Hi Tom. There’s no absolute convention on this. The most frequent solution I’ve seen has been for a writer to add (FLASHBACK) or (PRESENT DAY) following a scene’s slugline but I’ve also seen “FLASHBACK:” right-justified as a Transition element as well. You could just as easily add it as Action text as long as the reader sees it.
My personal preference is to put it in the scene header. Info in the slugline is understood to be pure metadata that the reader takes in and acknowledges. Anywhere else in the script risks detracting from the narrative flow.
The Master Catalog contains everything that you put into it — if you want more info on the export, you may find you need to populate it first with either Character or Production info. If you want to customize the info gleaned during the export, you can click the “+” symbol in the Project Library and add a Catalog.
Conversely, maybe the info you’re looking for is in one of the reports that is generated by clicking the Reports sub-tab below the script editor.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet answer to this — it’s like asking, “How do I write well?” You write and work to improve as you go. You learn from people, classes, texts and look critically upon your own work. I don’t know too many writers, regardless of their level of competence when they started out, who like re-reading their own material years later.
If you want to strengthen your foundation as a writer before you even begin to put pen to paper, then you’re looking for a textbook. Our Q&A can’t begin to cover a comprehensive foundation. There are a lot of great books out there but my personal favourite remains McKee’s Story. Story remains a personal fave of mine just because it wasn’t until my nth re-reading that subtext finally clicked for me and I saw a quantum jump in my own writing.
As for your portrayal of characters, just remember that even the most vicious, rage-fuelled villain tends to think he’s the hero in his *own* story. With exceptions, people don’t wake up and say, “Today, I really must make sure to do something extra evil today,” or “Hey, people are finally realizing how trashy I am!” They think they’re expedient. They think they’re pragmatic. They think that if they didn’t steal/rob/kill the [whatever] then someone else probably would have. Everyone thinks they are the 50-percentile that marks normal behaviour against which all other people are measured. It’s called “situational morality” and if you ever find yourself explaining your actions to someone with the words, “Well, you had to be there,” then surprise, you’re soaking in it.
There’s probably no better example of this in recent times than the series The Wire. If you haven’t watched it, please run-don’t-walk to your nearest long-form recorded media entertainment purveyor and call in sick for a couple days until you’ve seen it all.
Living in a conventional metropolitan area means less and less these days. It still matters if you want to break into TV but with movies, not so much.
A Google search alone would reveal a trove of destinations for increasing the profile of both your script and you as a scribe so I won’t list them here. Just do some due diligence to make sure the site has a good reputation and isn’t offering to unburden you of your money.
A great, free starting point for a lot of writers is Trigger Street. It’s a friendly, robust community that’s been around for over a decade now.
There’s no litmus test for good ideas before they’re executed. You could aim for A Modest Proposal and end up with an episode of Jackass. You won’t know until you write it.
Yep, it should. If you look at your project in your account’s Resources tab and select Versions in the project’s context menu, do the versions reflect accurate time/date stamps? There should be a version for every time you click Save to Celtx or sync the script on your tablet.
No, I don’t agree. Movies, when done well, are one of the best means we have of putting thorny issues of life into perspective. Teens can benefit from this as much or more than most. The challenge is that unlike novels, movies don’t handle inner monologues well, so you need to show dark content and hardships instead of revealing the character’s meditation on the subject.
Many years ago, I took a class on writing children’s literature. One of the few things I remember from this class was that if your story has nothing but happy-go-lucky scampering children from nuclear families, with loving siblings and happily hetero parents, adoring grandparents, friendly neighbours, safe streets and the like, you are actually doing a disservice to kids. It’s patronizing. Kids grow up in bad apartments in bad neighbourhoods. Maybe they’re in a good home but it’s a single-parent or same-sex family. Maybe they’re exposed to criminality or tragedy in one form or another at a young age. It happens. Stories that paint an unrealistically happy utopian life that presumes sameness for all kids abuses all kids’ self-confidence and self-esteem by making all kids feel like outsiders.
Kids and teens deserve good stories. There is no “you must be this happy to enjoy this ride” sign at the front gate.
This is usually handled by either having an existing character (or one named NARRATOR) speak and appending “(V.O.)” after the character’s name to imply that the speech is voice-over. We use V.O. as opposed to O.C. for those occasions when we wish to indicate that a character is speaking off-camera.
Someone can correct me on this but I believe in Jim Uhls’ screenplay adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club, Edward Norton’s character was just named “Jack” since—
Well, even 12.5 years since it’s theatrical release, I’m going to respect the spoiler.
No problem. Every time you sync, a new version is saved to your cloud account. If you want to undo a version, just log into your cloud account, open the script’s context menu and click Versions. Find the last version you like — they’re listed by time/date stamp — and click Restore.
Wacky. The fastest way I can think of erasing a script would be to Command-A and then delete. We don’t have a “delete everything” button for the same reasons real-life supervillains don’t actually have big, red , self-destruct buttons. It’s not a button you want someone to actually push.
You can log in to your cloud account at celtx.com and look at the versions that have been synched. Depending upon how recently you last synched your script before it disappeared on you, you should be able to recover much of it.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the capability of adding simultaneous editing by multiple collaborators. We’re a small studio and can’t throw tons of human brain muscle at solving this problem the way Google has.
Until then, there’s an onus on teams of collaborators to communicate who has the project at a given time. You can use the Comment Stream next to a project for this purpose. ”I’ll be editing until the end of the weekend,” or “Can I take a crack at it next guys?” That kind of thing.
Think of it like a library book that you check in and check out. Just leave notes for each other and you won’t have to worry about overwriting someone else’s work.
I guess so. I strongly believe that you should never let logic and reality get in the way of telling a good story.
The paid subscription service is a legacy service called Celtx Studio. This service costs starting at $5/month depending upon how many sub-seats you need for additional users to your Studio. This service is not aging well and is gradually being phased out but not before we have a comparable tier of the new cloud service that offers all of Studio’s current functionality and more.
To sum up: Celtx Studio — old and fee-based. Celtx Services — new and free. Sharing and collaboration is baked into both.