If You're Serious About Screenwriting, You Need Final Draft
Serious Screenwriters Need Serious Software
Getting the right tool for the job means more than just making sure you have the proper formatting. You need to be sure your tool is compatible with the tools others use. You need to be certain that you are using the right tool for the job. If you were a carpenter, you wouldn't skimp on your tools. Why is being a screenwriter any different? When it comes to software, you get what you pay for. Downloading CeltX for free is no substitute for a dedicated help line committed to being your tech support backup on a deadline. Even lesser programs like Movie Magic Screenwriter is a lesser form of an industry standard. Nothing beats Final Draft. It's a serious software program for a serious screenwriter.
What About CeltX? Why can't I use Free Open Source Screenwriting Software?
Free, open-source software, CeltX, is trying to take market share away from the professional software on the market. Unfortunately, when it crashes, you lose everything you haven't saved and there is no auto-recover. There is no help line to call when the software becomes unstable. All you can do, with open source software, is download the latest version, or revert to an older version. There is no recourse when your work is on the line.
Also, when you are talking to a Hollywood Agent, you need to send a clear message to them that you are a pro, and you are willing to do what it takes to succeed. Purchasing real software, with the level of quality that a professional expects is part of what a professional does. When a Hollywood Agent or Producer wants to start collaborating with you on your script, they are going to want to know you are using the same software they are, with the tools they are familiar with. Final Draft is the industry standard, and when you work in the industry you will be expected to maintain that standard.
What About Movie Magic?
There's nothing inherently evil or wrong about Movie Magic, and it has been making inroads with the industry in recent years as many independent houses want an inexpensive alternative to Final Draft. However, it's still an inferior software without some of the features that make Final Draft the best.
The collaboration features aren't as good, and the interface is distracting, and the support network is not as well-established as Final Draft. You just can't call them up at 3 AM before your project is due to work out any software issues that may arise. You want nothing on your screen but script. You want a clean, clutter-free interface to write your script. If you can't afford Final Draft, this is a budget alternative, but, as with all tools, you will get what you pay for.