6. Until my computer crashes I don't see myself switching to anything else.

Thomas Crymes said...

There is no right answer. I use Movie Magic. The only good reason I heard to use it is that the support, if you need it, is better than what you get with Final Draft.

As far as I know, both put letters on the page as you type and output the correct format, so just do as you will.

Basically, if you make the switch to Movie Magic, you've made the right choice. If you decide to stay with Final Draft, you've made the right choice.

taZ said...

Well, there's no reason to change, I mean it will only be annoying until you get used to the new interface.

I use Final Draft 7 and think it's the best I tried so far. Just enough to make writing easy and advanced at the same time.

Keep it as backup or try it and see for yourself.

Sarah said...

Definitely "Final Draft". On the other hand, I haven't heard anything of Movie Magic, yet. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to check this out. But I could hardly get rid of Final Draft - that's for sure.

Lucy said...

I hate ALL writing software - it's a gimmick to get moolah out of aspiring screenwriters when formatting it yourself in MS Word does the trick just as well.

Having said that, I use Final Draft. It's the least offensive of the bunch of ones I've tried and I HAVE heard SOME producers say "You're only serious about writing if you use FD..."

Yeah right. But if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

BTW, PJ - you visited my ALL NEW blog yet?

RKBentley said...

Been using FD since FD5. As for why, ease of use. Granted FD 7 was buggy but that's why I kept FD 6.

EDDIE said...

FD6 is the only software I've ever used, or needed to. Kind of a "if it's not broke" issue, I guess. But let us know what you think of Movie Magic after you try it. Congrats on the recognition.

Emily Blake said...

I use MM. It has fewer bugs and better support. And it comes in a prettier box.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Lucy, I'm on my way over!

EB - Pretty boxes rule.

I've been on FD6 and am very happy with it. But I'll hang onto MM just in case.

The Moviequill said...

I am a die hard tried and true Final Draft user... until I grabbed MM two weeks ago. Like any software there is a bit of a learning curve, but we're all intelligent people and it wasn't that much of one. Now that I am into using MM I like it better actually. Call me a convert I guess

japhy99 said...

I've only ever used MM, so I can't compare the two, but MM does seem to work out pretty well. Not that it's gotten me a three-picture deal at Paramount, but it's pretty intuitive, and it makes things look like an actual script anyway.

Clint said...

I use Final Draft 5 and Celtx. I had upgraded through to Final Draft 7 but hadn't remembered to decommission one computer before formating the hard drive and another had the hard drive fail- Final Draft 7 would no longer work for me. It will run with the disk in place but that had been misplaced and all I had was the disk for version 5. I probably could have phone and tried to convince the Final Draft folks that I wasn't the criminal that they obviously think I am but I just put the old disk in and use that. It does the job.

If you are going to be doing any producing or directing yourself, one thing to keep in mind is that Movie Magic has better integration with EP/Movie Magic Budgeting and Scheduling software. For my indie TV pilot, my Production Manager and First AD both wanted the script in Movie Magic format because it worked better with the scheduling and budgeting software. The production Manager had both on his system and he had to export as simple text from Final Draft and them import and save in Movie Magic... then he spent the better part of a day ironing out the myriad of formating and tagging differences.

So, if you are just looking to sell the script and walk away then Final Draft seems to have a small but real edge in number of users within the industry. If you are going to go the way of indie producer on a low budget shoot then writing it in Movie Magic will save a day or two in there and make your PM and 1st AD happier. If you are going to go all rebel no-budget then you might want to take a look at Celtx which is an open source alternative that is growing to include a LOT of post-production and production goodness. Just keep in mind that Celtx doesn't yet have act breaks and so needs some work arounding for television writing.

With Celtx there is absolutely no reason to use the abomination of Word and macros.