C is for Celtx

April 3, 2012

The Script Frenzy A-Z challenge so far…

Different people use different software for Script Frenzy, including MS Word and Final Draft, but no script writing program has quite become a part of Script Frenzy culture, in my opinion, like Celtx. It’s the only program that has a forum devoted to it on the Script Frenzy message board.

There are lots of good reasons that Celtx gets plenty of love with Frenziers. It’s dedicated to scripts and other media projects, yet versatile enough to do reasonably well at lots of different kind of scripts. It can be used collaboratively, in browsers, or with a single computer offline. And, possibly the biggest factor in its favor is that you can use Celtx for most things without having to pay for it. 🙂

I started using Celtx for Script Frenzy… let’s see, it was probably my third year, 2009. What motivated me was the fact that it could be run on my newest toy, the eeePC netbook. In fact, they had a special eeePC version as well as the vanilla linux version at that point. So ever since then, I’ve got a lot of mileage out of using Celtx both on the road and at home, copying my screnzy.celtx file to whichever computer I’m going to use next.

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Reading aloud and adding extra pages.

May 8, 2011

Well, it’s late, and I’ve spent a lot of the evening reading my Script Frenzy screenplay aloud to myself, which is a really good way of doing editing I usually find – a lot of simple changes and alternate phrasings just seem to come to me when I’m reading my own words out. But it does take some time.

I wanted to get the script in good shape to print a full copy out and show it off at the writers’ circles this week, maybe even give it to somebody else to review for a few weeks before giving it back to me. There was a gentleman at the New Writing Workshop last time who seemed very interested and knowledgeable about screenwriting.

So I’ve finished editing the entire project, (very casually, but that’s okay for a first printing I think,) and sent it off to Staples. This is the first time I’ve used a print shop since getting my Brother laser printer on boxing day, because I really wanted to get the full professional treatment on this – double-sided pages, spiral binding, stiff cardboard covers, and the whole thing. So I guess I’ll be heading over to the Staples on Barton street after work tomorrow to pick it up.

Interestingly enough, Staples printing price structure gives you a noticeable price break at 100 pages – you’d pay nearly two dollars more to print only ninety-nine. And after making a few of my changes and deleting some extraneous dialog, I was down to ninety-nine pages. Looked around in the Celtx options for anything that would take up another page, and found the choice to add a few extra lines before each scene header. Good enough, back to one hundred pages.

Except I realized that the price was going up quite a lot when I picked the option to actually have the title page printed out on the cover, and then realized that was because it didn’t count the title page as one of the hundred anymore. I was down to ninety-nine, and Celtx doesn’t let you just type in blank lines at the end of the project and print them off.

I actually tried typing in a lot of lines with just a . after each, but that didn’t look too good, and I thought of something else.

Hard page breaks!

I inserted hard page breaks around my act breaks, and that got me back up. 101 pages out of Celtx, which goes down to 100 after the title page is diverted to the cover. Excellent stuff.

I’m off to sleep now.


April 28, 2011

X is for…

Well, this is the point at which I geek out, it seems.

I’ve been using Xubuntu of one sort or another on my eeePC netbook for a few years now, I guess. When I wanted to move on from the hokey Xandros OS that came with the eeePC, there were a bunch of eeePC specific linux OS installers around, and I picked eeeXubuntu because it seemed to have a reasonably good support community at eeeuser, where I was already familiar with the wiki and forums.

But I quickly came to appreciate Xubuntu’s mix of power and user-friendliness, with the Thunar file explorer (reassuringly like Windows XP’s in a lot of important ways,) the down and dirty mousepad text editor, and the global keyboard shortcuts that let me give all my favorite programs an easy to remember shift-key combination, so that I don’t need to worry about how to add anything to the start menu. (Good thing too, because the Xubuntu start menu, on the other hand, is ARCANE! I still don’t really know the details of where and how I’d need to construct a shortcut file to get Celtx on my eeePC start menu.)

And behind the Xfce desktop environment, of course, is all the power of the Ubuntu operating system core, with the Synaptic package manager to make it easy to find new software packages to install, like OpenOffice, Gambas programming tool, Unison to sync my work with a flash drive, and so on.

I wanted to update the Ubuntu version on the eeePC over the winter, and I tried the ‘Ubuntu netbook remix’ version first. But I wasn’t impressed with that interface – it seemed to have its own ideas about what people should be using netbook computers for, and customizing it to the purposes I wanted seemed like too much of a pain. So I went back to Xubuntu, Maverick Meerkat version, which has worked well ever since.

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