Final Draft Audio Video
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Final Draft Audio Video

from Final Draft
Publisher: Final Draft

List Price: $179.00

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Final Draft ( v. 8 ) - complete package - 1 user - Win, Mac

Final Draft AV fills a niche that Final Draft's screenwriting software ignored: creation of two-column audio-video scripts and audio-only scripts for radio. Television news writers, segment producers, and ad writers usually create scripts with video in the left column and audio in the right column. Writers who don't have access to a professional scriptwriting system like Basys or Avstar usually insert text into existing script templates, or patch something together using tables and columns in a word processing program. As both of these options scream "hack!" students and freelancers will welcome Final Draft's venture into this format of scripting.

That said, Final Draft AV feels like a TV-writing program designed by screenwriters. The two columns are there, it's easy and intuitive to move between them, and the video column does stay aligned with the matching audio column. But there are also some glaring omissions. The program doesn't provide estimated times for scripts, nor does it provide a space to input actual running time once a script is produced. Some of the automatic functions are unnecessary: each time the writer tabs from the video column to the audio column, the program automatically underlines and adds a colon to whatever is written. Useful for screenwriters, who write dialog between characters that must adhere to a strict punctuation format, it's useless for segment producers, who usually have one narrator reading their copy.

Also, though the user's manual says that importing and exporting scripts to and from Final Draft AV from other word processors is simply a matter of making sure they're saved in rich text format, we couldn't successfully manage it with a multipage script for a half-hour cooking show without going back and forth between the scripts and then performing major surgery on the mashed together copy. We think the Frankenscript occurred because there isn't one "right" way to write a script for TV: unfamiliar capitalization and spacing confused Final Draft AV, so the program just crammed it all together. Scripts can be transitioned smoothly between computers if both were written in Final Draft AV. And Final Draft AV scripts can go from PCs to Macs with no hang-ups.

Using Final Draft AV is still a lot better than building homemade script templates with your word processor, but a template is really all this program provides. It will probably work well for student projects, single segments, and ad scripts. But if you want to use this program to develop and produce a multisegment half-hour show, you'll have to pull out your stopwatch and your calculator. --Anne Erickson

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