The content below has been reposted from Peculiar Puffin, Tristan’s blog, in which he talks about storytelling, stories and the people who tell them. All Grendel Games employees are granted time to work on their personal development. As part of this program, Tristan is working to create his own animated short.
Last year, I had an idea for a short story. It was to be set in space, and it would be about a lone astronaut on the brink of losing radio communication with earth for decades. It would also be my very first animated short.
Once I sat down to actually write the script for it, I soon realized that there would be a lot of “first time” opportunities in this project. I would write a movie script for the first time, create a storyboard for the first time and compose music set to a specific scene for the first time.
Now, I knew that I didn’t have to do all of these things myself and that I was unlikely to excel at all of them. But I also knew it would be a hell of a lot of fun to try.
So, first things first. I needed to find out what tool people actually use to write movie scripts.
From what I had read on the subject before, I vaguely remembered there being a clear industry standard. Click-baity articles such as this one quickly jogged my memory: Final Draft is what all the cool kids are using. However it seems they mostly choose it on the virtue of it “being around the longest”, and because “everybody uses it”. It also comes at a price point of two-hundred-and-a-lot dollars and has a reputation for crashing a lot. I decided not to become one of the cool kids just yet.
So, I looked at some of the alternatives. Celtx seemed to be near the top of most lists. It’s an online tool, with all basic features coming for free. It’s only downside? You can’t easily export your script to Final Draft. I decided I could live with that, so I created an account.
Within minutes, I was looking at the oh-so dreaded white canvas. I typed in “Personal Space” as the title for my script and started to write.