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Movie Outline takes a little getting used to. Adding different elements isn’t totally intuitive at first, and it’s more PC than Mac in style, missing traditional keyboard shortcuts (like Command-W to close a window) and menu commands (like Open Recent).
It does have some neat functions though, like the concept of steps as distinct from scenes, allowing you to group scenes together as one step (a montage, for example), without having to scroll through scenes to get to the next beat of the movie. And we loved being able to toggle between scene view and script view.
The Character Profile Wizard can help you develop well-rounded characters.
Another cool feature, Character Insertion finds gaps in your character’s appearances in the movie, which you can correct to make sure that the spread of characters and their actions is optimal. Adding new characters is somewhat clunky via a drop-down menu on the top—we wanted to just click in the empty space in the character list, and add a new character from there. This lack of intuitiveness is disappointing when you take into account the auto-insert feature, which is smooth and effortless. Lastly, Movie Outline felt a bit overcomplicated; some functions are on the gimmicky side, such as the “feel factor,” which shows your audience’s potential emotional journey in a color diagram.
The bottom line. Movie Outline 3 will appeal to those who aim to produce scripts that follow well-trodden paths: “similar”-shaped movies are presented in the research feature, making it aimed more at beginners than those who can’t afford Final Draft.
Movie Outline 3.1
Mac OS 10.4 or later, 512MB RAM
Good as a teaching tool. Lots of bells and whistles. Step feature adds flexibility. Universal for Intel/PowerPC.
Complicated interface. Less intuitive. Slight gimmicky feel.