Screenplay improves Final Draft FDX support

Sure they had it in there before, but now they REALLY have it in there.  With yesterday’s release of Screenplay 1.1.5, you can now import and export your Final Draft scripts with full FDX support.  According to Black Mana Studios, the FDX data remains intact, and no longer gets all futzed up (my word, not theirs).

Also new is the ability to add multiple paragraphs BEFORE the first scene.  So, if you’re aching to precede your masterwork with a quote from Shakespeare, or a recipe for Lobster Bisque, you can now do so with wild abandon. It might also be useful for character breakdowns, explanations of visual treatments, and other stuff.
The update also improves the FDX importer, and squashes a bunch of bug-a-boos.  So, if you got it, go get it!

If you’d like to read more about Screenplay, read our earlier coverage.

This app has been removed from the App Store


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11 Responses

  1. is this really necessary? what kind of real writer needs to write a screenplay on his or her iphone? I’m both a writer and an iphone user and this still strikes me as completely asinine. the people who buy this are the same kind of people who think you’re not a writer unless people see you writing at starbucks or that you’re not a director unless there are pictures of you standing behind a camera all over the internet. all this is doing is contributing to the ever-increasing vapidity, and subsequent downfall, of the quality of modern film and the industry as a whole.

  2. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the feedback. I believe you might be overlooking the apps greatest strength — It can import and export Final Draft files. This means you can write your script on your desktop machine using Final Draft, one of the most popular screenwriting application around, and then tweak it while away from your computer. I agree with you — the idea of writing a 120-page screenplay on an iPhone is totally nuts! But, when I’m away from my desk, and a laptop isn’t welcome or available, it’s nice to know I can still kick around ideas, and see them in context. This is how I’ve used the app, and I’ve found it quite valuable in that regard


  3. I’ve been using final draft for years and nonetheless this still seems like more of a novelty to me than anything else. I certainly understand wanting to be able to make tweaks or adjustments in a pinch even when away from a computer, but I don’t know….maybe it’s just my writing style, but I can’t imagine being able to create anything worthwhile on a portable device, much less get into the emotional state necessary for me to be productive. but like I said, maybe it’s just me and the way I work.

  4. I agree with Taz that writing a screenplay on device whole cloth would be nuts, but that does not render a screenwriting app useless by any stretch.

    Without straining my imagination here are three possible uses: (1) Writers — editing a screenplay (as opposed to writing one), for those who don’t want to lug around bound paper or a laptop. (2) Actors — reading and memorizing lines (see Hollywood Helper for a more purpose-built app). (3) Documentarians — rewriting scripts in the field, either as the story develops or to incorporate unforeseen changes.

    Anyone know how well Screenwriter handles the dual column AV format?

  5. Substitute Screenplay for Screenwriter in that last question.

    p.s. A bit hyperbolic to blame an app which is only a few months old for the vapidity and downfall of modern film and the industry. I would start by blaming audiences. Actually, I would start by questioning if there was ever a lack of vapidity and when the supposed halcyon days existed … before talkies? before color?

  6. Taz and jjr – you guys are right about the application.

    Tom – you are 100% right about Starbucks and camera posers! :)

  7. Hi jjr,

    I asked Aki Yifrach, the developer of Screenplay, to address your AV format question. Here’s what he said:

    It’s very tempting for me to just say “oh yes of course we’ll support it”, but being a small company, we have the luxury of being honest. I do not see it happening in the near future, simply for the reason that the device has very limited screen real-estate, and such a format will need a considerable design before being implemented.

    So, there you have it. Maybe he’ll make a dual format version once Apple finally unveils their soon-to-be-released-netbook-tablet-thingy.


  8. Thanks for checking on this Taz. My email to them has gone yet without a response.

    I don’t doubt that it’s a non-trivial rewrite to support the dual-column AV format. But I am fairly convinced that there is a more practical application for rewriting AV-formatted scripts in the field, as opposed to rewriting a standard narrative screenplay during the shoot. Goldenrod forever!

    Since you seem to have a more direct line to Aki than I do, perhaps suggest that it’s not entirely necessary to see both columns of an AV formatted script on the screen at the same time. A simple mechanism to tab back and forth would suffice in most cases, or perhaps only show both columns when in landscape mode.

    Unfortunately any purported tablet device would negate the one major advantage of the current touch devices — form factor. An iPod Touch fits in a shirt pocket or jeans pocket. Any device much larger, and my 13" MacBook is competing for my attention. The unobtrusiveness of a small touch device lends itself very well to situations like shooting a verite style documentary, or pretty much any loosely scripted type run-and-gun story.

  9. Thanks for mentioning our HollywoodHelper rehearsal app.
    Note our new features of actor editable subtext in sticky note form,
    active verb assignment via a Verb Wheel, and soon to be approved:
    the myVerbs customizable verb list for those of you who subscribe to
    the active verb method of study.

  10. I’ve always got a screenplay idea that I would love to jot down and Screenplay seems like the right fit for me, but I have just one question: Will there be any support for us FD7 users that have not been able to upgrade to the newer software? Is there support for it now? I would love to buy this app, but not if I can’t sync to my FD7.


    Thanks in advance for any answers!!

    – Julian

  11. Hi Julian,

    Nope. There won’t be any support for older versions of FInal Draft since prior to version 8, F.D. used a closed file format. Version 8 introduced an XML based file format, open to all. And that’s how Screenplay for iPhone was able to work with the files.

    Another thing to consider before making a purchase, is that Screenplay doesn’t ‘Sync’ with Final Draft. It simply allows the importing and exporting of FDX files. So, it works, but it’s not quite ‘Syncing.’ FYI, Final Draft for iPad will support synching (or some elegant form of easy import/export).

    I haven’t tried this myself, but I think this might be a way to get files from Screenplay into older versions of Final Draft (but not the other way around):

    You can export your script from Screenplay as emailed text. Then import that into a Mac app called Final Draft Tagger (don’t know if it exists for PC). Using F.D. Tagger, you can set each paragraph’s formatting (slugline, action, character, etc.) one at a time. I don’t believe it’s an automated process. Then, you can bring your new file into FInal Draft. For large scripts, it’s slow going… A.K.A. a pain in the ass.

    I can’t remember if it comes with Final Draft, or if you get it from the Final Draft website. Double check on the availability of this app before making any purchasing decisions.

    Hope that helps!