Free scriptwriting software
Celtx is a free all-inclusive tool for scriptwriting and preproduction purposes. The software allows for members of film, media, and television teams to collaborate on, break down, budget, and schedule productions. While paper scripts have been a staple procedure in previous years, the Celtx screenwriting software provides new opportunities for distributed teams within the production industries.
Online and offline pre-production tool
Much like Google Docs, Celtx allows for online collaboration. This is an optimum feature for distributed teams who collaborate offsite. This aspect is not only helpful for remote team members but is also favorable for onsite teams due to needing only one document.
Celtx script writing documents are viewable and editable in real-time. This allows for concise formatting to keep every team member in sync and updated. With the amount of inspired action that goes into film, media, and television production, this aspect of the program is paramount to allow team members to quickly act on their creative impulses to develop their productions.
‘Offline Mode’ is accessible within the Celtx free version. To keep the team actively contributing to the script and pre-production process, Celtx integrated offline accessibility to documents. The ‘Offline Mode’ needs to be initiated before leaving an internet connection.
Once the allocated team members have been granted permission to edit offline documents, the user can click on the ‘File’ dropdown and select ‘Offline’. After confirming the action, the script will reload and offer a document URL. The URL can be copied to the clipboard or bookmarked for ease in accessibility in case the browser needs to be closed.
When the internet is accessible, ‘Online Mode’ can be initiated by clicking the ‘File’ tab and then the ‘Online’ option. Project documents are not accessible while offline: adding or sharing images, breakdowns, catalogs, index cards, media, navigation, and notes. Managers have the ability to bring projects back online from collaborators that have taken them offline. The screen will tell the manager when the document was taken off, and within that tab, the option to “Force Online” is possible.
Within the production realm, breaking down the script is a critical aspect of the storyboard process. This includes integrating items, budgeting, and scheduling information into the scenes. Within the Celtx free version, users are able to highlight words within the script and add a wide range of data: the item name and category. The data is synched not only with the script, but also with the catalog.
The breakdown items are tagged within categories: actors, additional labor, animals, props, etc. Every highlighted word is represented by a color that corresponds to a category. Celtx script writing software organizes the data into a user-friendly experience by syncing the items from the script breakdown into a catalog that is viewable in the ‘Project View’.
Within the catalog tab, the collaborators have the ability to add items manually by choosing the ‘add’ icon, and detail any of the items with media, cost, and budgeting information. This data is available in the budget sheet, which accounts for all of the monetary information that was input under the corresponding departments.
Productions’ schedules are viewable by the entirety of the teams within the stripboard and calendar tabs. By filling information into the reports document, users will automatically be syncing that data into the call sheets. While breaking down the script, team members can add locations to the scenes by inputting them on the left panel under ‘Location’.
Alternatives to the application
Given that Final Draft, a dubious scriptwriting software is not free, and that Microsoft Word may be free but lacks the comprehensive integration a scriptwriting software has, Celtx is a quick solution to production processes. Celtx for Windows and Mac do not need to be downloaded. Rather than requiring a process to install Celtx, the software functions with a login system.
An extensively comprehensive screenwriting option
Within the software, Celtx considers scheduling, budgeting, and breaking down the script. The program automatically populates data into the corresponding sheets. Along with synchronized information, Celtx allows for real-time collaboration within documents between team members.
The Celtx free download for Mac and Windows is consistently updated to coincide with the newest systems. Compared to paper scripts, the application is more user and ecofriendly – allowing for unity, and reduction of natural resources.