MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Do you have suggestions for Movie Magic Screenwriter? What features would you like to see added or changed?
drutgat
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MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby drutgat » Sep 25, 2010 9:02 am

I am currently working with MMS 2000 (4.073.03), and am considering upgrading to MM6, primarily because of its act outline abilities (also, though, it would be nice to get away from the aesthetically 'square' look of MMS 2000, even though I really love the program).

In looking at the demo videos for MMS6, and in looking around generally on the net at screenwriting and story development software, I have become aware of the various options for software that is focused on creating outlines, and have downloaded a demo of one of these programs.

For various reasons, Write Brothers' own 'Outline 4-D' software does not appeal to me (neither does Dramatica Pro), and I have been very attracted to 'Movie Outline 3', which not only has comprehensive outlining and character construction abilities, but also incorporates screenplay formatting software.

Thinking about the fact that this outlining software incorporates the ability to format screenplays, and also thinking about the fact that Write Brothers have incorporated a very basic form of outlining software into MMS6 made me want a 'package' that combined the screenwriting function with a fully-featured piece of outlining and character development software.

For me, the advantages of combining these types of software are many and significant, but the primary ones are no need to import act or character information from a different application; more 'instant' referencing of these types of information without having to open another program.

By the way, I have no association with, nor any kind of financial interest in any screenwriting or related software (I work in a completely different career).

Thomas
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Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby Thomas » Oct 09, 2010 10:58 am

Supposedly yew can integrate Outline 4D and MMSW. So that yew can port your outline from Outline 4D into MMSW and then write from there.

But I have yet to figure out how to make this work in a way that is beneficial to a screenwriter.
The Honorable Thomas A. McKean, HOKC
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drutgat
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Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby drutgat » Oct 10, 2010 3:45 pm

Hi Thomas,
Thanks for your reply, but that's not really what I was getting at, because, as I said, I am not interested in Outline 4D, or using it - or anything else really - as a separate program. I would rather see sophisticated outline abilities included as part of MMS, as I said in my post.

Thomas
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Joined: Dec 19, 2009 5:56 pm

Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby Thomas » Oct 11, 2010 12:35 pm

drutgat wrote:Hi Thomas,
Thanks for your reply, but that's not really what I was getting at, because, as I said, I am not interested in Outline 4D, or using it - or anything else really - as a separate program. I would rather see sophisticated outline abilities included as part of MMS, as I said in my post.


Yes I understand that, and I can see why. It would be nice if they blended the two into one somehow, or somehow otherwise added better outlining. The outlining is supposed to be there, but it doesn't work for me at all.

So for now, I am using Outline 4D. But when something better comes along, I won't hesitate to change. :)
The Honorable Thomas A. McKean, HOKC
http://www.thomasamckean.com
Partner in Policymaking
Author, Soon Will Come the Light: A View From Inside the Autism Puzzle
Author, Light on the Horizon: A Deeper View from Inside the Autism Puzzle

drutgat
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Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby drutgat » Oct 11, 2010 4:12 pm

You know what I'd really like to see? I'd like to have the capability to 'structure' an outlining program as I want.

What I mean by this is that I'd like to see an easy-to-use interface which gives me the choices about how the program appears (i.e., the physical display), and what tools I have available. In other words, a program that allows a certain amount of 'meta-design'.

And I don't think that this is totally unrealistic. I think that it would be relatively easy to design something that asked a series of thorough questions about what one would like to see, and where one would like to see it. This could involve a bit of drag-and-drop, and I suppose would incorporate a graphics component.

I picture the above as being something that one could actually design the 'front end' look of; the program could have all of the conventional tools available that many of these programs seem to have - a 'tree-list' for the outline, and - in the case of one demo that I liked - a horizontal timeline; 'text' entry boxes; the ability to have 'post-it' like notes in a variety of formats.

And, of course, export capabilities to MMS.

I would gladly pay a couple of hundred dollars for such a program, as I have found that none of them that I have tried so far have all of the options that I would like; some programs have some options, and others have other options.

There are things about Outline 4D that I like, but given the fact that my writing partner is using a Mac, and that Outline 4D is not Mac based, that is one of the program's limitations that makes it unsuitable for me.

Thomas, what would you like to see in your 'ideal' outlining program?

Thomas
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Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby Thomas » Oct 13, 2010 10:27 am

drutgat wrote:Thomas, what would you like to see in your 'ideal' outlining program?


Outline 4D is not bad, really. Though I can see where yew would have a problem what with a MAC. It did take me a long time to tweak the settings to where I could use them, but now I really do like the program. So I guess what I would want is something similar (and maybe a MAC version cuz who knows when I may someday work with someone what has a MAC) and also I'd like more flexibility when exporting to MMS. If I had my way, there would be many options and I would likely try porting the outline over as NOTES. That way the outline could be hidden but also referred to in writing. Each segment of the outline would be a different note. Yew could refer to the note, write, delete the note, and move on. Or save the note if yew wanted.

There may be a way to do this, but if there is, I haven't found it. :(
The Honorable Thomas A. McKean, HOKC
http://www.thomasamckean.com
Partner in Policymaking
Author, Soon Will Come the Light: A View From Inside the Autism Puzzle
Author, Light on the Horizon: A Deeper View from Inside the Autism Puzzle

drutgat
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Posts: 51
Joined: Sep 12, 2010 1:40 pm

Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby drutgat » Oct 13, 2010 10:51 am

Hi Thomas,
Thanks for the reply.

I found what you said to be very interesting. I think that I would actually have bought Outline 4D by now if I weren't looking for a program that also has to work with my (Mac based) writing partner.

I like your idea of the capability of having Outline 4D export as notes to MMS.

What about going the other way? I'm sure I knew this at one point when researching Outline 4D, but have forgotten it since; is there a way to export selected parts of the MMS screenplay/document to Outline 4D?

One thing I remember being surprised by in Outline 4D is that it doesn't have that ability to put index cards on a horizontal 'timeline', which (as you know from what I have written here and elsewhere in the 'Screenwriter Wishlist' forum) is my number one 'essential' feature.

Thomas
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Posts: 49
Joined: Dec 19, 2009 5:56 pm

Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby Thomas » Oct 13, 2010 3:52 pm

drutgat wrote:One thing I remember being surprised by in Outline 4D is that it doesn't have that ability to put index cards on a horizontal 'timeline', which (as you know from what I have written here and elsewhere in the 'Screenwriter Wishlist' forum) is my number one 'essential' feature.


That can't be right? Outline 4D is all about timeline. It is a feature I have never used (and never WILL use), but if yew write an outline, yew can click on VIEW > TIMELINE and the timeline is automatically generated. Or so I thought? Like I said, I have never used this feature. I am only in it for the outlining. :)
The Honorable Thomas A. McKean, HOKC
http://www.thomasamckean.com
Partner in Policymaking
Author, Soon Will Come the Light: A View From Inside the Autism Puzzle
Author, Light on the Horizon: A Deeper View from Inside the Autism Puzzle

drutgat
Published Writer
Posts: 51
Joined: Sep 12, 2010 1:40 pm

Re: MMS with Full 'Outline' Ability/Package

Postby drutgat » Oct 13, 2010 6:02 pm

I could be wrong about that, as I have tried a few demos now, but I thought that Outline 4D had a kind of timeline (which, as you point out, is a main feature of the program), but that it was not graphically presented (or could not be graphically presented) in using index cards.

Apologies if I have this wrong.


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