Happy New Year! It’s normally about this time that I write a post detailing what I think went right and wrong in the previous year and where I want to push myself going forwards. I’m not ready to do that yet for a number of reasons so this is a little quickie for something that I’ve been playing around with.
Over the last month or so I’ve been posting some little front end experiments to CodePen – the latest one of these (at the time of writing) is calle Scripticle and is a little experiment using Pug mixins and CSS print styles to create a beautiful way of rendering screenplays to browsers. Check it out!
So off the back of that I started thinking how I might be able to take this further. If you’re a regular here you’ll know that screenwriting and filmmaking is a hobby of mine and for years now I’ve been using Celtx as my go-to scriptwriting tool. When I’ve shared my work online it’s always been as a PDF so my thoughts were – could this be used alongside Gatsby (something else I’ve been playing with) to source content from an open format. I’ve been aware of the .fountain format for scripts for some time so I decided to download one of mine from Celtx in that format to see what it looked like.
Imagine my surprise when I opened it in VS Code to be told that there was an extension to handle that! Imagine my even bigger surprise when that extension turned out to be the wonderful Better Fountain by Piers Deseilligny. After playing around a bit with writing some pages using fountain, it’s an incredibly intuitive and, more importantly, portable format.
Working in Celtx means being locked into their ecosystem, with all my work sitting in an ever changing platform that is slowly eking in monetisation and project management tools that I’m not needing. Using VS Code and Better Fountain, I can write, format and export scripts using Fountain and version control on GitHub.
Yes, that’s a super nerdy approach to screenwriting but it’ll work. I can use any of my VS Code environments and even edit directly on GitHub if needs be, as well as port my scripts to any Fountian compatible editor or app.
I can see me working in this way a lot more going forwards and I’m excited at what it might do for my scriptwriting workflow going forwards!