Two new companies are trying to do for screenwriting what Google Docs is doing for word processing.
If either of these guys take off, it will mean a change in the way that Hollywood physically produces its screenplays — a small but important part of the film-making business. Typically, aspiring writers buy either Final Draft ($229) or Movie Magic ($249) to help them format their screenplays using the rigid guidelines the industry demands. Scripped and Zhura both offer free, online versions of the same programs; Zhura’s also allows writers to work on scripts collaboratively.
Revenue? Of course not now. But Zhura’s execs say they want to eventually sell an upgraded version of the their program. Scripped cofounders Sunil Rajaraman (UCLA MBA student) Ryan Buckley (MIT MBA student) and Zak Freer (graduate, USC producing program) say they’ll make money by selling services, like script consultations, or by brokering meetings with producers and the like. In other words, the software may be free: But even in the Web 2.0 world, connections go for a premium.