I Owe Final Draft An Apology

April 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm

<a href="http://www.finaldraft.com"><img
class="alI Owe Final Draft An Apology | Final Draft 8 Review | Screenwriting Blog


Long ago, when I first became obsessed with screenwriting, I wrote my scripts using a template in Microsoft Word.  It hadn’t even crossed my mind to search for a program designed specifically for writing screenplays.  Then I came across a demo of Final Draft and wrote a few movies trying my best to ignore the page count and the water mark on the print outs.

In those days, I couldn’t really justify the cost of the full version if my new found passion fizzled.  However, it didn’t take long for the craft of screenwriting to take hold and become my number one pass time.

So finally, I managed to scrape together enough for an educational copy of Final Draft v6.

The day that box came in the mail was awesome.  My heart was beating pretty fast when it was installing.  I remember thinking about how my heart would break if the install was corrupted.  Thankfully it worked and I began my long and loyal relationship with Final Draft…


I Owe Final Draft An Apology | Final Draft 8 Review | Screenwriting BlogMy PC died early in 2011 and it was absolutely crushing.  After Effects was gone.  Dreamweaver was gone.  Photoshop was gone.  Final Draft…  Was gone.

My first priority was to find a way to write screenplays on my iMac so I immediately looked to Celtx as their iPhone app is quite fantastic.  It’s a solid program and you can’t argue with the price of FREE so I figured I was set.

I wasn’t.  No offense to Celtx but I’m the type of writer who likes certain things to fall in place before I feel comfortable writing.  My area needs to be clean, my windows have to be arranged a certain way on the screen and I need Final Draft!  It’s a routine I’ve depended on for years.  My own personal screenwriting compulsion.

So I did something I figured I would never have to do.


It sounds a little overly dramatic but I always thought it would be a waste to upgrade to a newer version.  I used Final Draft to write screenplays so why upgrade for more bells and whistles when the version I had was perfectly fine?

Well, that’s where the apology comes in…  I should have upgraded years ago.


It turns out, version 8 does everything better. I knew their would be some enhancements here and there but I wasn’t expecting to regret not upgrading sooner.

It started with the new interface.  It’s simpler, cleaner and allows you to focus only on the blank page.  Yet, at the same time, the scene navigator and scene properties windows have become staples in my writing routine.

You truly don’t realize how new features will affect your writing until you give them a shot.  I suppose I was just being cheap.

I use the scene properties window constantly to jot down notes and changes for each scene.  I used to write notes like that in all caps right in the screenplay which becomes an ugly distraction quickly.  The old system still worked but it wasn’t as convenient as this.

I love being able to split the main window and see my index cards as well as my script.  There are limitless uses of this feature.

It’s a better overall experience.

The lesson? Sometimes, upgrades are worth it.

In the end, my PC is still dead and I’m unable to create any new graphics for my websites or posters for my short films.  Eventually, I’ll get another PC up and running but at least I can still write screenplays.  That’s what I love to do!