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Proposal for significantly enlarging LibreOffice's user base with Screenwright(R)

14 November 2010 by Alan C. Baird, prizewinning writer and creator of the
Screenwright(R) screenplay formatter [winner of the Sun/OOo CIP award]

Executive Summary: enable screenplay formatting in LibreOffice to distinguish it from OpenOffice.

Pitch: Every aspiring screenwriter has a movie in his/her head that needs to get down on paper. 
However, some film production companies won't accept a script submission if the formatting is even 
ONE POSITION off! So ensuring that screenplays are formatted correctly is an obsession of 
screenwriters everywhere. But formatting a script can be an expensive proposition; 78 commercial 
formatters are listed at The Writers Store. A screenwriter could easily spend $200 or more on 
software, just to get a screenplay into acceptable shape.

UNLESS s/he uses LibreOffice in conjunction with the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template.

We all want our scripts to be eligible for the next multimillion-dollar spec auction, so some of us 
even carry our latest screenplays in our glove compartments, on the off-chance that we might meet 
someone who can help. In the movie "Monster In A Box," Spalding Gray talks about one of his trips 
to Los Angeles: «I had no idea how difficult it would be to find people not involved in the film 
industry until I got out there and saw a special on television - in which they were interviewing 
people in the parking lot of a Shop Rite supermarket. As people came out with their groceries, the 
interviewer would go up to them and say, "Hi there, good morning! Tell us, how's your film script 
going?" And everyone said, "What?! How did you know?" Right up to the cashier.»

If the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template can be included as an integral part of the 
upcoming LibreOffice release, it will send a clear signal--to filmmakers in particular and to the 
Entertainment sector in general--that LibreOffice is ready to address the industry's unique 
text-processing and -formatting needs. News travels fast among members of the Entertainment 
industry, and they tend to be the gatekeepers and style leaders for the culture at large.

Historical context: OOo Writer is the first (and for now, the only) full-featured word processor 
that will easily format a screenplay at no cost whatsoever. But it requires a template download and 
installation. If LibreOffice wants to capitalize on this unique opportunity, the template could be 
integrated in the upcoming LibreOffice release.

Alan C. Baird
Mesa, Arizona USA

Extra: using your iPod to write screenplays.
[You can also use your iPhone, thumb/flash drive, mp3 player, or favorite USB storage device.] It's 
a snap:

A) At the bottom of your iPod's "Summary" tab in iTunes, check the "Enable disk use" box, and click 
the "Apply" button.
B) Download and install the latest free (LibreOffice?) Portable suite on your iPod.
C) Download and install this free template on your iPod.

When we stay in Tucson with my wife's friend--who has a Windows computer, but no Internet 
connection--I keep myself entertained by working on my latest screenplay or just kicking back and 
listening to some music (perhaps Mark Knopfler's Screenplaying). I can also use the iPod to revise 
my script on the public computers in: (1) my local library, (2) London's Heathrow airport, (3) 
Beijing's cyber-cafés, etc.

PS: My iPod is one of the smallest models, an old 2GB Nano. I had already loaded nearly 18 hours of 
music (201 songs) and 33 photos onto it. Now that it contains the (LibreOffice?) 
Portable software and my screenplay, it still shows over 606MB (33%) of free space.

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