Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter
Yoga Instructor

Have Your Screenplay Read Back To You With Speak Text In Movie Magic Screenwriter

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Speak Text In Movie Magic Screenwriter

In this article we are going to have a look at the “voices” function in Movie Magic Screenwriter.

The program gives you the possibility to read your script back to you, so let’s see how this works.

Assign Voices

Before you can have your script read, you need to tell Screenwriter which voices to use for which element.

In order to do that, go to “Tools – Assign Voices”.

Here in the window that opens up you have two sections. The upper section is for element types and the lower section for all your characters.

You see that by default of the element types say “do not read”, and all the characters are “unassigned”. That means you have to assign voices first.

To do that click on one of the element types, and then from the drop down on the right choose one of the character names that you want to read that element.

If you want to hear how that character sounds, click the “Play Sample” button.

Now, depending on what kinds of elements and what characters you want to have read back to you, you need to assign those respective voices.

Let me show you what I mean.

I’m going to select the voice of Alex for my action element.

Speak Selection

Click “OK” and now I select an action paragraph and I go to “Tools – Speak Selection”.

Alex reads back the action paragraph for me and it works just fine.

But when I select any other element, it this doesn’t work. Because there hasn’t been any voice defined for that element. And there is no default voice for unassigned elements.

So, you need to assign all the voices that you need for the parts that you want to have read.

Which can be quite cumbersome to be honest, because you can’t just select all the elements and assign them the same voice. You have to go through them one by one.

With unassigned characters, though, you can do that. You don’t have to go through all your characters and give them a voice. Choose the ones you would like to have a distincive voice and for all others, Screenwriter will use what you assign as “Unassigned Characters” voice at the bottom of the “Elements” window.

If you want to leave out a character, for example let’s say you want Screenwriter to read the whole script but leave out one of the characters because maybe an actor is going to say those lines, select the character that you want to leave out and then choose “speak silently” from the voices dropdown.

If you choose “speak silently”, the program will wait for as long as it might take to say those lines, whereas if you choose “do not read” it’s just going to skip over that part without waiting.

Once you’ve taken the time and gone through all the voices setup here you might want to save that setup to an external file, so you don’t have to do the setup all over again. Or maybe you have the same characters in another of your script in another file and you simply want to load the voices setup.

If you click “Save Voice Assignment File”, your voices setup will be saved to an external file, that you can then import into another project. And you don’t have to do the setup all again manually.

Okay, that’s basically assigning voices.

One word of caution. Or rather, something to be aware of.

The characters that are listed in the voices list, some of them speak english, and some of them speak another language. The problem about this is that from some names you can guess what the language might be, but not with all of them.

For example, if you pick Thomas, that guy could be an english speaker, right? Or maybe german.

But no.

He’s french.

The problem is you don’t see which of the characters speaks which language so you’ll have to try for yourself.

But it’s a nice touch that they thought about including other languages as well.

Or, you could have someone speak english but with a foreign accent.

There you go, that’s using voices in Movie Magic Screenwriter.

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