Proposal for significantly enlarging LibreOffice's user base with Screenwright(R)
13 November 2010 by Alan C. Baird, prizewinning writer and creator of the
Screenwright(R) screenplay formatter [winner of the Sun/OOo CIP award]
Executive Summary: enable screenplay formatting in LibreOffice to distinguish it from OpenOffice.
Pitch: Every aspiring screenwriter has a movie in his/her head that needs to get down on paper.
However, some film production companies won't accept a script submission if the formatting is even
ONE POSITION off! So ensuring that screenplays are formatted correctly is an obsession of
screenwriters everywhere. But formatting a script can be an expensive proposition; 78 commercial
formatters are listed at The Writers Store. A screenwriter could easily spend $200 or more on
software, just to get a screenplay into acceptable shape.
UNLESS s/he uses LibreOffice in conjunction with the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template.
We all want our scripts to be eligible for the next multimillion-dollar spec auction, so some of us even carry our latest
screenplays in our glove compartments, on the off-chance that we might meet someone who can help. In the movie "Monster In A
Box," Spalding Gray talks about one of his trips to Los Angeles: «I had no idea how difficult it would be to find people not
involved in the film industry until I got out there and saw a special on television - in which they were interviewing people in
the parking lot of a Shop Rite supermarket. As people came out with their groceries, the interviewer would go up to them and say,
"Hi there, good morning! Tell us, how's your film script going?" And everyone said, "What?! How did you
know?" Right up to the cashier.»
If the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template can be included as an integral part of the
upcoming LibreOffice release, it will send a clear signal--to filmmakers in particular and to the
Entertainment sector in general--that LibreOffice is ready to address the industry's unique
text-processing and -formatting needs. News travels fast among members of the Entertainment
industry, and they tend to be the gatekeepers and style leaders for the culture at large.
Historical context: OOo Writer is the first (and for now, the only) full-featured word processor
that will easily format a screenplay at no cost whatsoever. But it requires a template download. If
LibreOffice wants to capitalize on this unique opportunity, the template could be integrated in the
upcoming LibreOffice release.
Alan C. Baird
Mesa, Arizona USA
Extra: using your iPod to write screenplays.
[You can also use your iPhone, thumb/flash drive, mp3 player, or favorite USB storage device.] It's
A) At the bottom of your iPod's "Summary" tab in iTunes, check the "Enable disk use" box, and click the
B) Download and install the latest free OpenOffice.org (LibreOffice?) Portable suite on your iPod.
C) Download and install this free scr2.ott template on your iPod.
When we stay in Tucson with my wife's friend--who has a Windows computer, but no Internet
connection--I keep myself entertained by working on my latest screenplay or just kicking back and
listening to some music (perhaps Mark Knopfler's Screenplaying). I can also use the iPod to revise
my script on the public computers in: (1) my local library, (2) London's Heathrow airport, (3)
Beijing's cyber-cafés, etc.
PS: My iPod is one of the smallest models, an old 2GB Nano. I had already loaded nearly 18 hours of
music (201 songs) and 33 photos onto it. Now that it contains the OpenOffice.org (LibreOffice?)
Portable software and my screenplay, it still shows over 606MB (33%) of free space.
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