I have a dream that’s been bouncing around in my heart and head for about 20 years (since high school). I want to write a play. Or, a TV show. Or, a movie.
Alright, with three kids, a husband, a house payment, and a few bills, it’s really more of a pipe dream. For now, I’m collecting the tools I need to master to move my dream from the pipe to reality. Creating any kind of complex media production requires tools. It helps if they’re good. It helps more if they’re free.
Tools Of The Trade
The objective is quite straightforward. I have to start with an original idea for a captivating story.
Then, I have to package my story in a way that is attractive to producers and directors.
You know, so they can recognize my insight and talent, and then ante up with a cash payment for me to share my packaged dream with the masses.
I told you it was a dream. Good dreams come true to those who know how to use the right tools. What’s the right tool for dreamers? One that works on my Mac and doesn’t cost much.
Celtx is one of those not-too-well-known media pre-production applications (it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs) that covers the whole process.
Take a look at the starting point (click the images below for a full sized pop up window):
What could be easier? Start by checking out the Sample Projects. That will give you an idea of the pre-production format for success. Then, select a Project Template. From Film to Theatre to Storyboard, they’re all there, a perfect starting point.
Once you’ve decided on the project type and have a template, it’s time to fill in the blanks.
The production process is outlined in sufficient detail that even if you’ve never written a play or TV show (which is part of my dream; the other part is cashing checks and living like I’m Tom Clancy).
Write scripts, fill out complete storyboard scenes, add sketches, even treat Celtx like a writers word processor to develop characters. Celtx is so detailed that even a neophyte can create production schedules, and provide details to cast and crew.
Features In My Dream Tool
I know what you’re thinking. The dream part is easy. But Celtx looks like a lot of work to master.
Developing stories using the built-in templates squeezes a lot of air out of the complexity. For example, Celtx has pre-loaded forms for locations, scenes, props, characters, and much more.
The storyline lets you drop in all the elements you can dream up—images, sound files, video clips—all in a logical, easy to understand flow.
If you’re more of a writer than producer/director, Celtx performs with dual columns, scratchpad, text formatting, keyboard shortcuts, search and replace, script importing and exporting. There’s even a revision mode to track scenes as you create them.
If you’re at all like me, then you love your Mac but still manage complex writing projects using index cards. Celtx does, too. Drag and drop to reorder scenes, flip them over to add notes.
See? I told you it was easy to get started. But there’s a lot more; so much more that you’re probably already worried about the price tag. Remember these three steps:
Did I mention that this dream tool is free?