Thursday, February 15, 2007

Movie Magic Screenwriter

I don't know if this is old news to any of you but Movie Magic Screenwriter 6.0 is out next month.

I've used MMS for what must be at least 5 years now after buying version 4.0. Updates have now moved this on to 4.7, but since then I've heard nothing about the next major version (I've no idea what happened to version 5).

I think Movie Magic is great. It has NEVER EVER CRASHED on me. It formats everything for me and saves/exports in enough formats; native, rtf, pdf, ASCII,and a ton of others. It will even convert to final draft version 4 format (although I'm sure no one uses version 4 anymore). The formatting is correct "out of the box" (as far as I know) and I've never had to touch any settings. The inline script notes are a great help and it even has the silly stuff like that talking robots to read your script back to you.

From what I've heard the "Final Draft industry standard" thing isn't as true as it used to be, and FD's support is infamous.

I have used both Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter before and MSS wins by a mile, however in the interests of fairness I will download the latest Final Draft demo and post back if I decide to eat humble pie :)

Either way I'm still looking forward to the upgrade.



4 comment(s):

TonyB said...

I'd be very interested to hear what you think of the latest Final Draft (version 7) when you’ve tried out the demo. I use FD version 6 and I’m at the stage when I either upgrade to version 7 or try something new.

I’m very fickle with software, always looking for improvements!

I keep hearing good things about Movie Magic Scriptwriter - they seem to wait until FD releases a new version, study its weaknesses and then release a new version of Movie Magic, hoping to attract disillusioned FD users.

Another package I hear good reports of is Sophocles, very flexible, user friendly and comparatively cheap. The main things it lacks however are the script planning and visualisation tools of the more expensive packages, as well as all the handy templates that FD and MM include.

Chris (ukscriptwriter) said...

From what I've heard FD is very buggy and support is poor (although I could be wrong).

I've never seen Sophocles, but if all you want is formatting and like MMS, you could go for Hollywood Screenwriter, which is just MMS without the fancy production stuff. The downside of this is that you need the CD in the drive evry time you use it. With MMS (providing you have a web connectio) you can register it on 3 computers using their online DB so you don't need the CD when you use it (so I guess you could use it on a 4th computer with the CD).

This is great for me as I have it installed at home and work (I sometimes use it at lunch time).

The only time I have used MMS support was when I needed these install credits reset (I didn't uninstall correctly on another machine) and the turnaround was fantastic.

borderless said...

I first bought Screenwriter in 1999. I've been the Australian distributor of Movie Magic Screenwriter for about five years now. The reason I became the distributor was that the local guy selling Final Draft was offering Screenwriter, too... and when people would contact him to buy it, he'd say, "No, get Final Draft, it's much better."

The thing he didn't mention was that his markup on Final Draft was outrageous.

Being the distributor, I've kept up with both products. And I'm here to tell you, Movie Magic Screenwriter wins by a country mile. Even version 4.7 is still better than Final Draft's version 7.0. And the new version 6.0 (due out soon) is a major upgrade.

I consider Final Draft to be the McDonald's of pro screenwriting software. Sure, a lot of people are using it... but there's no way it's the best quality product out there.

Admittedly, I'm biased. But I'm a producer with a production company, and I'm not out to sell software. We sell it because it's the best there is, pure and simple.

One other thing I've discovered:

Anyone who uses Final Draft and says it's better than Screenwriter (or "the best there is") NEVER TRIED SCREENWRITER. I've asked hundreds of people, and the answer is ALWAYS the same.

Those who try both, get Screenwriter.

Happy writing from Embryo Films.

Chris (ukscriptwriter) said...

I agree.

I'm a beta test user for version 6 and agree that it is even better than the current version (although I haven't managed to contribute to the beta testing much of late).