Fade In Screenwriting Software Wishlist

Fade In LogoI spend a lot of time fretting about the tools I use for writing, never quite content with any one tool. Mostly I use Scrivener for all projects, then exporting to Final Draft for completed first draft screenplays. Scrivener works very well with FD8, which is incredibly important. Final Draft 9 is likely to drop any week now, but I keep looking back at other options. CeltX doesn’t play nicely with Final Draft, which is a deal-breaker for me. Adobe Story is still tempting to me, but the free version has no offline option (I write on the move more often than not) and the paid option is a monthly subscription which will quickly eclipse the cost of even Final Draft. And then there’s Fade In Pro. A mere $50, a responsive development team and frequent updates. But, it’s not quite 100% there yet, I’m not quite ready to jump. So, I created this wishlist for Fade In:

  • Index Cards: Being able to directly edit the index card contents, without a keyboard shortcut, would help a lot, as would easier organising, and formatting of the cards. Scrivener does this very well.
  • Reports and outlining options.
  • Scrivener Import:

Fade In ImportOne of the strengths of Fade In is the extensive list of import and export options. However Scrivener projects tend to laid out in multi-level structures, one ‘file’ per scene perhaps. However, Fade In only imports one file at a time, so I have to export a Scrivener project as an FDX and then import that, rather than the Scrivener project.

 

  • Meta Data:

Adobe Story's scene meta-data

Oh please, bring me the meta data! Adobe Story does excellent scene meta-data, I’d love to see something more like that. Running time, both calculated and manually adjusted, time of day, story day, shooting information etc. Also, there’s already a character and location database, but why not have those link to character/location profiles? Similarly project meta-data, like synopses, loglines and pitches; it’d be hugely advantageous to have those all in one file, rather than store those separately in Scrivener or Word files.

6 thoughts on “Fade In Screenwriting Software Wishlist

  1. There is one thing that is lacking from all of these programs and honestly, in the current age of connectivity and social sharing, it just highlights how behind everyone is. Collaboration features are awful on even the best of these. Opening ports? Really? Typing in IP addresses? Come on, we live in the time of Facebook and Spotify and apps and Google Docs.

    It’s surprising to me that Fade In wouldn’t have made this a top priority given how clumsy collaboration is in the two top dogs… but they don’t even have a collaboration feature at all. Bonkers, IMHO.

    It looks like FD9 is focusing heavily on this and I’m eager to see how it works. I use Screenwriter only because its outlining is better. But for me, screenwriting software without any collaboration features is practically worthless. If FD9 has indeed stepped into the new century not just with the features themselves but their ease of use, I’ll be jumping ship.

    Looking forward to 2014

  2. Thanks for covering some screenwriting technology discussion on your blog. You might like to take a look at my prototype screenwriting app called scenepad at http://scenepad4.tripos.biz – use the demo login to access – as you might find a lot more features that screenwriting 2.0 apps could be thinking about. There’s also lots of posts about possible future screenwriting application functions on my blog which is focused on screenplay analytics.

  3. Sergey Samokhov

    Regarding Scrivener import, I think Fade In does a very decent job of importing Scrivener-generated PDFs, at least on PC. So you’re probably better off exporting all the scenes you need to PDF and then importing it to Fade In.

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