I firmly believe, as educators, we never (and I mean never) stop learning and I just love it when a student teaches me something new about my discipline area. A few weeks ago, a Year 8 student arrived to class with her group’s Soap Opera script looking just way too professional, in my opinion, for the ability of the average 13 year-old. So, I proceeded to immediately investigate the cause of this event.
The culprit? Celtx scriptwriting software developed by a team of Canadian software developers and film people. Had I been living under a rock? Why had I never heard of this amazing software before now? Her script looked like a professionally typed industry standard stage play manuscript! This was a Year 8 Soap Opera script for Drama assessment, not a script for a new Broadway play. What was going on?
Celtx scriptwriting software is absolutely free. This is incredible and hard to fathom, because when one realises what an amazing, fully featured, advanced product they have in Celtx, you’ll be scratching your head as to how and why this product is free? In case at this point you’re suspicious of my motives here, no, I’m not being paid to plug this product. Celtx doesn’t need me to promote it, as this software is so good word of mouth should be marketing it all by itself.
With the ability to write screenplays, stage plays, A/V scripts, audio plays and comic books, Celtx has built-in templates for all of these formats. Focusing simply on writing for stage plays, the templates meet both US and International (default) standards. The text editor is rich and intuitive, with all the bells and whistles. Best of all, the template realises you’re about to move, for example, from a stage direction to character dialogue and the cursor hits the right spot on the template, accordingly. It is so easy to place either existing content or write from scratch in this editor.
There are also places in the stage play editor to put additional notes about scenes in the script, scene breakdown reports, notations and more. You can even dump images into a sidebar from your computer or the web, such as a costume note in a particular scene with an image of a costume item or prop. The advanced features really are fabulous.
I’m so excited about this product, I’ll be using it for all Drama scriptwriting activities at school from now on. The software is easy enough for students at most levels to understand and yet advanced enough to accommodate professional demands as well.
Celtx is a wonderful product for scriptwriting in Drama/Theatre classes in education and a great way to get students to enjoy using technology with a meaningful purpose. Celtx is a free download catering for Windows, Mac and Linux in more than 30 languages and just in case you need support, there’s online video tutorials, FAQs, a wiki manual and community support forum as well.