At first, Adobe abandoned their Adobe Story Twitter handle. And then, last February, Adobe announced plans to discontinue their Adobe Story CC screenwriting app.
If you’re a current user, you might be scrambling to find something as good (or better), before your Adobe Story login expires.
Well, we’ve got you covered. In today’s post we’ll fondly remember the robust feature set of Adobe Story CC, and rank the screenwriting softwares that will be worthy successors.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a solid alternative lined up to cover your screenwriting and pre production needs.
And be sure to check out our comparison chart to see how the features stack up!
Why Adobe Story CC
What makde Adobe Story CC so powerful?
Before we dive into possible replacements, just what made Adobe Story CC the awesome software it was?
Above all, Adobe screenwriting boasted a wider pre production toolset. Those tools included production and breakdown reports; scheduling views; scene strips; and a wide array of handy revision aids.
But before you say goodbye to the Adobe Story app, you’ll need to find yourself a solid backup. That’s why we’ll examine only the screenwriting softwares that have pre production tools built in, and hone in on what they are.
Additionally we have a companion article that dissects the screenwriting softwares themselves.
The New Options for Adobe Story CC
The biggest benefit of going with StudioBinder is that its sole focus is transforming development into a single end-to-end solution.
Like Adobe Story CC, your script serves as the launching point for your pre-production.
Once you finish authoring your script, the tool automatically organizes it by scene.
Then you tag all the scene elements (characters, props, etc) like the screenshot above, and do your shot list and storyboards in-tool.
Then, all of your inputs are tied together with auto-generated production reports. These include everything from prop breakdowns to call sheets that you can send in-tool.
Like Adobe screenwriting, StudioBinder looks beyond the actual writing. Its end-to-end film project management solution includes production calendars, a contact management system, and robust task collaboration.
PROS AND CONS
STRENGTHSAffordable, fully integrated, end-to-end pre production process, including storyboards, shot lists, production reports, and call sheets you can send in-tool.
CHALLENGESFeatures scene writing to allow adjustments to imported scenes, but no native, in-tool screenwriting (yet!)
COSTStudioBinder offers a free version which allows you to tour all the features. The Scheduler plan to unlock Shot List, Storyboard, and Production Schedule starts at $16.15 (on the annual plan).
Celtx started as a cloud-based screenwriting app, but has since blossomed into a powerful pre production software.
Today, its feature set includes storyboarding, script breakdown, shot list, budgeting, and production calendar management. In addition, it allows you to create call sheets, sides, and reports.
These reports include handy expense reports which help you keep track of your budget as you go.
Additionally, Celtx has apps for both iPhone and Android, so you can take you work on the go.Check out our Celtx review to see how it stacks up against StudioBinder.
PROS AND CONS
STRENGTHSAffordable, cloud-based and collaborator-friendly, Celtx offers a broad array of pre production tools including storyboards, shot lists, expense reports, and even call sheets.
CHALLENGESCeltx does not have as robust in-tool communications as other tools like StudioBinder. It’s more of a document building resource.
COSTCeltx is free to get started, however plans unlocking the pre production tools start at $14.99 per month.
Beyond its industry-standard screenwriting software, Movie Magic was designed as an end-to-end pre production workflow solution.
Within its screenwriting software, Movie Magic’s features boast an industry-standard rewriting tool to get your script into its finest, shooting script format.
Additionally, it allows you to tag elements in your script for breaking down and feeding a wide array of reports down the line.
However, the drawback is that you’ll have to fork up some cash for Movie Magic Scheduling to unlock the full breakdown tools, element management, stripboard, production schedule, and its robust array of reports.
PROS AND CONS
STRENGTHSMovie Magic is a true industry-standard and counts many noteworthy writers and production companies among its clients. It offers very robust pre-production tools that tie into its screenwriting app, including breakdowns, element management, and production schedules.
CHALLENGESMovie Magic Screenwriter is expensive, and requires an additional purchase to get started on the wider pre-production tool set.
COSTMovie Magic Screenwriter 6 costs $249.95 (which includes 3 activations per purchase).
4. Final Draft
In addition to its acclaimed screenwriting tool, which includes a robust tagging feature, Final Draft has an incredibly useful array of production reports.
First, the Scene Report breaks down scene numbers, slug lines, time of days, locations, page numbers, and page lengths.
The Cast and Character Reports break down the production requirements of each character in your script. This includes how many times the character speaks, their number of non-speaking appearances, and even their sample dialogue.
Finally, the Script Report can also return the screenplay excerpts pertinent to specified elements (such as locations or actions).
PROS AND CONS
STRENGTHSLike Movie Magic, Final Draft is an industry-standard, and used by the best. Naturally, its production reports and tagging feature are quite powerful.
CHALLENGESWhen compared with other screenwriting apps, FinalDraft is more focused on what it does best -- screenwriting. But it lacks storyboarding tools and call sheets, so is thus more siloed off from the pre-production workflow.
COST$249.99 (which includes 2 installs).
5. Fade In
In addition to its well-reviewed screenwriting software, Fade In’s wider tool set includes automatically generated reports.
These include industry standard script breakdowns and production reports. It also includes revisions; cast, location and dialogue reports; and even statistic reports to check your action-to-dialogue ratio.
They say “show don’t tell,” and Fade-In lets you quantify that!
Pros and cons
STRENGTHSIncludes script breakdowns and production reports (including scenes, cast, locations, and more). Offers a one-time payment as opposed to an ongoing subscription.
CHALLENGESDoes not have a storyboarding function yet, or as robust a shot list or collaboration offer as other apps.
Say goodbye to that Adobe Story login
It can be tough to part with a software you like. As you acclimate with shortcuts and features, and get closer to “pro user” status, getting a “discontinued” email can be brutal.
Hopefully, after touring the features of Story’s worthy competitors, you’ll find one to help you achieve your goals. After all, having a set plan for your development workflow should guide what tools you use.
Now that you have a solid screenwriting app that isn’t the CC writer (RIP!), check out how to keep your script formatting game strong!
And be sure to let us know in the comments below which tools you use for your own development process!
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