Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

The Myth About The Screenplay Industry Standard File Format

The term “industry standard” is widely used for marketing things toward people who want to break into the industry.

But it can be misleading.

If you’re not part of the industry, how would you know what is “industry standard” and what not.

And also, who defines “industry standard”?

So, here are my 2 cents about the “industry standard” screenplay file format.

Which, many say, is the Final Draft fdx format.

And yes, it’s a widely used file format for interchanging scripts between different software packages. It hasn’t always been like that in the past but I think right now every decent screenwriting software can import it and export it.

But does that make it industry standard?

When it comes to exchanging finished scripts with other people from the industry, there is only one format that I’ve used so far.

And until now nobody has requested anything else.

And that format is PDF.

So, don’t get fooled into thinking you need to have Final Draft to adhere to the “industry standard” for exchanging scripts.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Final Draft is a bad Software and that you should shy away from buying it.

If it does what you need and it’s the right tool for you, go ahead, buy it.

I own a copy and I use it for certain writing steps too.

What I’m saying is that if you come across the term “industry standard” you should be careful. It might be someone is just trying to sell you something that you really don’t need.

Talking about selling…

If you want to check out what Final Draft and other writing software packages really can and can’t do, you can check out my industry standard screenwriting software courses before you spend money on something you maybe don’t need.

Just click the button below to check them out: