The first version of Contour to hit the streets will be for the Mac, with a Windows version coming early in 2009. Mariner Software is offering the downloadable version of Contour for Mac at a discounted price of only $19.95 until the end of the year. This is more than 50% off the regular price of $44.95.

To take advantage of this offer you have to order directly from the Mariner Software Order Page and then enter promo code JAS at the very top of the first page.


Thanks, my Lord :slight_smile:

Thanks, o Lord of the Light!

Thanks for the hint. I downloaded the application, played around with it some time, but I must confess that it did not spark any ideas. It’s a formula, if I ever have seen one, and all formulas do for me is that they give me the feeling “I am not doing it right”.

Besides, it’s not much of a program. Basically a nice interface for filling out a long table. You could do the same just with the manual and a text editor.

But interesting. Must be this kind of software that is responsible for all Hollywood movies of the last ten years being alike… :smiling_imp:

I felt similar to AndreasE.
I am VERY grateful for the resources that were posted by Lord Lightning, including the software, the discount code, and this link
It seems like a nice add-on to other programs, and the manual is a good source of information.

As a side note, my movie preferences are far from mainstream Hollywood. Almodovar, Nueve Reinas (later adapted as Criminal, and not as good as the original), The Usual Suspects, Amores Perros, Tornatore, Ill Postino, Memento, Godfather 1 and 2, Scorsese, Woody Allen, Swimming Pool, Silence of the lambs, El Violin, etc.
I like the work of Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro in their more austere productions. Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is an exception. I thought it was great even with the big budget.

The included examples and suggestions in Contour did nothing for me, although I did like the movies to a degree.
But after reading advise such as “Your main character MUST be sympathetic” and the examples given I realized that this was not for me. That may be good, though. I’m likely in a minority :slight_smile:
And the movies I enjoy probably have not done as well at the box office as The Bond Ultimatum. It would be interesting to analyze Pearl Harbor and Armageddon with Contour :open_mouth:

Yes Eddie and Andreas - your preferences are shared by many - me included. However, that is missing Contour’s point. The app is VERY specific - it is designed to enable a writer to structure a Blockbuster. Is it a formula? Yes, absolutely. That is the point! It is particularly useful for adaptation. You only select from a text the material that fits the formula for a blockbuster movie. You are describing apples. Contour is an orange. The only thing they have in common is that they are round - their contours can be confusing.

Having said that, this is a nice little commentary by Baz Luhrmann on Australia that clearly supports your observations. … 451755.htm

I have made several suggestions regarding statements such as the one you observed above, ‘MUST be sympathetic’, and the need to place much more emphasis on the opponent character, but the app is only at version 1 and no doubt these things will change as it moves to version 2 and more users point to the same issues. Issues such as deriving the formula from Dr.Carol Pearson’s work is fine, except that her work (based on Joseph Campbell) points to six key Archetypes - not four. The Mariner people have missed a great opportunity here. The suggestions I made - and other suggestions made by other beta testers have largely been ignored in this version. The first job was to adapt Jeffery Schecter’s Totally Write to Contour. Now that is done perhaps these suggestions will be adopted in a later version. … pic=4860.0

However, you can make any changes to the text that appears in the ‘formula’ by doing Control-click on the app (Contour) > open package Contents > open Resources > then open the English.Iproj folder. Then open and change each .html file. Whatever changes you make here are then reflected in the application each time you open it. It lets you finesse what appears in Contour to suit your own way of working.

I have put these (and more) into my own Contour html files using Text Mate and it really helps story building through plot points - which is the whole point of Contour - leaving the original material in place of course. All I had to do was to add the material in Text Mate and save.


I completely agree with you, and for its specific purpose it’s definitely a nice tool to have.
If I made a living writing screenplays I would want to have something like this in my toolbox, especially with the coupon. :slight_smile:

I’ll check Baz Luhrmann’s commentary later tonight. Thanks.