Potential Scrivener Buyer/User: Moving Text Between Scrivener and Movie Magic Screenwriter

I am currently using the trial version of Scrivener and am seriously considering buying the programme.

I am interested in hearing from Scrivener users who use Scrivener and Movie Magic Screenwriter in concert with each other.

I currently use Movie Magic Screenwriter for Screenplays and Short Stories and Novels, and love it; but I am also attracted to Scrivener’s organizational features, which are features that MMS does not really have (although the Outlining features in MMS are good for me).

I can see my workflow encompassing writing (especially Screenplays) in MMS, and wanting to regularly move the text back and forth between MMS and Scrivener (as well as using Scrivener to store character biographies and other ‘notes’ that MMS does not have any space for currently).

So, what has your experience been moving text between Scrivener and MMS?

Are formatting features preserved well, or easily fixable?

Thanks for any replies.

Hi, I’m a pro screenwriter. I use a Mac, and although I own MMS, I only use it when I’m hired by a company that requires it.
That being said, here are some things to consider.

IIRC, MMS will import and export FDX files. That can be your exchange format with Scrivener, and it will retain your formatting both ways.

Final Draft and Writer Solo can paste screenplay text from Scrivener and retain formatting. Many other apps lose the formatting. You should test this on MMS yourself.

Scrivener on the Mac has a feature called Paste Text As Screenplay which retains much of the format if you copy from your screenwriting app and paste into Scivener. You’ll have to see if Windows has this feature, and if it works with MMS. With Final Draft, it gets confused if you write an action line in all caps like CLOSE ON GEORGE, and it will format it as a character name and the next action line as dialogue.

I suggest you experiment with these techniques and try writing something to get a feel for the workflow.

Hope that helps.

Hi popcornflix,
Many thanks for your reply, and helpful suggestions.

Unfortunately, Screenwriter 6 (which is now the official name, so I have mistakenly been calling it MMS), does not import from or export to FDX.

Screenwriter Imports from:

  1. Screenwriter 4 & 2000 (.scw, .stw)
    2.Previous Saved Versions (.bk)
  2. Timed Back Ups (.tmb)
  3. .txt
  4. .rtf
  5. Dramatica Story View Exchange (.dsw)
  6. WordPerfect (.wp)
  7. WordStar (.wds)

Not even officially Word!

Like Scrivener, Screenwriter and Final Draft (I do not have FD but am somewhat familiar with it), really need to get with the programme in terms of updating the code/software, and also re-designing their interfaces, not to mention their web-pages.

The file formats Screenwriter Exports to are:

  1. .PDF
  2. .rtf
  3. .txt
  4. Movie Magic Scheduling Export (.sex)
  5. Gorilla Scheduling (.sex)
  6. Company MOVE show planner (.sex)
  7. FrameForge 3D Studio (.txt)
  8. Avid Editor (.txt)

Having said the above, I have been experimenting a little with using Word as an ‘conduit’ to translate Scrivener to Screenwriter and vice versa, and it sort of works.

Not enough for me to want to have to re-format a whole screenplay, though, so maybe the secret is to do several scenes at a time, as I write them.

If Scrivener’s screenplay formatting was industry standard, then I would happily use Scrivener for all of my screenplay writing, but even then one is left with the problem of having to eventually transfer it to FD or Screenwriter, regardless, because - as you know better than I - those are the two standards.

Another way to look at this is if Screenwriter or Final Draft had the detail of features that Scrivener has, I would be happy to stick with those.

Oh, well.

I am definitely going to buy Scrivener at some point after my 1.9 and 2.9 trial periods run out (I would love to go straight to 3, so I hope that is coming sooner, rather than later).

Many thanks for your help, and keep writing.

All the best.

Importing FDX to MMS: tinyurl.com/yj8onn6d

Exporting FDX from MMS: tinyurl.com/yjxt38l4

Note: You may need to upgrade to the current version of MMS for these features.

I agree that if Scrivener had an industry standard screenplay processor, it would be the ideal app for screenwriting. Unfortunately, the developers have made it clear that they view the current feature set as sufficiently viable.

I understand you enjoy MMS, but I do recommend trying out WriterSolo, which is the free, no-cloud version of WriterDuet. It’s a robust little FinalDraft clone, and it works and plays well with Scrivener. It’s available on Windows, too.

Thanks for this, popcornflix.

I am using the (fully up-to-date) Windows version of Screewriter 6.

Under the link you supplied for the ‘Import’ feature, there is this note:

Screenwriter and Final Draft cannot directly open each others’ files. To import a Final Draft file, there are two methods…”

And then it talks about .RTF files, which do not always preserve the exact formatting.

So, I was going with the idea that using the .RTF format is a compromise, and one which does not preserve formatting exactly (“cannot directly open each others’ files”).

I had actually looked at WriterSolo, but that does not export to Screenwriter 6, either, so, once again, a compromise.

I think that WriterSolo is cloud-based, too, which is good in an emergency, but not really my cup of tea.

EDIT - Oops! I see there is a desktop version of the app, which must be what you were referring to - I will download that and give it a go.

Thanks again.

Right, you’re on Windows. MMS can I/O FDX on Mac.

Hope that helps.