Screenplay Markdown has a new home, a new name, and some very cool new friends.
Screenwriting Nerds Unite
As the SPMD spec was making the rounds late last year, I was contacted by John August, a well-known screenwriter and the creator of Scrippets, an elegant tool for embedding short sections of a screenplay in a blog or web site, using formatting hinted from plain text. It turns out John was actively working on expanding Scrippets into something that could support an entire screenplay—in other words, exactly SPMD’s charter.
When we compared notes, the similarities between his format, called Fountain, and SPMD were overwhelming. We decided that we would merge our efforts into one. And his name was way better.
Check out the beautiful new Fountain site, created by John, Ryan Nelson, Nima Yousefi, and me. You’ll recognize much of the content as originating from the SPMD spec.
I’ll pause here to gush a bit: I am delighted to be working with John. That he is a respected, working writer/director, a huge nerd who both blogs and podcasts eloquently, a software designer, a father, and a genuinely nice guy, makes me feel a little less crazy for attempting do be all those things at once as well.
Your New Screenwriting Software: Anything You Like
Fountain is everything SPMD was, now with the support of a respected industry pro with a track record of creating best-in-class apps for screenwriters. There are some minor changes to the syntax, but the mission is still the same:
- Allow screenwriters to write anywhere, using any tools they choose
- Support all the formatting conventions of a modern screenplay
- Archive screenplays in an obsolescence-proof format
- Welcome developers to support the format
Apps Out the Gate
Using Writing Kit for iPad to edit a Fountain screenplaySPMD champions Martin Vilcans, Brett Terpstra, and Jonathan Poritsky have been working hard to bring the SPMD + Marked workflow in line with the new Fountain spec. Check out Fountain for Marked.
There is open-source code available now on Fountain’s Developer Resources page.
For a complete list, check out the Fountain Apps page. But remember: the best Fountain app is one you already have—your favorite text editor, on any platform.
Fountain: Act I
Neither John nor I are done with Fountain. There are wonderfully cool things to come. So stay tuned. Or just get busy! Script Frenzy is coming up—maybe you could be the first person to write an entire feature-length screenplay in Fountain.
Read John’s announcement post here (if for no other reason than to learn the origin of the name Fountain), and if you haven’t seen his screenwriting-related apps, check out FDX Reader for iPad and Bronson Watermarker for Mac.