This is a general top-level overview of the filmmaking software that is currently available.

nextPix conducted a general market survey that includes everything that is going on that is in any way reasonably relevant to Independent and/or Mainstream Filmmaking. This overview does not include everything that exists, but it includes most everything that is useful, except for the most rudimentary, lower-tier programs. They are grouped in functional categories, as per The Writer's Store. Most of this information is reproduced from their site courtesy of them, with a few simplifications and modifications.

As nextPix is an affiliate of The Writer's Store, we recommend that you visit their site for the most current, exact information, and give them your writing software business, as they are good people, and a pleasure to work with.

Filmmaking Software Notes:

Screenplay Systems is the Vertical Integration leader in the industry with their "Movie Magic" suite of products which include Screenwriting, Script Breakdown, Scheduling, and Budgeting.

However "Final Draft" is at this point considered to be the industry leader in straight screenwriting, and now includes the previously separate standalone program "3x5" which was by itself a powerful "virtual corkboard" brainstorming/mindmapping/outlining program, which has now been folded in as the "Scene Navigator" function mentioned below in the Final Draft description section.

Another "mindmapping" program which we highly recommend and is now being sold on The Writer's Store site is "Inspiration," a program which we have used and loved for many years, and still use for many brainstorming and free-form diagramming/flow-charting applications. It is now in Version 6, and on CD.

There are also some high praises and loyal followings for two other screenwriting programs, "Scriptware," and "Hollywood Screenplay," which uses the code of the original scriptwriting program "Movie Master" but which has now been modernized and updated.

There used to be companies that had vertical product lines which included Storyboarding cross-linked to Script and Schedule, but now the only Storyboarding programs are standalones, and all the relevant ones are included here.

There are some famous names in the world of Hollywood Story Structure Theory/Live Seminars, and there has been some multimedia development in those areas.

•John Truby has now taken his famous Story Course and turned it into a CD-ROM product, "Blockbuster 4.0" mentioned below.

•Syd Field's Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

Syd Field's perennial bestseller on the art and craft of screenwriting. This title is available at
•Syd Field's The Screenwriter's Workbook
Here is your very own hands-on workshop. The book that allows you to participate in the processes that have made Syd Fields workshops invaluable to beginners and working professionals alike. This title is available at
Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop
This two-tape instruction video provides a concise yet adequately detailed summation of Field's many books on the subject of screenwriting. This VHS two(2) tape set is available at
•Robert McKee's - Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
McKee puts into book form what he has been teaching screenwriters for years in his seminar on story structure, which is considered by many to be a prerequisite to the film biz. This title is available at

(Except where noted, the information and items listed below are available from, The Writer's Store )


1. Outlining, Brainstorming & Reference Software

This broad category of software addresses general project creation, brainstorming particular project issues, and reference sourcing for the creation, marketing, and legal aspects of writing and production. The software here can be used for comedy, songwriting, product development, and marketing your work. Project outlining, organizing, structuring, prototyping, legal referencing, and contact management gives writers, producers, and interactive multimedia creators the power to know what they've got, where they're going, and who they are going to sell it to.



(Note: Final Draft now includes the previously separate standalone program "3x5" which was by itself a powerful "virtual corkboard" brainstorming/mind-mapping/outlining program, which has now been folded in as the "Scene Navigator" function mentioned in the Final Draft description.)

Inspiration 6 Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Inspiration 6 is a great catalyst, appropriate for any type of writing or media endeavor. Organize stories, media presentations, web ideas, reports, essays or nonfiction writing. Inspiration 6 assists in the preliminary steps necessary to form a solid structure. This visual software enables the user to picture their ideas in diagram form and capture underlying text details associated with that structure. This combination of visual and linear thinking helps one organize a project and enhances creativity. Brainstorming is so much easier with Inspiration. Start with the main idea and branch out. Arrange ideas, group and clarify them. List topics and sub-topics and link them together. The visual map view and outline view are interconnected, so it's easy to jump back and forth to see how structure is progressing. No matter what the task is at hand, Inspiration 6 will help to generate a solid step outline to take any project to the next level.
A Zillion Kajillion Rhymes and Phrases Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Looking for that perfect rhyme, or clever turn of phrase? You're only a mouse-click away with AZK Rhymes and Phrases, the rhyming dictionary and phrase thesaurus software used by Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Pulitzer Prize winners. AZK Rhymes instantly finds single, double and triple rhymes on zillions of words. AZK Phrases boasts over 10,000 clichés, catch phrases & idioms. A "must have" for songwriting, poetry, brainstorming, and other creative writing.
Writer's Blocks V2.0 Platforms:  
Buy it at The Writer's Store
This new version of Writer's Blocks has so many new features there isn't enough room to even start (see More Information below). Writer's Blocks will help you develop and organize your story ideas faster than ever before. With Writer's Blocks you enter each scene or story element on a separate Writer's Block. Arranging your blocks with drag and drop ease, you can quickly and easily organize your story into a coherent outline. Powerful yet simple. Its intuitive and consistent interface means you'll be productive from the start. Brainstorm in a free form style, then organize later. Develop your story structure by arranging your story elements under user defined column headings. Print in Outline mode or to 3X5 card stock. Whether you're writing a screenplay, novel, article, stage play, speech, or research paper, you'll be more productive with Writer's Blocks!
Think, Speak and Write Better!
Wordsmart, Volume D CD-ROM
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Ever feel like you're at a loss for words? With Wordsmart, you'll add more than 5,000 new words to your vocabulary and learn how to use them correctly. With more than five hours of interactive audio, Wordsmart helps you improve all of your communication skills -- your ability to think, speak and write. Plus, it's a great program for students looking to increase their SAT or GRE scores. Wordsmart is engaging and entertaining, and offers five different ways of learning, including exercises that resemble computer arcade games. Each component is designed to teach the nuances of words, as well as how to spell them. A human voice provides correct pronunciation, usage, meaning and history for all the words contained on Wordsmart. This CD-ROM package will help you on your quest to acquire and retain a more varied vocabulary.
ComedyWriter Platforms:  
Buy it at The Writer's Store
ComedyWriter is a Windows-based program for creating humorous scenes, characters, situations, dialogue, expressions, and punch lines. ComedyWriter mimics the thought processes and interactions of the best comedic writing teams by placing the reliable tools of the trade--substitution, surprise, exaggeration, shock, understatement, and the play on words--at your command. ComedyWriter is not a list of jokes! ComedyWriter includes hundreds of fill-in-the-blank scenes and situations which supply the raw ideas (you can add your own at any time). Extensively researched databases -- the "Lists" complete the picture with tens of thousands of topical, literate snippets from popular culture and history. You'll never run out of great material with ComedyWriter!
IdeaFisher 6.0 Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Brainstorm! No longer are creative thinking and your future left to accidental discovery, serendipity, or the muses. IdeaFisher, the unique computer-based concept tool brings ideas to your mind through a proven, focused process of association and reference. Develops story ideas, products, company names, as well as advertising, marketing and commercial projects. The QBank module has "expert system questions" to focus you on the task at hand. Switch to IdeaBank, (see Writer's Edge below) a thesaurus of associated words and phrases, to explore every nuance of your project as NotePad records everything you do during the session for reference later.

FilmProfit Guide to Film Distribution Deals
Tools for Planning Successful Films

Buy it at The Writer's Store
For independent filmmakers, crunching the numbers is just as crucial as casting the right actor. FilmProfit software was designed to help producers, directors and writers develop a solid business plan by calculating net and gross profit projections, as well as a film's market potential. Whether you're raising production funds, or puzzling over distribution deals, this computer program is for you. Simply plug in the figures and FilmProfit will compute the potential performance of your film - an excellent feature for attracting investors. If you're at the Deal Stage, you can input offers into FilmProfit and get a visual projection of what they really mean. Plus, "A Guide to Film Distribution Deals" accompanies each copy of FilmProfit software. This book contains valuable information detailing industry practices and the varying types of distributor/producer deals, distribution fees and compensation packages that currently exist in the film and television markets.

Outlining, Brainstorming & Reference Software FAQs:

Q: How does an "outlining" program work?

A: Basically these types of programs emulate the index card approach to organizing. They graphically set up "cards" on-screen which can be edited and shuffled to achieve the desired effect. Some provide linking functions to indicate logic flow or associations and will display your data in standard linear outline form also.

Q: Can I take my outline data directly into my word processing program?

A: Some programs export data to ASCII (plain vanilla text readable by any other program) or directly into a popular word processing program. With Writer's Blocks, a Windows based outliner, you can created a set of "index cards" capturing all the scenes of your screenplay or chapters of a book, and cut and paste between the outliner and whatever program your using for the master text.

Q: What is "reference" software?

A: These are essentially a database programs setup for a particular purpose. Some come with data already in them such as Movie Buff with Hollywood Connection Kit which allows the user to enter new contact data. Other programs like rhyming dictionaries allow quick look-up of required material on-line. They typically have search engines which allow the user to look up the data in job specific ways.


2. Story Structure, Plot, & Character Development Software

Story development software products address the many issues involving dramatic structure, plot, character and conflict. Orchestrating these elements can be a daunting task. Whether you are writing scripts, screenplays, sitcoms, fiction, prose, interactive, or multimedia these elements have been and continue to be the driving forces behind effective storytelling. The software here will help you organize, analyze, and control dramatic elements in YOUR story for maximum impact.



StoryCraft Platforms:  
Buy it at The Writer's Store
StoryCraft was designed to help the writer discover and incorporate the basic dramatic elements found in virtually every quality piece of fiction. The just-released newest version of StoryCraft (ver.3.0) is more powerful and user-friendly than ever before. StoryCraft's ultimate power source is its popular Jarvis Method, which stimulates your fullest creativity while guiding your story through each stage of masterful story crafting, including Concept Design, Category Selection, Type/Genre Determination, Environment/Characters Description, and Structure Creation. At every step of the writing process, you'll find tutors guiding you and directing your writing. In addition, word-processing boxes allow you to fully develop every idea, every character description, every world description, and every plot description AS YOU THINK OF THEM! And finally, at the touch of a button, all your work is combined into one completely logically arranged text file that's ready to refine into its most finished state. Incorporating 3-Act, modern, and mythical approaches, it's like having the world's best literary teachers, past and present, on-line, 24 hours a day.

StoryBuilder Platforms:  
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Build on a solid foundation! The creation of stories that entertain and sell is built on established dramatic principles. Plot your way to successful story writing with this simple-to-use utility. StoryBuilder helps you create three-dimensional characters, vivid settings, riveting conflicts, and satisfying resolutions so you can concentrate on telling your tale. StoryBuilder is easy to customize and easy to use with extensive on-screen help and a comprehensive manual. The familiar Windows format and fill-in-the-blank forms make it easier to concentrate on any part of your story. Thousands of suggestions help you push beyond writer's block. With all the details expertly captured in StoryBuilder, your imagination and style can soar.
Dramatica Pro Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Even though the theory behind the product took ten years to formulate, it won't take you long to be richly rewarded for your efforts. Newly re-written terminology in layman’s terms makes for a much shorter learning curve. Deep and feature rich it is a creative partner for professional level screenwriters, playwrights, novelists and short story writers. The Dramatica Query System collects information about your story at two levels, Objective and Subjective, then weaves them together to tell you the consequences, pitfalls, and issues involved in creating a "bullet proof" story. Shapes essential dramatic elements before writing begins and as it evolves. Develops your characters with the right blend of motivation, method and purpose. The Dramatica Story Engine tracks dramatic relationships to keep Plot, Theme and Genre working together for maximum effect. New Step-Outline Templates bridge the gap between other traditional models of story they've studied and Dramatica's fresh approach to story. New End Result feature allows users to export their story treatment--containing the scene-by-scene narrative plot synopsis (novelists) or treatment (scriptwriters)--into their favorite word processor (i.e. Movie Magic Screenwriter, Microsoft Word or Corel's WordPerfect) for further rewriting. More features include 60+ story examples, 30+ Reports, extensive on-line theory and use help, Theme Browser, Scene Creation, Export to Movie Magic Screenwriter or word processor, and Dramatica Users Group BBS software.
Blockbuster 4.0 Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
John Truby's unique approach to story structure has been transformed into a multi-level story organization and instructional software tool. Access Truby’s complete Story Structure Class (a $200 value) online at the click of a button. Use Blockbuster Coach to give you the tricks and techniques of famous movies. Optional Genre Libraries connect seamlessly to Write a Blockbuster and tell you everything you need to learn and execute the most popular story forms. New! POV feature support additional story methods such as Mythological, Jungian, Existential, and Tarot. Other unique features include his Premise Developer, Seven Keys of character development, 22 Steps of plot development, 3-Track Dialogue Coach, Story Doctor, Central Casting, 16 on-line examples of hit scripts, and many other powerful tools. Smash your writer's block, create great characters that drive your story, weave a surprising and compelling plot. Write a Blockbuster will help you tie together the hundreds of elements needed for a great script.
Plots Unlimited Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Clobber writer's block! This unique program puts thousands of inventive plot and character combinations at your fingertips. Use it to brainstorm, build plots, subplots, or fill holes in works-in-progress. Start simply with characters, story type or theme to select a main conflict. Then generate associated lead-ins and lead-outs to form a complete story outline! Over 13,000 MasterPlots. More than 5,600 interlinked story segments. Created by successful screen/TV/stage writer Tom Sawyer, Plots Unlimited is a MUST for writers of all genres, for teachers and students.
WritePro Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
WritePro is the award-winning creative writing tutorial program that enables even beginners to use professional techniques for creating believable heroes and villains, dramatic conflict, suspenseful scenes, and sparkling dialogue. You'll be guided step-by-step by prize-winning playwright/novelist/award-winning teacher Sol Stein, editor for such literati as James Baldwin, David Frost, Jack Higgins, Budd Schulberg. WritePro works interactively. You tell it what you've got, WritePro tells you how a great writer would improve it. Export results out to your word processor. Opening Scene, Dialogue Doctor, Love Scenes, how to characterize through action, how to show instead of tell, how to create villains that charm and surprise the reader are just some of the many skills you'll learn with WritePro.
Fiction Master Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Easily import existing scenes, fix problems, create memorable characterization, page-turning plots, and enhance dialogue guided by award-winning teacher of dialogue and prize-winning playwright/editor Sol Stein. Contains Actors Studio method for developing instant drama in scenes, the key to swift characterization, secrets of successful plotting, the Dialogue Doctor, and techniques unavailable in other software. Includes an entire module on "Overcoming obstacles to publication". Pop-up Authors Journal will capture notes on-the-fly. So easy to install and use it's like having a writing expert always ready to help.
FirstAid for Writers Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
"A writer's version of 9-1-1," is what Compute magazine called this Sol Stein program. Contains five full modules with more than 60 subject sections. You go directly to the section covering the problem you need to solve. The Gearing-Up Module jump starts your imagination, shows how professionals imagine extraordinary scenes, how to use backstory, and the "secret snapshot" technique for giving your audience an emotional experience. Quickfix is for the most common faults even among experienced writers. The Intervention Module fixes major problems, including erotic scenes.

Story Structure, Plot, & Character Development Software FAQs:

Q: What is story development software?

A: This genre of software is designed to help fiction, film, and media writers create, organize, and analyze story content before and/or during the actual writing.

Q: How do story development programs work?

A: We like to break them into three basic styles: Expert Systems, Reference Systems, and Modeling Systems. Some programs incorporate one or more of these systems. Expert Systems revolve around series of questions, created by an "expert", leading you through a process which ensures that you deal with important issues. Reference Systems are thesaurus-like programs which, when prompted by you with a word, phrase or idea, respond with related words/phrases/ideas you may not have thought of. Modeling Systems ask questions about your concept and relay information on the consequences of the relationships which make your story work.

Q: Do I actually write my story in a story development program?

A: Not really. The word processing capabilities supplied are rudimentary. Their purpose is to make sure you know where you are headed with your idea. However, you can bring the work you produced in your story development program into your favorite word processing program for further embellishment and editing.

Q: Will story development programs work for non-fiction writers?

A: Only if you want to apply the characteristics of fiction writing such as plot, theme, conflict, antagonist and protagonist to your work.

Q: Won't a story development program make my writing formulaic?

A: In writing as well as in music, it helps to know the rules before improvising. Departures from the norm are powerful and stimulating if there is an awareness of craft. Story development programs ensure you have the building blocks in place to support the structure you are contemplating.

Q: How do the story development programs relate to what I've learned so far in writing course?

A: In a nutshell, we are looking at three basic approaches:

  1. Aristotelian/Lajos Egri/Three Act Structure (StoryBuilder/Write Pro Series/Idea Fisher)
  2. Mythical/Joseph Campbell/Hero's Journey (StoryCraft)
  3. Dramatica's New Theory of Story is in its own league.

Q: How do I know which story development tool is the right one for me?

A: Ask yourself some basic questions: Where are my weak spots? What theoretical basis am I comfortable with? Do I need to organize better? Do I need to structure better? Do I need insights into my characters' methodologies? Do I need help with dialogue? Do I paint myself into corners? Once you've gone through this process, please call or e-mail a product consultant for more information.

(Note: Since story development programs address different areas of the process, some are not mutually exclusive. Budget permitting, some writers use more than one.)


3. Script Writing, Screenwriting, & Screenplay Software

Screenwriting software automates the formatting and page break rules specific to script writing, screenwriting, screenplay writing, TV sitcom & television writing, stageplay, and interactive multimedia. Script writing software changes margins, CAPS, and spacing in a single action, generates often used screenwriting text such as Scene Heading, Character Name, Dialogue, and Transition Notation. All the while keeping Page Breaks updated without the intervention of the screenwriter.



Final Draft Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Simple and amazing! No need to learn about script formatting rules, Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards as you write. Easy editing with Tab, Shift, and Return keys evokes intuitive script formatting for Screenplay, TV and Stage Play formats. Comes with 50 Final Draft Television Templates of preset margins, sets, character lists and script styles for the most popular shows on TV. On-the-Fly spell check catches typos instantly. E-mail your script to partner or company without leaving the program. Text-to-Speech: hear your script read back to you from a cast of character voices of your choice. Comes with Scene Navigator: Instantly view, add, arrange, delete, or print scenes in outline or index card formats. Even select a card within Navigator and instantly go to that scene in the script. Customizable Script Reports and tool bars. Imports existing scripts from Microsoft Word and ASCII (both Mac and Windows). Foreign language dictionary & thesaurus available (please call for more information). Built-in Script Registration. Extensive online user manual and 90,000 word Character first and last name generator.
Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store

Whether you are working on your first screenplay or are a seasoned professional looking for technical help from the master himself, Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop is an invaluable writing tool that you will rely upon again and again. Available for the first time on video, this legendary course will help you convert your idea into a properly structured screenplay, one you feel confident submitting to Film Studios and Production Companies worldwide.

Syd Field is regarded by entertainment professionals as the foremost authority on the craft of screenwriting. For over 25 years he has taught and guided thousands of professional screenwriters, many of whom have gone on to become the biggest names in Hollywood. Syd Field's exclusive course is limited to 12 students and is given only a few times a year. The video version takes you on the same educational journey, in the comfort of home, at your own time and pace.

Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Power and skill can make things look deceptively easy. This product has a screenwriter's mind, a production assistant's heart, and a programmer's envy! Ease of use? The TAB and ENTER keys are all you need to know. Script formats for screenplay, sitcom, stageplay, and multimedia can be written with Screenwriter. If you write long or short Screenwriter has consummate control over script length with nobody the wiser. Reference the Character Name Bank with thousands of names to choose from. The new version has Script Registration, Text-to-Speech, and iPartner™, for real-time collaboration over the Internet. And the piece de resistance is a built-in electronic index card system that allows you to build your script scene by scene. Fifty+ Movie Magic Television Templates are included in every copy of Screenwriter. The templates include preset margins, sets, character lists and script styles for the most popular shows on television. Plus 100 printable index cards for notes or outlining.
Scriptware V.3 Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Scriptware pioneered the much emulated user interface, Scriptype, which anticipates all the margin changes, spacing changes, capitalization and punctuation for you -- all you need are your pinkies and the Tab and Enter keys. Scriptware handles proper page breaks, MOREs, CONTINUEDs, scene and page numbers automatically, as you write and on the screen. Comes with a 120,000+ word spell check and thesaurus. Scene Cards lets you rearrange your scenes in index card mode for the perfect dramatic flow. Write in Screenplay, Sitcom, TV, Stage Play, Outline, Treatment using included industry-standard formats or create your own. Also, Scriptware (Windows version only) is the only stand-alone script software which supports the A/V (dual-column audio/video) format. Imbed 5 different note types notes anywhere in your script for reference. Import scripts you've already written. Breakdown reports tell you everything about your script.
Script Wizard for Microsoft Word for Windows 8.0 Platforms:  
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Script Wizard is a full-service script processing add-on for Microsoft Word for Windows. It is the most powerful add-on for Word for Windows available. All major formats are supported: Feature Film Screenplay, Sitcoms, A/V, Radio, Soap, Interactive, and more. It has all the features found in a stand-alone program, and all the advantages of the full service word processing environment. Both keyboard and point-and-click access to all commands. Meets the needs of beginner and professional, free-lancer and production office alike. The latest release includes a short, practical "How to" primer on writing scripts for beginners with a companion diskette that contains the full-text of several produced film and television scripts for study and review. If you love the ease and integration of working in Word for Windows, you'll love this one!
SideBySide for Microsoft Word Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
This little gem was made to help writing audio/visual, multi-column scripts using Microsoft Word. Supports 10 different A/V formats for documentary, commercials, speech, storyboard, industrial, and multimedia projects. Numbers scenes and allows free, independent editing of multi-column paragraphs in MS Word. Automatically creates a narration script; parentheticals (for example, sound effects and music cues) can be automatically removed or left in the script. The program provides a word count as well. If you need a slightly different format, follow simple directions and you'll learn to create a customized format in seconds.

Script Writing, Screenwriting, & Screenplay Software FAQs:

Q: Why do I need a script processing program?

A: If you prefer to concentrate on the story of your screenplay rather than on the way it looks on the screen or page, then you'll love a script processor! Of course you can write a script with a regular word processing program using the same methods as you do on a typewriter (TAB and RETURN, CAPS on, CAPS off, etc.), but by the time you reach the editing stage, you will be pleading for a better way! Editing is a significant part of screenwriting, and editing a script in a standard word processing program can be a nightmare of massaging text into margins and re-adjusting page break notations.

(Note: While the rules of script formats may seem arbitrary and outdated, it is very important that a script submitted to an agent or a development/production company looks absolutely "professional". They simply won't read it otherwise, no matter how good your writing may be. Script processing programs insure that your script will look like it was done by a pro!)

Q: What features distinguish a script processor from regular word processing?

A: Script processors are enhanced in three major areas:

  1. Single keystroke margin setting/CAP enabling/spacing
  2. Insertion of often used text such as INT./EXT., CUT TO:, character names, etc.
  3. Automatic page breaking with CONTINUEDs, (more), (cont'd), scene numbers, etc.

If you have ever tried to keep on top of all those rules and changes with a regular word processor, you know the value of a script processing program already.

Q: What is a "Stand-Alone" script processor?

A: A Stand-Alone script processor works independent of a word processing program. All that is required are the minimum hardware configurations which are specified by the manufacturer. All menus, on-line help, user controls and background functions were designed with one specific goal in mind: to make script writing easier. Imagine looking in a manual and finding that every page contains information that pertains to what you are doing! What a switch!

Q: Do I have to re-type my existing scripts into a script processor?

A: There's good news! As long as your word processing program can produce an ASCII file version of your script the answer is a blissful NO! An importing procedure will read your file and may ask you to identify certain paragraph styles, such as dialogue, scene heading, etc. if you've used an unrecognizable format. (It's not necessary that you have used the correct studio format in your script, merely that you've been consistently using the same formats throughout.) Now the scripting program will inhale your text, using the given examples as the guide. Some programs can directly import an MS Word or WordPerfect script without conversion.

Q: What is a "non-linear" script?

A: Any media work which has user choices. Let's say you are creating a game for CD-ROM. Your hero is in a strange castle. He sees three doors. If he chooses the blue door he is taken to a dungeon, if he goes through the green one he finds a monster, etc. This is an example of a non-linear script. Other non-linear scripts are industrial training media, phone routing scripts, sales catalog CD-ROMs, etc.


4. Production Scheduling, Budgeting, Reference, Software and Supplies

This department has film and TV production scheduling and budgeting software, union rate and pay scale reference software, and storyboarding software for film, television, and other media. These highly specialized products help production managers, assistant directors, line producers, interactive multimedia creators, and independent film makers plan and keep track of their project to get "on budget and on time".


StoryBoard Quick Platforms:
  Buy it at

Easy to use Previsualization Application Designed to Help you Communicate your Shot Ideas. Directors, Writers & Producers can Create Shooting Boards Quickly using Pre-Drawn Characters, Locations & Prop Images. Position & Combine the Elements in Frames.

StoryBoard Quick v.3 helps all creatives accomplish the all important step between scripting and editing: StoryBoarding. Creative minds don't always come with the ability to draw. That is why we have developed the best selling StoryBoard Quick program. It's the previsualization tool for creating shooting boards. Whether you are an expert or just getting started StoryBoard Quick v.3 can help you create the visual sketch you need to bring your ideas to reality.

StoryBoard Artist Platforms:
  Buy it at

Successful media projects need a blueprint to follow. StoryBoard Artist is the all-in-one industry standard for digital storyboarding of both feature films and games. Created for graphically savvy media producers, StoryBoard Artist has all the features of StoryBoard Quick and adds a timeline for runtime playback with sounds and non-linear linking for multipath stories.

StoryBoard Artist is an immensely cool product that lets you create Hollywood-style storyboards for scene-by-scene previsualizations of your story.

BoardMaster Storyboard and Timing Software Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
Quick and easy! Make your storyboards come alive with Board Master, the software that allows you to organize your storyboard panels and play them back as full-screen animation. Just import your images, compile them in the order you desire, and BoardMaster automatically numbers and times them. Attach your recorded sound files and your storyboard is ready for play-back, giving you a chance to catch any sequencing errors or tweak your story's rhythm and flow. Need to demo your story to someone? You can run it from your laptop and provide a clean (and inexpensive) visual representation of your work. Scripts can also be attached, a feature that allows you to see how a specific script point corresponds with its part on the storyboard. BoardMaster's export capabilities make it simple to transfer your work to another BoardMaster user. Projects can also be exported to web pages posted on the Internet, or printed in full color. An ideal package for the animation, film, video or theatre professional.
How To Make Your Movie: An Interactive Film School Platforms:
Buy it at The Writer's Store
So you want to go to film school, but you don't want to spend three years and thousands of dollars? Then "How to Make Your Movie" is for you. An interactive CD-ROM set that feels more like a game than an educational tool, "How to Make Your Movie" is as close you're going to get to a hands-on experience without taking out a student loan. Everything's here, from a simple primer in film grammar to a lesson in film history. Most illuminating are the interactive exercises that feature such useful topics as how to use a light meter and how to edit your own match cut. Even for experienced film or video makers, "How to Make Your Movie" offers a chance to learn new techniques from a team of creative professionals. Video clip examples are sharp and a smooth navigation system guides you through a richly-textured interface that's both amusing and informative. A production of Ohio University and Electronic Vision.
Industry Labor Rates for Movie Magic Budgeting Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
If you're a busy A.D. or production manager who uses Movie Magic Budgeting software you have a continuing need for up-to-the-quarter union and pay scales. Works seamlessly inside Movie Magic for instant access to a database of union rates (IATSE, SAG, DGA, WGA, AFTRA, AFM, TEAMSTERS, etc.), fringe rates, insurance rates, as well as the going rates for "below the line" industry professionals in major metropolitan areas (LA, New York, Florida, Canada, etc.). It doesn't contain labor agreement or contract data as The Industry Labor Guide does (see Production Books) but you'll get a full 1 year subscription for less money than the Movie Magic version.
Movie Magic Scheduling Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Create complete script breakdowns and shooting schedules with this powerful industry standard program. New version brings MM Scheduling to new heights of power and ease of use. Capture script elements such as cast, props, sets, effects, etc, in scene breakdown pages or import breakdown data from Movie Magic Screenwriter. With your script breakdown completed, use MM Scheduling's powerful query language to sift, sort, filter and process the scenes for the optimum production efficiency. Use sample reports, customize them or create your own. Features include a production calendar, automatic Reorder, Day out of Days, Call Sheets, element lists (props, extras, wardrobe), production board strip printing, and more. Exports production data to Movie Magic Budgeting.
Movie Magic Budgeting Platforms:
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Incredibly powerful and easy to use! 3-dimensional production budgeting makes it simple for anyone to create, edit, and submit professional level budgets. Every dollar entered on the Detail Level is automatically totaled on the Account Level and up to the Top Sheet instantly. Globals allow you to change any aspect of your budget (such as shooting, prep, or wrap period) in a matter of seconds. Movie Magic's Globals can be entered at anytime -- before, during or after your budget is completed. Using Subgroups you could create a budget for 5 different cities (or up to 16, if you wished) - all stored in the same budget. Switching from "New York" to "Los Angeles" Subgroups would recalculate the entire budget - showing you a budget with the appropriate detail for the city you wished to shoot in. Included are over 25 industry standard budget templates and SuperBudgets; budget templates which contain Los Angeles current rates, fringes/payroll taxes, subgroups, globals, and detail for union and non-union productions. Budget files are fully interchangeable between Windows and Macintosh versions. Movie Magic Budgeting gives producers and estimators new power, speed, and flexibility for dealing with the complex task of production budgeting.
Cinergy 2000 Scheduling Platforms:  
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Import scripts and breakdown information from ScriptThing, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Hollywood Screenwriter, Final Draft RTF, and Scriptware TAG files. An integrated script editor allows you to modify scenes just before shooting. Maintain cast and crew list, crew requirements, and production information. Use the sort feature to optimally arrange your shooting order. Easily track the completion status of your scenes. Create a variety of reports that can be securely published to the Internet for the benefit of your cast and crew using Mindstar's CinergyOnline service. Advanced data protection functionality protects your valuable information from events such a power loss. Launch your favorite storyboard program directly from within Cinergy. Seamlessly transfer your scheduling information to Cinergy 2000's Budgeting, On-Set or Post Production application modules for a complete production management solution!
Cinergy 2000 Budgeting Platforms:  
  Buy it at The Writer's Store
Accurately track your production's expenses with Mindstar's Cinergy 2000 budgeting system. Create professional reports in minutes using a pre-defined standard motion picture production budget template. Define unlimited number of account level sheets, which are automatically summarized into the Top Sheet. Enter your own chart of accounts, equations, globals, fringes, and perform what-if-analysis by suppressing selected account groups. Budget information can be distributed to others and viewed by using a distributable free report viewer.
Easy Budget Platforms:
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If you have a computer, spreadsheet program, and a media project, you're ready to use Easy Budget. Developed from 20 years of experience in the Hollywood film industry EB includes many features and tips that can save you money. Use it for film, commercial, video, or any type of media production. Easy Budget works with your existing spreadsheet software allowing you to use a familiar interface. Cast, crew, you name it, it's there. Type in basic labor rates for SAG, DGA and WGA and EB does the rest (non-union too). It knows when and where sales taxes need to be paid, does screened totals and sub-totals, produces charts and graphs of your project expenses, prints in color, with running total always displayed at the top corner of your screen. Easy testing of "What If?" scenarios with Easy Budget.