In Praise of Fountain

I’m getting back to screenwriting.

It’s mostly short film or small fun sketches I’ve been meaning to do more of, but I’m no longer writing screenplays in any of the traditional applications.

When one considers the places you would usually see the screenwriter work in, one would probably name Final Draft, Movie Magic Screenwriter or Celtx. For me, it’s a rather new (comparatively) writing language named Fountain.

I started looking into alternatives other than my previous writing app, Celtx. I realized that if Celtx were to stop development, I’d have no way to really take the screenplays out to another app. None of the other apps out there really have very good exporting tools, outside of taking them to PDFs. I was quite interested, however, when hearing about the Fountain writing language as an almost perfect solution to the problem.

So a screenplay that would look like this on my iPhone:

Fountain Before

Would turn out looking something like this:

Fountain After

Once I got the hang of writing with it, I was estatic. I took some time and even converted all my Celtx based projects (mostly old projects, but I still wanted to have them in the new format) over to Fountain using an application named Trelby (Windows/Linux only). There’s even an app that can help me convert it to Final Draft, if need be- Highland (Mac only). Hell, even the phenomenal Scrivener has support for Fountain.

So for now, I will say that I am very, very happy in the new workflow- it’s making writing so much easier. The Fountain files are just plain text files, so any program that can handle text files automatically becomes a screenwriting program for me.

And as a nerdy, nerdy screenwriter- I love it.

GoPro

patrick the producer
I didn’t realize how fun it was to shoot still photos with my new Go Pro Hero3 until I had brought it out for a film shoot.

It was primarily for BTS footage, but every once in a while, I flipped it into camera mode and had it take a few shots. This one, of Patrick Edwards, the producer on the film, turned out surprisingly well.

Still experimenting with the GoPro and seeing what the best results I can get out of the diminutive camera.

Screenwriting and the Script Frenzy

Countless nights. Countless days. I forced myself not to play video games- only playing Battlefield 3 when friends wanted to play with me. Games that I have been looking for, like Mass Effect 3, were barely touched throughout this month. My brand new Playstation Vita was only picked up twice, only to download new applications for it. There wasn’t a day where I was writing a screenplay. I couldn’t stop myself. And it was wonderful. Script Frenzy, at least for me, is now over, with a total of…

Total Script Frenzy page count: 178 pages! Fuck yes!

178 pages. 178 pages of script. I didn’t think I would write so much, but once I started… I couldn’t stop myself. Hell, there were times I wanted to slack off, where I kept saying to myself “Okay, after this page, I’ll stop and watch a movie or something.” But the movie never came. I just continued to write, write, and write. That night, I finished one of my screenplays, writing until 3 am until it was done.

The words “The End” never felt so great, but I was eager to just go back and start editing it. At that point, I forced myself to go to bed. I had work that day at 10 am. But I didn’t care. I felt like I had accomplished something new during that time, or rather, feel that sense of accomplishment I hadn’t felt in years. I compiled all the pages I had written today- counting them up in one file. Right after I had counted it, I paused for a second, reviewing over the work I’ve done so far. And then I started writing again, pouring through my work. It felt fantastic.

I originally started to write in the sixth grade. I started writing some ridiculous screenplays back then. I still have them all- I pour through them from time to time to amuse myself, to see what I had come up with as a teenager with an overreactive imagination. Back then, one person was my biggest influence, my biggest motivator to continue writing screenplays. It was Taylor.

Taylor always cheered me on to write- back then, I mostly wrote silly comedies, things that I knew would make Taylor laugh. And I loved making him laugh- his face filled with glee as I read stories aloud to him. I remember riding along with him in his Black Mini- sitting in the passenger seat as I read hastily written scripts on lined paper. I would be watching for Taylor’s reaction- that sense of relief and joy I got when he cackled in joy, slamming his palm down on the steering wheel as he proclaimed his love for the screenplay. I could think of no other joy then that very moment. After his death, my motivation to write… dried up.

I would come up with ideas here and there, but my need to get it down on paper was nonexistent. I did write the last Script Frenzy in 2011, but even then, right after I finished, I would stop completely writing. It felt like an obligation back then. I feel like that’s gone now. I’m writing screenplays every day, even if its for only five or ten minutes. Maybe in the morning, as I’m reading my news headlines of the day, I’ll flip over to Celtx (the amount of love I’ve professed about this app is bordering on an endorsement deal. I seriously wish they would have paid me for the amount of times i’ve talked to people about the app) and start to write, or edit things. I’ve finished counting my pages for Script Frenzy, and I still want to write more. It’s no longer an obligation to write- I just want to keep writing and writing more. I love this feeling. During this month, I went to go to visit Taylor. I brought the iPad along, reading to him passages of my scripts to him. Passages he would have loved.

Reading to Taylor

I’m sure he loved it.

Script Frenzy 2012 Update #3

I didn’t write jack shit. Yeah, because I’m only 7 pages away from my goal, I decided to take the week off from writing. Used the time I did spend writing to edit some things from my scripts as well as plan ahead to see where I want to go with some of them. I’m still proud of myself to where I have gone with my screenplays. Starting tomorrow, I’ll probably continue writing. But tonight, Mass Effect 3 waits for me. I had it waiting for me until I was able to hit the goal.

Script Frenzy 2012 Update #2

Script Frenzy Update #2

I can’t think of a more apt thing to say now other than: holy fuck. I don’t know what came over me the last week. I’ve been spending every minute writing more for my ScriptFrenzy. Again, I have to hand it to Celtx for its syncing feature: whenever I could, I would pop open at least one version of the software. If I was stuck in line someplace, the iPhone version would be brought up to make some notes or quick changes. The iPad version would be brought up during breaks and lunch at work. The Mac version when I was at home. I just kept writing and writing. It was perfect. I hadn’t written a single page in the last six months. Call it writers block, call it focusing on work, but I had to do something, and this friendly competition seemed to have done the trick. And I still want to write more. I’ve been writing four feature length movies, two of which are approaching 70 pages each. I want to see how much I can do through the end of the month. Maybe I’ll finish at least one of them.

Script Frenzy 2012

Last year, I was really proud of myself as I completed the Script Frenzy competition. Think of it as Nanowrimo but for screenwriters. If you don’t know what that is, I’m too lazy to explain it, go ask someone else. Last year I was able to make about 103 pages for random scripts. This year I want to try to break my record and see how well I do. I will be posting updates here but instead, on the script frenzy website located here. Ill be working on more than one script because frankly, my mind goes all over the place when I write. I’m hoping to (possibly) release one here, as I don’t plan on shooting it. Wish me luck.