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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm reading a lot of writing samples right now, all emailed to me. Mysteriously, most of them seem to come with separate title page files.

Having a separate title page when you're emailing a script defeats the purpose of a title page.

More importantly, it makes you look incompetent. All script formatting programs have title page functions. For heaven's sake, learn how to use them. For example, in Final Draft, just click DOCUMENT > TITLE PAGE and there you are. You can even important your agency's logo if necessary.

Then when you PDF your script, as you should, be sure to click the "print title page" box so that it includes the title page in the PDF.

If you're only using MS Word, you can create a separate title page section, and restart page numbering on your first script page.

Agency assistants: if your clients can't figure the tech out, help them!

UPDATE: As Steve points out below, the original Final Draft 6 did not save the title page in the Save to PDF function. You had to print it to a PDF with "Print title page" clicked.

Now, you can get the patch from Adobe. Or upgrade to Final Draft 7. Or, continue to use the Print function instead of the Save to PDF function.

Labels: ,

12 Comments:

even in final draft?

i cut writers a little slack because i still have problems with title pages when i save to pdf, but i haven't really run it down.

mark

By Blogger Mef, at 12:38 PM  

A title page in Final Draft is easy. It's under Document -> Title Page. Any procrastinator worth his/her salt should find it in about 5 seconds.

By Blogger Tim W., at 1:12 PM  

There are plenty of available programs that will allow you to merge pdf files together, also.

For example, PC users:
PDF Redirect

And MAC users:
PDF Studio

It takes a little tinkering, but you can get title page merged with script in seconds, once you learn how to do it.

By Blogger Mowery, at 1:17 PM  

Out of curiosity, why are you reading writing samples?

By Blogger Andy M., at 1:51 PM  

Ah, yes, you picked up on that, did you, Andy?

Future post. Soon. Good news.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 2:07 PM  

"I see," said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

By Blogger Andy M., at 2:10 PM  

Andy beat me to it.

Not a related tale, but the other night, after watching Ugly Betty, my girlfriend points out that Daniel seems to always be in a state of realization with regards to his character flaws, but never actually adjusts his behavior. She said it was like a crazy person, doing the same thing over and over again and wondering why the result is always the same.

I reach over to my end table, flip open Crafty TV Writing to page 24 like it was bookmarked, and read her the section about characters who never change. She looks at the book cover, smiles and replies "Maybe I should be watching TV with Alex Epstein instead."

By Blogger Brian, at 2:27 PM  

One problem the people sending you stuff might be having is that in pre-patch Final Draft 6 the title page will not save with the document, and thus export to PDF. You need to get the patch to make it work and, frankly, some writers aren't so savvy on the software side of things.

By Blogger Steve Peterson, at 2:51 PM  

yeah up into recently i was running fd5.

still managed to screw something up with my 7.1.3 but i'm sure the error is human

By Blogger Mef, at 5:42 PM  

To be fair, the FD6 problem wasn't a users are dumb problem -- it was a Final Draft releases buggy software problem. I tore my hair out trying to get FD6 to print title pages to PDF (and retain those changes in between saves) before I figured out there was a problem with the program, not me. And I'm savvy enough to hack some code or build up a computer from a motherboard.

By Blogger Steve Peterson, at 7:33 PM  

i'm with steve, and the stuff he said about the computers etc.

By Blogger Mef, at 11:32 AM  

Thank you thank you thank you for that title page tip. I have been trying to manually create a title page for days in Final Draft which just looks ugly. I just bookmarked your blog just because of that tip!!! And because the rest of your blogging is very entertaining as well. :-)

By Blogger ilana, at 2:17 AM  

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