Simple, elegant screenwriting.

  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz

Entries in Writing (27)


Slugline Birthday Sale

From the Slugline blog:

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Slugline’s launch. For Clinton and I, It’s been an amazing year of building and using the app.

By far the best part of the experience has been the amazing screenwriting community, more and more of whom embrace Fountain and Slugline with open arms every day. The feedback you’ve given us has helped make Slugline better than we ever could on our own. Your unanimously 5-star ratings and reviews have given us something to be proud of for sure, but we have so much more work to do.

But for now, it’s our birthday—so let’s celebrate! Today and tomorrow, Slugline is on sale for 50% off. That’s USD $19.99 instead of the usual $39.99.

Get it now on the App Store!


Slugline 1.0.6

From the Slugline blog:

Slugline 1.0.6 is available now on the App Store. This is mostly what we call a “maintenance release,” where we fix all the great bugs you found in our last big update. But we also added something kinda big, which is support for Fountain 1.1.

The free demo has also been updated with the new features and fixes.


’Twas(n’t) the Software Patent Before Christmas

’Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the ’net

Excitement brewed for iA Writer Pro, the distractionlessest text editor yet!

It promised simplicity, but a powerful workflow.

And touted a new feature called Syntax Control.

As folks were beginning their winter vacation,

iA submited a patent application.

They felt Syntax Control should be protected.

(Secretly hoping their use of NSLinguisticTagger wouldn’t be detected.)

So certain they were that this patent they’d get,

They tweeted a few devs with thinly-veiled threats.

This got @the_soulmen all up in arms.

Software patents, we all know, do less good than harm.

This application was for a technique

That’s built into OS X, which @the_soulmen found weak.

While you were hanging stockings by the chimney with care,

@the_soulmen were tweeting “How could @iA dare?”

They wouldn’t let up with the public shaming,

Until iA backed down, “A joke!” they were claiming.

“We’ll never sue devs over our fancy new patent.”

“That’s right,” said @the_soulmen, “Because you don’t even have it.”

iA went as far as to threaten Brett Terpstra.

(At this point I thought @the_soulmen would burst-a.)

We all love simple, powerful writing.

But nobody benefits from developers fighting.

Let’s all build great stuff, and worry a bit less

About what others are doing. That’s just a big mess.

And so, as you begin a new year of prose,

Consider the toolmakers—are they friends, or foes?

Do they play well with others, or bully and pester?

Something to consider when you visit the App Store.

And to the good devs, wherever you are,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, we love you, five stars.


“Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story,” Analyzed

Back in 2011, a Emma Coats tweeted a series of “story basics” she absorbed and distilled during her tenure as a story artist at Pixar. These tweets were aggregated by many bloggers, who tended to refer to them as “pixar story rules,” even though they were never represented by Coats as “rules,” or “Pixar’s.”

I found Emma’s tweets insightful and useful (especially when rendered in Lego). As with any pithy, tweet-sized aphorisms, they were more interesting for the thoughts they spurred in the reader than as hard and fast “rules” on their own (as Emma was always quick to point out herself). To me, what was most valuable about these observations was what happened inside my head when I read them.

Another Pixar employee, Stephan Bugaj (a good friend who consulted on the design of Slugline), would seem to agree, as he blogged his analyses of each of the rules-that-aren’t-rules. He recently completed the series of 22 posts, and has compiled them all into a PDF e-book, which you can download free from his site.

Pixar’s cultural commitment to storytelling is something special, and any window into it is gold. But in the same way that Emma’s tweets were her own, Stephan’s analysis is all him—and it’s definitely worth a read.