In February I wrote about Celtx, an open-source screenwriting and pre-production application for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. A new version (0.9.7) has just been released, and it appears to be a winner. In my February notes, I was critical of the application’s lack of “more”/”continued” support; that’s been added. I also had problems importing scripts originally written in Final Draft. So far, this seems to work like a charm. These improvements, though, appear to be just the beginning.
If I do have a quibble it’s that I think that Celtx’s developers are premature in calling Celtx “a new platform for the Pre-Production of Media.” At the moment the application has neither a stripboarding, nor a budgeting, feature.
Maybe that’s okay. Personally, instead of seeing Celtx’s developers add on feature after feature to the application, I would prefer to see a kind of “sequel” to Celtx for pre-production, which would integrate seamlessly with Celtx’s development ideas and script tools.
From a software development standpoint this could help keep the application from becoming bloated (as often happens) and it could allow the applications develop at their own pace. (As a point of comparison, Firefox and Thunderbird work much better as stand-alone apps than the so-called “Mozilla suite” does. At least thatâ€™s been my experience on a Macintosh.)
Anyway, this is all speculative and/or wishful thinking. Celtx is not even at its 1.0 release, and the bottom line is that it excels at providing a one-stop dumping ground for all of the ideas, notes, and documents associated with a film, up to and including the screenplay. I look forward to seeing where its developers take it next.