When you first head over to the ScriptBuddy.com website, all you have to do is register with your name and e-mail address and the ScriptBuddy program is free for you to use. There is also an upgraded version called ScriptBuddy Pro available at subscription rates of three months ($15.50), six months ($25.50) and one year ($49.50). This premium version of the screenwriting software platform eliminates the ads and includes extra features like exporting to PDF and Plain Text as well as a lift on the amount of screenplays you can write and have in your account. This is a huge downfall to the free version, since you can only write one screenplay with the software without paying the fees. This means that the free software is not really that free, and is only capable of working as a testing platform for users.
So, what do you get for the free version and, vicariously, for the money spent to get the ability to write numerous screenplays and save them to usable formats? Well, the software takes your script ideas and transforms them into industry-standard formatting. On the right side of the screen are two boxes, one for scenes and one for characters. The first thing it wants you to do is click on the ~ez_ldquo+ez_rdquo~ symbol beside the OUTLINE dialog box and enter your information on where the scene takes place and the time of day. It then creates the page for you with the proper formatted details in the script.
After this is done, you just have to move your mouse over the area below the “INT – LOCATION" dialog and a shaded list of choices come up. You decide if you want dialog, direction, subheadings or transitions and it will format that for you. If you choose direction, a box opens at the bottom and you type in the directions and click OK. These are then added into your script for you.
Next up, you can work on dialog. This is started by adding the characters into the “CHARACTER" dialog box on the right side of the screen as well. Once your characters are there, just choose dialog like you did direction, figure out which character is speaking from the pull down list and then type the dialog in the box at the bottom of the screen. The program then adds the dialog into the script at the proper point.
That is all it takes to write a script with this program. The only true use of the software is allowing you to write what you want and never have to worry about formatting, allowing the software to take care of that task for you.
The software also offers one other bonus feature and that is the ability to upload your script to other ScriptBuddy users so they can read it, rate it and, hypothetically, work together on projects. In my eyes, this is a perfect way to allow someone to steal your work.