Fast Screenplay Dictation
As a writer who worked in tech, the evolving marriage of story and technology is my obsession.
Over the years, many different playwriting professors and screenwriting mentors suggested variations on this technology-driven dialogue technique. There are lots of reasons playwrights and screenwriters like the Howard Hawks Method:
If any of those situations ring a bell…FIRST DRAFT solves all those problems. This is the software I wish I had years ago.
For years in Hollywood, I used different junkyard solutions; bits of tech cobbled together that could automate the Howard Hawks Method. I used old MIT freeware for making subtitle files, combined with different cloud-based speech-to-text companies…for a while I incorporated closed-captioning software, sometimes there was batch-table merges with spreadsheets. It was never easy. I constantly checked for new tools that I could incorporate into my system. Hoping, always, to speed up the process. And all this time I was napkin sketching what the perfect system would look like.
I asked my screenwriting colleagues if they ever did something like the Hawks Method, and if so, what tools they used. What I discovered is that a majority of my writer contacts in Hollywood have indeed tried to record themselves acting out a scene but nearly everyone grew frustrated with the next steps: transcription, and then manually reformatting everything. As speech-to-text A.I. grew smarter, with better punctuation and spelling, that stumbling block has been fixed.
But reformatting the text remained horrible. The process of going through a giant block of words after the audio file was transcribed and then manually adjusting every single line took nearly as long as writing it would have. Yes, I could dictate a 90 minute movie in about 100 minutes, but manually reworking everything took days, weeks.
Finally, I decided if nobody was going to build the perfect tool for a fast first draft, I would do it.
My name is Fred Gooltz, I am a writer and a tech strategist. I created this: