February 8th, 2012 | by | screenwriting


A couple of years ago, screenwriter John August came up with an easy, straightforward way to incorporate script excerpts into web pages and blogs and forum posts. With a little simple formatting, plain text would be automatically formatted to look like a screenplay. John called it Scrippets.

I thought that was a cool idea, so I put support for it in Fade In.

Last year, Stu Maschwitz proposed something similar — a syntax for plain-text screenplay formatting — but more extensive in that he wanted to be able to write an entire script like that. That way he’d be able to work wherever he was, using whatever device he had handy, whether it was a desktop computer or a cellphone. Stu called his method Screenplay Markdown, or SPMD.

I thought that was also a cool idea, so I put support for it into Fade In, too.

But I also thought — especially once I realized how much common processing they would share — what a good idea it would be to combine Scrippets and SPMD. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

Today Stu and John announced Fountain: essentially the unification and evolution of SPMD and Scrippets. A handful of contributors1 have worked on the spec and begun producing software tools to work with Fountain all the way from editing to output.

And Fade In, just as it did Scrippets and SPMD, supports Fountain.

The desktop version2 of Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software provides the ability to import and export in Fountain format. Open a .fountain file with Fade In and it will appear as a properly formatted screenplay, or you can save a Fade In screenplay as a plain-text .fountain file for editing in a regular old text editor. You can also copy and paste from and to Fade In as a scrippet in Fountain format for easy inclusion in web pages, blogs, and forums (with the requisite plugin installed).

Fade In Mobile uses a subset of Fountain markup to specify bold, italic, underline, centering, etc. on mobile devices where built-in text-editing controls don’t support rich-text formatting.

  1. Aside from Stu, John, and Nima Yousefi, the co-developer of Scrippets, contributors to the Fountain spec include Martin Vilcans, Brett Terpstra, Jonathan Poritsky, Clinton Torres, and me.
  2. Update 1.1.346 of Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software includes support for Fountain 1.0

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