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Old June 24th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #1
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Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

I'm looking at a super-portable option for scriptwriting and am wondering if anyone on DV Info has successfully done scriptwriting on the iPad. I don't want to use my laptop for scriptwriting because it's also a workhorse for editing, so it's not something I'd like to casually carry around from room to room or wherever. That's got me thinking about the iPad.

Maybe an iPad with some sort of wireless keyboard with a holder at the back to slip the iPad into, so that it acts as a stand-up screen for the keyboard?

Has anyone come up with, or know of, a practical way to adapt an iPad for scriptwriting?
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Old June 25th, 2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

I am typing this on my iPad 2 with a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard that has a holder for the iPad (horizontal or vertical) built into it and also doubles as a protective case. Absolutely love it and in most ways this setup has replaced my laptop. I use my desktop for video editing. About $99, IIRC

Good luck,
Deborah
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Old June 25th, 2012, 02:56 AM   #3
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

Final Draft Writer is supposedly in the works--there is a Reader app available now. That's the biggest hurdle before the iPad becomes a great script writer!
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Old June 25th, 2012, 03:29 AM   #4
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

Thanks for that, Deborah. That set-up looks amazing! Perfect for my needs.

Final Draft is definitely my scriptwriting software of choice, Charles. I just had a quick look on the Final Draft website and their development team posted on June 6 that they've got a beta version out, but it looks like they still need to add some more "production functionality" before they'll release it.

I'm intending to get an iPad next month. I'll definitely get the "Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad" to go with it. If they haven't released Final Draft Writer by then, I guess I'll pick up the Celtx Script app for $5.50 and try to cope with that. Although I've got Final Draft on both my laptop and desktop, so it would be a pain to transfer work back and forth! (Celtx on the desktop is quite strong for its storyboarding features, in my opinion. But, for pure scriptwriting, I only like to use Final Draft.)
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

I'll try throwing in a different line of thought:

1. Weight of ipad+keyboard = Weight of a light netbook
2. Touchscreen is not required for Final Draft
3. Final Draft Writer is 'in the works' - even when it ships it might not have all the features of the actual Final Draft software
4. You need a good keyboard - so your Ipad will always be in 'notebook' configuration
5. The iPad does not have a USB interface - a netbook does - you can connect flash or hard drives instantly for backup, even at a cafe
6. Cost of a netbook is less than the cost of an iPad+keyboard
7. A good netbook might have a DVD slot (at least the higher end ones do), Also, a netbook can be configured for 2GB RAM whereas the ipad has only 1GB RAM
8. The huge advantage of the ipad is its screen resolution, but a netbook screen is already good enough for reading.

Is your line of thought - I have an ipad or I want an ipad so how do I make it work? - rather than - which is the best portable lightweight and cheap solution for writing that I can carry anywhere?

I have been writing for 10 years, I wouldn't consider the ipad or any tablet even for a second. Not trying to put you off here, just offering my point of view. Hope it helps.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

Good points, Sareesh, but it all depends on what you want to use it for. If you're already using Macs, it's really great.

If you like a LOT of apps for a variety of purposes, iPads are good. There are a ton of filmmaking apps that I use among others that I use to keep up with industry news, etc. like Flipboard. In addition, to using it for a ton of non-video related things, like reading comics (an obsession for 30 years now.) The whole experience of using the iPad is way better for me than my desktop (iMac) or laptop (MacBook) - so much so that sometimes I'm sitting in front of my desktop and pull out the iPad, too.

I completely appreciate hat your saying, Sareesh, and this is just my opinion on how it works for me personally. I might be of a different mindset if I was working with Windows computers.

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Old June 26th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

Hi Sareesh.

Thank you for your point of view. I appreciate your effort to help.

I think that's great that you love your Windows PC. And that you feel it is the "best" solution. My current opinion about the platforms is expressed in this post from a few days ago:

FCP O(ver)?

That said, I am happy to tell you my actual line of thinking at the moment.

I write scripts on my desktop and my laptop. But over the weekend I've been thinking that I'd also like to write on something more robust or versatile than a laptop. With a laptop, I'm too super-cautious with it. I'd never risk leaving it on the sofa or putting it on my knees. I would with an iPad though. Something between my very robust iPhone and a laptop might just suit me. Hence I started this thread to check out if the idea was too wild or if it had some merit. Deborah's experiences have confirmed my thinking. I haven't totally ruled out getting an 11" MacBook Air for the purpose. But I know I wouldn't take it everywhere with me. And that's the point. I want something closer to a "take anywhere" solution for my scriptwriting than a laptop.

I already missed out on a chance for 2-3 hours of scriptwriting last weekend. If I'd had the iPad solution I would've been in production for that time. And I had a lot of great ideas which I needed to get down while they were still fresh.

I totally get that the iPad isn't for you Sareesh. Everyone has different tastes, needs, experiences and viewpoints. Isn't it great that we have so many choices today that most of them get catered for? Such as you with your netbook and Deborah with her iPad solution.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 02:56 AM   #8
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

As far as a solution goes, I've found that I'm now doing about 95% of my scriptwriting on the iPad. And this has been the case for about the last two months.

I followed Deborah's advice about getting a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard (I bought their new "Ultrathin" model and it's been great). I initially installed the Celtx app on the iPad (and you can also install it on the iPhone). It's a good app, but I was really after the Final Draft app (as I'm a Final Draft user on both the laptop and desktop), so I contacted the Final Draft people and asked to be a part of their beta testing program and was accepted, fortunately for me. In my case, I've had a huge spike in my writing productivity because, whenever inspiration hits, the iPad (with its keyboard) always seems to be around.

The other happy discovery I made was Dropbox ( www.dropbox.com ). I was really quite "behind the times" with regards to this but the beta of Final Draft Writer had a "Copy to Dropbox" function which prompted me to find out all about Dropbox. Now I've got it on my laptop, desktop and iPad and no longer have to do any tedious emailing between devices!

Final Draft Writer is out of beta now and I bought my release copy from the Australian iTunes store on the day it came out and installed it on both of my iPads.

So Celtx users are now catered for, as are Final Draft users on the iPad. I don't know if the other popular scriptwriting solutions are on the iPad yet, but I'm just happy that my solutions are there now.

The only drawback I've encountered with scriptwriting on the iPad is when I accidentally touch the screen while I'm quickly typing away and later find I've put half a paragraph in the wrong spot!

But that's a small "price" to pay.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

Yep I've started using Final Daft Writer on an iPad and so far it's great to get out of the house occasionally.
I'm still using its keyboard and I find the magnetic cover to fold over the screen and instantly power off, is a godsend.

I'm working on the draft of my new screenplay. It's titled, 'The Sound of Music 2' subtitled Maria strikes back.
It's got the shooter the hooker and the one eyed witness.

I'm currently rewriting the stay of execution scene, I forgot to take daylight saving time into account.

Cheers.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #10
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Re: Is anyone using an iPad for scriptwriting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Yep I've started using Final Daft Writer on an iPad and so far it's great to get out of the house occasionally.
I'm still using its keyboard and I find the magnetic cover to fold over the screen and instantly power off, is a godsend.
Fantastic!

Quote:
I'm working on the draft of my new screenplay. It's titled, 'The Sound of Music 2' subtitled Maria strikes back.
It's got the shooter the hooker and the one eyed witness.

I'm currently rewriting the stay of execution scene, I forgot to take daylight saving time into account.

Cheers.

Hmmm... sounds like a blockbuster! :)

Deborah
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