Screenplay Markdown Progress

The response to my Screenplay Markdown post has been wonderful. It’s a bit hard to follow the progress by reading the blog page, so here’s a brief recap.

I wrote about my recently discovered joy of working with plain text and Markdown, and that I’d concluded that a simple text file would not be such a bad way to begin work on a screenplay, given that Final Draft and many other screenwriting apps do a fine job of interpolating proper formatting from imported plain text documents.

Turned out I was not the only person to consider this, and some commenters called my attention to other plain-text-to-screenplay projects (post update 1).

This led to speculation about a simple syntax that would account for the few things not supported by plain text import/export, such as emphasis, dual dialog, title pages and and centered text.

This led to me going bananas and writing up a proposal for a plain-text screenplay format called SPMD (update 2), and creating a video mockup of how an app like Byword might soft-preview your screenplay formatting while you work (update 3).

The Byword guys tweeted about the video and got some excited responses from their followers.

Kent Tessman, creator of the Fade In screenwriting software (and its iOS companion, which I just learned of), wrote a detailed reply on his own blog. Other developers have emailed me privately and shared their valuable thoughts.

This has resulted in some changes to the spec, and to some real hope on my part that SPMD might becomes something useful someday. So if you’re at all interested, please take a look at the proposal, download the sample files, and let us know your thoughts.