Screenwriters know the panic all too well: Their 125-page masterpiece is just five pages over the typical screenplay length for a feature film, leaving their work somewhere between the realm of never-to-be-seen or, at best, a producer’s trash can. So with margin change after margin change, fonts reduced, line heights diminished until words are nearly sitting atop each other, page numbers duplicated and the screenplay’s format looking strangely stretched on the special lightweight paper purchased to fool those who pick the script up, the script has been successfully “cheated,” right?
With some studios now retyping the script to check pagination and the methods of cheating all the more apparent with the world’s growing familiarity with word processing, “cheating the script” has become a fruitless labor and a waste of time.
Luckily, the people at Write Brothers Inc. have the solution to the screenwriter’s maddening travails: Streamline for Movie Magic Screenwriter, a software program that analyzes a screenplay, finds small changes that can be made to trim its excess material and, in the process, lower its page count. With Streamline, the analysis and deletion of everything from words and trailing lines to paragraphs and transitions marks an end to script cheating, making an honest, quick and easy process out of what was once a major pain for screenwriter’s editing their own scripts.
According to Stephen Greenfield, a Write Brothers’ executive, the new software marks a bold direction for the way screenwriters edit their scripts. “Streamline is the future of script editing. The writing process may remain the same but Streamline is the first tool that helps to point out areas where editing can affect length,” he says. The efficiency of the program, he adds, allows a bigger improvement to happen for screenwriters. “I believe that the significant amount of time saved by writers trying to moderate length will be put to better creative use by freeing writers to improve other areas of their scripts. Some early users of Streamline have indicated that Streamline is already getting them to focus on being more succinct in their writing, which is generally a good thing.”
Visit http://www.screenplay.com/p-60-streamline.aspx for more information.