Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Letters, we get letters

Back in the land of the living after sending off my Nicholl entry yesterday. Same script as last year, with the benefit of extensive rewriting and invaluable feedback from my fabulous fellow workshop members. And still, I know it's not where it either can or needs to be. But even a quarterfinal placement or "Next 100" note from Greg Beal would be an improvement from last year, so I didn't really have anything to lose by submitting.

I'll ease back into the blogging routine, John August Q&A style, with my first non-spam email from Sam, who asks:

Do you know how to make Movie Magic Screenwriter handle overlapping dialogue? For example:

Let go! I'm trying! Where's my phone?

Sam, since I use Final Draft, I don't know, personally, how to do this in Movie Magic Screenwriter (in FD, there is a "Dual Dialogue" command that will split overlapping dialogue into two side-by-side columns).

Aiming to please, however, I did find this Tech Tip on the MMS website:

Movie Magic Screenwriter: How to format dual-column (simultaneous) dialogue.

Sometimes in a screenplay, you will want two characters to speak simultaneously. This is done by placing the dialogues side by side.

1. Hit Tab to place the cursor in a Character Name element.
2. Hit Ctrl + 1 on the keyboard. The element list at the top should now say 'Character Name (L)'.
3. Type in the character's name.
4. Hit Enter/Return to place the cursor in a Dialogue element.
5. Type in the character's dialogue.
6. Hit Tab to place the cursor in the next Character Name element.
7. Hit Ctrl + 2 on the keyboard. The element list at the top should now say 'Character Name (R)'.
8. Type in the other character's name.
9. Hit Enter/Return to place the cursor in a Dialogue element.
10. Type in the other character's dialogue.

The two dialogues will appear one above the other on the screen, but will print (and print preview) side by side. The program does take into account the stacked dialgoues in order to get correct page length.

Hope this makes sense, and if any other MMS users have other advice, be sure to leave a comment.


  • Best wishes with the Nicholl!

    By Blogger annabel, at 1:17 PM  

  • thanks annabel! good luck with your own entry as well. that's awesome that you have something written and put it out there for the competition.

    By Blogger Chris, at 2:38 PM  

  • Thanks :)

    By Blogger annabel, at 7:03 AM  

  • It's a good idea to click Ctrl+1 in the left DIALOGUE area, and Ctrl+2 in the right DIALOGUE area, too. (The instructions only tell you to do that for the character name... but you could end up with funny dialogue formatt.)

    All in all, it's pretty rare to need dual column dialogue, but when you do, it's pretty easy to do.


    By Blogger borderless, at 10:12 PM  

  • Thanks for publishing this. Very helpful.

    By Blogger Paul K, at 5:39 AM  

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