Word Count

It’s been a while since I’ve written about free and open source software, so I thought I should mention the programme I’ve been using recently.

According to it’s website, Celtx, (I keep wanting to pronounce it keltix) is ‘the world’s first all-in-one media pre-production software’.

I can’t say for sure if that’s the case, but for what I needed – functional software to produce an industry formatted screenplay – it’s just the ticket, and unlike the market leader, Final Draft, it won’t set you back $169.

Writing a screenplay has been quite a learning process. There’s a rough rule of thumb to keep in mind, one page of text equals one minute of screen time. For a typical feature length film, that means you have about ninety pages. One hour of television is sixty pages, less commercials.

When you’re confined to twelve point Courier, that’s not a lot of words.

Writing to such a tight format, I learned a lot in the past few weeks about paring my prose to a minimum. Forget two hundred words, try compressing one hundred and fifty thousand words into twenty thousand.

I’ve been at it a while now, and I’m still overshooting the mark.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.