Not a plug for Celtx - but until the next version of Scrivener is released this is an excellent way of doing notes for a film. You can see your script, your scene slug lines and the notes at the same time.
It comes into its own if you are working with coverage ‘scene’ or ‘page’ notes.
It is normal practice to take coverage or assessor notes and to add them to a finished screenplay draft as NOTES.
For example - some real assessor notes:
If we began with the crash and the blame being placed on Jim (or better
still, Jim’s dead buddy Mike) and then slowly discover that this version
of the truth is not true at all, then we go on the journey with Jim … we
are actively drawn into the story, rather than passively observing it from
o If the structure were to change, then you might find that the opening
flashback would work better if it was revealed in response to Jenny’s
asking Jim What’s the story? In scene 47. In that way, we (the
audience) are invited to wonder about the significance of the photo that
gets broken in Charlie’s office, and share in Jenny’s curiosity when she
sees it there.
o Perhaps Jim’s background isn’t revealed until Pitman produces the file
in scene 66. It would provide a more interesting a twist for us and allow
us to share the surprise with Blake and Jenny in a way that isn’t
possible with the structure as it is. In this way, we can suspect that
there’s more to this nice-guy pilot than we are seeing, and have our
suspicions confirmed for us. A very satisfying experience for an
Other notes that are supplied to writers are usually in the form of scene by scene, or page by page notes, and look like this:
Sc87: This scene seems unnecessary. It’s just repeating information that we
learned in the previous scene. These scenes that dwell on the past are
slowing down the pace of the film at a point where we’re eager to get to
the end of the story.
Sc89: Vincent challenges Blake’s argument without an objection or the
permission of the judge. Can he enter into this kind of debate during the
The notes above are real issues of structure. So, in an ideal world, notes should be visible at the same time as the SCRIPT, the SCENES and the OUTLINE and the CARDS.
So I see the solution for screenplays in BOTH writing and then in editing after the first draft is completed.