6 Tips for Typing Screenplays in Final Draft

how-to-write-a-scriptFinally, you have completed the rough draft of your screenplay and you are ready to send it off to would-be producers and directors. You need to format it, clean it up, make it look professional. You can do this with Final Draft Software. But knowing how to write a script in Final Draft takes a little know-how and technical prowess. Here are a few helpful tips.

100 Templates

If you are new to writing scripts, using one of the dozens of templates available will save you time. There are script options as specific as Screenplay formats for Warner Brothers, to screenplays in French or German, graphic novels, and regular text documents.


Yes, believe it or not, you can use the text-to-speech function in Final Draft to catch mistakes that you normally would miss just by glancing at a page. This is not going to be an Oscar-worthy reading. If anything, the computerized voices will effectively dampen any emotion or drama that you had in your script. However, this function will catch little mistakes in sentence structure, repeated words, and other issues that may not pop up normally. Additionally, Final Draft for Mac also has a Dictation function, allowing you a fully hands-free writing experience.

The Power of the Elements

Newbies to Final Draft often find scrolling up and down, up and down, and up and down again a bit annoying. However, the element pop-up menu can minimize the unnecessary scrolling. Hitting return twice brings up this helpful tool. Knowing how to write a screenplay with this tool will save you some unnecessary hassle.


Do you like marking up scripts with pen? Need to remember something really, really important for later? Then you can use the Scriptnotes function. This gives you hideable notes where you can comment and upload script sections. It only takes a few clicks to hide and show the Scriptnotes. The newest version of Final Draft allows you to print out the notes.

Formatting Assistant

The Formatting Assistant formats and paginates your script. The formatting is up to current industry standards. The Formatting Assistant lets you know if you have made any errors and provides suggestions for fixing major problems.


The newer version of Final Draft has collaboration features that allow you to work with a partner remotely. Writers can update the script in real time using the software. With more and more collaborations taking place remotely over long distances, this may be one of the best features of Final Draft to date.

What is a VTT File?

what-is-a-vtt-fileCreating subtitles and captions involves knowing about VTT files. Whether you are trying to learn how to create a VTT file online or have hired a professional transcription service, it is important to know the basics of the VTT file format and what it means. The WebVTT format provides needed information for captions, subtitles, chapters and content navigation, metadata, and video descriptions. This format replaced the Web SRT format (or Web Subtitle Resource Tracks) in 2010.

Just What is a VTT File?

The VTT file format displays time text tracks like captions and subtitles using the <track> element. If you don’t know, the HTML <track> element is a child of media elements like <video> or <audio>. This allows you to automatically handle subtitles. This specific format is entirely text based. There is no video date in the format. You must encode using UTF-8. The data and the tracks do have a basic API (Application Programming Interface) that allows playback of text to test timing. These are important to know whether you have to create a VTT file online, using a professional service, or have to quality check the subtitles and captions on a project.

Some Important Terms

Before you embark on creating VTT file formats, you need to be familiar with several terms. The BOM is the optional byte order. The cue lets you know where in the timecode the viewer will see the text. Comments are optional. They can be very helpful in providing useful information. Keep in mind that the comments are not seen by the viewers of the video.

Dissecting the Basic Structure of WebVTT

There are several key components prevalent in the basic structure of the WebVTT format. Not all components must be present, though some are mandatory. Keep in mind that there are some detailed rules when creating the VTT file involving use of spaces, ampersand characters, less-than signs, and other text.

Below is a very basic example of the format.

  1. The BOM or “optional byte order” mark is followed by the string “WEBVTT”.
  1. There is an optional text header. This is to the right of WEBVTT.
  1. You may add a description to the WEBVTT file in this section within certain parameters.
  1. Insert a blank line.
  1. Zero or more comments and/or cues.
  1. Zero or more blank lines.

While there are many ways to write this out, this basic outline for the VTT file format is a good start. Contact a professional transcription service about how you can use subtitles and transcriptions in your next video production.


A Filmmaker’s Guide to Perfectly Formatted Short Film Scripts

short-film-scriptsYou have been writing your screenplay for several months, or years. Finally, you will have a chance to pitch your idea for an engaging love story between a cricket named Walt and a rambunctious but endearing alien named Sue. But before any writer can send out their masterpiece, they have to format. How to format short film scripts? Here is a simple guide to start you on your journey to filmmaking legend.

The Basics

Before you even start to worry about page margins and fonts, make sure that your screenplay is good. And I don’t mean good enough for your mom and grandma to enjoy when they can’t load Netflix. It needs to be good, with a clear and compelling story, believable characters, and a plot that makes sense. Even in a short film there is a very clear story presented, with a beginning, middle, and end. If you aren’t sure about the quality of your screenplay, take it to a local writer’s group or share it with some of your filmmaker friends. Then listen to their honest feedback.


There are many different international standards for screenplays. Here we will go with the formatting expected for big studio films in North America. However, if you plan on pitching your screenplay overseas, be sure to find out if they have different guidelines. Short film scripts, just like big name blockbuster Hollywood type scripts, needs to be written with Courier Font 12 point. Why? The length of your film is often determined by the length of the script, when it is properly formatted. Roughly one page of your script is equal to one minute of screen time. It’s not an exact science, but that is just one reason why the correct font is necessary.

The top margin needs to be one inch (2.5 cm). Both the right and bottom margins can be roughly the same with minimal leeway. Because you need space for binding, the left margin should be around 1.5 inches (or about 3.8 cm). And guess what two words need to start out your short film, always? FADE IN. This needs to be in upper case, flush left. Add a colon then go to the next line.


Your short film scene heading will be flush left, as well, in caps. Use EXT (exterior) and INT (interior) for each scene, as well as indicated DAY or NIGHT. For example, INT. FRED’S BUTCHER SHOP – NIGHT. Then begin with your action and dialog. Action will describe what the audience will see and hear. Dialog is what the characters say. The dialog is centered while the action is left justified.

Keep the action and dialog crisp and short. This is not a novel. This is a short film screenplay. You want to write exactly what the audience will experience with their senses, not what is going on in the head of the character, unless you can show them. For example, if a character is angry, he or she might throw a cup of coffee against a wall or yell at their students.

Other Important Terms

You might need to have a character yell from a bedroom off-screen or off-camera. This is abbreviated with “O.S.” A voice-over is indicated with “V.O.” Transitions like “DISSOLVE” are often avoided but you can add them in your script. Know the difference between s “spec script” and the “shooting script”. Most writers are working on a spec script. This script does not have camera actions added. It is simple, without additional details and direction. The shooting script is the script actually used in production. This may have additional camera cues and editing directions. There are many available books to help you with your short film script or you can hire a professional script service to get you on your way.


The Lesser Known Benefits of Using a Video Transcription Service

video transcription service in Toronto All it takes is a few minutes of web surfing to see how much the Internet has changed in the last decade. What used to be a text based medium has been transformed through the miracle of broadband into a global platform for sharing videos. Need proof? Okay. Do you know what the world’s 2nd largest search engine is today after Google? It’s YouTube. Not only that, but every minute more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and every day more than 1 billion YouTube videos are watched by people using mobile devices. The problem is it’s not easy to find what you’re looking for in a video. That’s why more and more people are discovering the value of a good video transcription service in Toronto.

Why Video Transcription Service in Toronto is So Important

More and more people are discovering that transcription is an invaluable ally in the quest to make the most of their video content. Here are a few examples of why that is:

  • Text files are searchable – When you’re watching a video and want to find the place where someone made a particular point your only option is to click around. Even time stamps aren’t a very effective way to find exactly what you’re after. When you transcribe the video you can search for a keyword that will take you to the exact place you’re searching for in a split second.
  • Transcription lets you repurpose video content – A video is a video is a video. Unless of course you transcribe it. Once you do the content of that video can be repurposed into web pages, blog posts, emails, promotional materials and even referenced in other videos. Transcription allows you to get the most out of your video content.
  • Transcription lets you use video content to aid in your SEO efforts – You can have the greatest, most informative video ever made on your website but Google’s bots can’t search it. As such it won’t help in your SEO efforts. However, if you transcribe that video and use the information to create blog posts Google will scan those posts and your transcribed video content will help boost your organic search results page ranking.
  • Transcription lets you broaden your appeal – As popular as video has become there are still a lot of people who prefer to read rather than listen and watch. If you transcribe your video and create an article based on it then your web page will appeal both to those who prefer to watch and those who prefer to read.
  • Increased accessibility – Even in an age when high speed wi-fi is the norm not everyone is able to stream video easily on their PC or mobile devices. By offering a transcribed version of your video you’re making the content accessible to a wider audience. That wider audience also includes the hearing impaired.

For timely, reliable video transcription service in Toronto contact Flaming Fingers. We’re the GTA’s #1 source for high quality transcription of audio and video files large and small.

Tips on How to Record Good Audio for Transcribing Companies

Transcribing Companies in CanadaOne of the most common problems faced by any transcriber is poor quality audio. It’s not that clients are trying to make things difficult it’s just that they don’t know many of the simple tricks and techniques that produce nice, clear, easily understood audio recordings. So in the interest of saving you time, money and hassle we’re going to go through some of those trick and techniques. Hopefully, this will make your life simpler and make the quality of the transcriptions you receive that much better.

Creating High Quality Audio for Transcribing Companies in Canada

A high quality recording is going to save you a lot of time and trouble when it comes to having it transcribed. That said, here are 5 tips for producing high quality audio for transcribing companies in Canada.

  1. Minimize background noise – Background noise is the enemy of high quality audio. Therefore, it’s crucial to make your recording in an enclosed area that is as soundproof as possible. If you can’t find a truly soundproof room then make sure all windows and doors are closed, that you turn off as many electronic devices as possible (air conditioner, buzzing lights, TV, radio, fans) and that there aren’t people talking on the other side of the door.
  2. Prep the participants – If there is to be more than one person on the audio recording sit down with any and all participants ahead of time and lay out some ground rules. For instance, make sure everyone understands that only 1 person should speak at a time. That they speak into the microphone and not with their head turned away looking at other participants and that they avoid side conversations and whispering while others are speaking.
  3. Place microphones properly – If there is one microphone make sure it is an equal distance from all the participants. If there is more than one make sure each is located the same distance from each participant. Emphasize to all participants the importance of sitting still while they speak as the sound of rustling clothes and squeaking chairs can interfere with sound quality.
  4. Identify the speakers – It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between speakers on an audio recording. Therefore, if there is more than one participant, it can be helpful if they address one another by name on a regular basis. For instance: “What do you think, Claire?” or “Tell us a bit more Robert.” This way there’s no mistaking who is speaking.
  5. Keep the files small – You should be using a digital voice recorder to make your audio files and you should strive to keep those files as short as possible. 10 one minute recordings are better than one 10 minute recording because they can be transcribed by several people at once and they are easier to upload, email or otherwise transfer.





Transcribing companies in Canada will tell you that a high quality audio file is vital to the creation of a high quality transcription. Follow the above tips and see how much easier and more accurate your next transcription is.

The Importance of Post Production Transcription for Filmmakers

film scriptsIf there’s one lesson new filmmakers learn in a hurry it’s this: you can never have enough information about your project. When engaged in post-production filmmakers need to know who says what, when they say it, what the scene is, whether that scene calls for any special effects and so on. Editing itself is extremely time consuming, especially if you have to keep guessing exactly what each actor says in each take. Post production transcription is the ideal way to cut through the clutter and keep your production on schedule.

Make the Most of Your Film Script: Toronto Post Production Transcription

Sifting through mountains of takes during the editing process can be migraine inducing. But it doesn’t have to be if you use post production transcription from Flaming Fingers. Here are some of the ways post production transcription can benefit your TV or film script in Toronto.

  • Finding the right take – Often times directors will call for a dozen or more takes of a certain shot. Buried in all that footage is the one take they thought hit the nail on the head. If all takes are transcribed then finding that one take is just a matter of doing a keyword search. Without transcription you need to sift through every take to find what you’re looking for.
  • Producing captions – Most productions aimed at a wide audience will need captions. These are typically in the native language of the film and are intended to help the hearing impaired. Captioning from the film itself is an arduous, labour intensive process. By comparison transcriptions make the process of captioning a cost-effective walk in the park.
  • Translating the film – Creating foreign language subtitles for your project is another expensive, time consuming process if you’re working directly from the film itself. The translators have to keep listening to the scene over and over again to make sure they heard things correctly so that the subtitles are accurate. When the translators work from transcriptions the whole process is much faster and cheaper.
  • Cutting the final product down to size – Even after you have what you believe to be the perfect film or TV show chances are the studio, theatres or TV stations will ask that the project be further cut to accommodate their projected time slots. The timecodes in the transcription allow you to easily find those pieces of the project that can be sacrificed without the final product suffering.

Don’t Settle for Less

Post production transcription will help you keep your film or TV project on schedule and within budget. There are few other things you will find yourself relying on as much as the transcriptions when crunch time approaches. Make sure you have the best, most complete, most accurate transcriptions possible by hiring the company more GTA film and video production houses trust over any other for their transcription services: Flaming Fingers. We help you get the most of your film script in Toronto, or wherever your production is based.