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Complications Ensue:
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I've been relearning Movie Magic Scheduling. Lisa and I are applying for production financing for a dark drama of ours with the federal and provincial agencies, and our line producer needs to know how much time we're shooting in each location. So I'm trying to work up a budget.

This is really another post about Movie Magic Screenwriter vs. Final Draft. I've always preferred Final Draft. It works intuitively on a Mac. I've always found Movie Magic Screenwriter to behave like a PC program ported over to the Mac. The reason people keep telling me to use Screenwriter is that production managers like the way it integrates with Scheduling.

Guess what? It doesn't. When I try to import my MMSW file into MMS, very little information makes it through, and a lot of that is wrong. For example, if I have a slugline like NOVAK HOUSE - FRONT ENTRY, it will only import the NOVAK HOUSE part. For example, if a character is mentioned in the action, it assumes that character is actually in the scene. Often, they are not. So I just spent a day going through manually entering all the missing data into Scheduling.

Moreover, Scheduling now imports from Final Draft files. So there is no reason to suffer with Screenwriter if you prefer Final Draft.



Alex you have selective hearing usually and on this case especially. The people who prefer Movie Magic for series (me included) do so generally because Final Draft's customer service is legendary atrocious. And Movie Magic's is awesome.

And "The guy learning the program" isn't the poster boy. Why not ask actual A.D.'s? You must know a few of them.

By Blogger DMc, at 11:59 AM  

Ignore this guy's comments. I know him. He has a vendetta against Final Draft.

By Blogger Rant, at 1:56 PM  

The theory behind Movie Magic software, though, is that you shouldn't NEED an experienced, professional AD, right? Isn't it widely marketed to DIY indie filmmakers?

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 2:03 PM  

By all means, yeah. Ignore the guy who's used both programs for 10 years. Trust "Rant" -- who registered an anonymous handle with no profile information to counter.

Jesus, Final Draft can't even oppo spin right.

By Blogger DMc, at 12:13 AM  

And just because Rant pisses me off so much, hey, it's not like saying Final Draft is bad software is a rare thing.

By Blogger DMc, at 12:44 AM  

I will just say that in my experience, the reason it's so crucial for Entertainment Partners to have excellent customer service is because their programs are badly designed and non-intuitive. I hear you about Final Draft's customer service, but usually I can figure out how to do something on Final Draft by trying the obvious thing out. I often have to call customer service when using an Entertainment Partners program to do things that ought to be completely obvious.

I actually did ask experienced users of the program, and got the response, "Yeah, you can't trust MMS's import feature, you have to enter everything by hand." I disagree that Screenwriter's customer service is meant to be its principal selling point. The point of making three linked programs is the way they integrate. Except when, you know, they don't, and you have to enter everything by hand.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 1:56 PM  

Have any of you used Fade In? I'm curious to hear what you (Alex, DMc, et al.) think of it.

Fade In - Features

Fade In - Comparison

(I'm not affiliated with the Fade In developer, and I don't have a dog in the FD vs. MMS fight -- I'm not a professional screenwriter)

By Blogger deanareeno, at 10:40 AM  

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