There are a ton of screenwriting software options out there in the world. With so many to choose from it can be hard to decide which is the best one to use.
While, Final Draft is considered the industry standard screenwriting software tool, used by 95% of productions in Hollywood, there are other options that do the same job, and better yet, are free.
One of those options is the free screenwriting software, Celtx. Today, we will take a look at the software and give things a breakdown to see if this is software that you should download today.
One thing that needs to be mentioned before we fully dive into this article: DO NOT WRITE YOUR SCRIPT IN A WORD DOCUMENT!
Being a screenwriter that works with a lot of first-time writers, this is something I see happen all the time. Writers who have written their script in a Word document.
If you would send your script to a producer or production company and they saw that your script was in a Word doc, there’s a 100% chance they’ll never open it.
It shows a lack of basic knowledge of how screenwriting works. A script is extremely specific in the way it’s formatted. While, yes, you can break the mold on how to tell a story, all formatting is pretty much standard.
Your script must have:
- Proper scene headings
- Action lines.
- Character Names
- Transitions (sometimes)
If you don’t know how to format correctly, something you can easily learn, then you probably didn’t take the time to learn how to write a compelling story. A producer doesn’t have enough time as it is, so don’t waste more of their time by not doing your homework first.
The good news? When you use screenwriting software, the software is designed to format things automatically for you, so you can spend less time on the way a script looks and spend more time on just telling an engaging story.
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As stated before, a great reason to download Celtx is that the software is free.
You don’t have to spend any money to get your ideas on paper. With Celtx you can download the software and immediately get to work.
With that said, if you’re looking for some in-depth features, Celtx has them too, but you’ll have to pay for those extras.
If you want to do more than just simply write a screenplay, like write a budget, put together shot lists, scheduling, and more, then you’ll have to pay, per month, for those features.
These extras start at around ten dollars a month.
Celtx has a lot of collaborative features that allow many people to work on the same script together. This is great for films that are going into production as everyone involved can see the script, make changes to it, leave notes, and more – all in real-time.
This is a great tool for student filmmakers.
Every new screenwriter should have some knowledge on how to format a script properly so if your screenwriting software isn’t working correctly, you’ll know how to make changes to get things looking and working correctly again.
While Celtx handles formatting well and is almost close to industry standards, the software still isn’t perfect.
The software will place (continued) on top of every new page, which isn’t needed.
Parentheticals in dialog should be on their own sperate line, which the software doesn’t automatically do.
Title pages are also a place where formatting can be a little different than industry standards, though to be fair, a program like Final Draft doesn’t handle title pages 100% correct either.
As an up-and-coming screenwriter, Celtx is a great option for you as it allows you to jump right into things and start writing. The icing on the cake is that its free.
Using Celtx will make you look more professional and will help you stand out from the thousands of other writers out there that choose to write their screenplays in Word Docs, really setting themselves up for failure before they even have typed…
… FADE IN.
Recommend (especially for first-time or new-ish screenwriters).