Hi. My name's Al. Nice to meet ya.
I'm a prizewinning writer. That, and five bucks, will get me a cuppa joe at the local Starbucks.
My debut student film was widely hailed as "the most uncommercial piece of ____ in Michigan State's history."
The film was purchased by ABC-TV's groundbreaking cyberpunk series, Max Headroom.
But do you remember Max? Nobody else does, either.
I also coauthored a book on screenwriting that was featured at the Whitney Biennial.
It tells the tale of how I met a Hungarian woman on the Internet and wrote a screenplay with her via eMail.
It also contains a bunch of the short stories that I eMailed, trying to impress her.
We eventually met face-to-face, got married, and lived happily ever after.
But the book was a dismal commercial failure and resounding critical flop.
From time to time, I advertise my services as a script doctor.
There are precious few takers.
I created my first screenplay processing system, a WordPerfect shareware extension, in 1995.
The software had tons of bells and whistles.
It was a four-star Editors' Pick at ZDNet (Ziff-Davis) and generated a five-figure offer from WordPerfect's parent company.
The offer evaporated when Corel took over.
As WordPerfect's version numbers got higher, my formatters became more and more complex.
While writing my own scripts, I enjoyed playing with all those bells and whistles.
But I eventually realized they were just distracting me from the task at hand.
I mean, most screenwriters (99.9%) don't need to keep track of scene numbers or A/B pages.
All we really need, to write a spec script, is a template to keep us from coloring outside the lines.
So I reluctantly decided it was time to abandon the bells and whistles. Besides, nobody uses WordPerfect anymore.
That's when I put together a free, no-nonsense screenwriting template for Word.
Then someone pointed out that Microsoft was starting to charge fees for "free" Word packages bundled with new computers.
And that by making Word more attractive to screenwriters, I was indirectly helping to enrich Bill Gates.
At that point, I created this basic, easy-to-use, free screenplay template
for the OpenOffice.org Writer program (also free).
No frills, but complete. Elegant. Intuitive. Efficient. Conforms to Cole/Haag standards.
Did I mention that it's completely FREE OF CHARGE? You spend nada. Zilch. Bupkes.
Plus, it was chosen by Sun Microsystems to receive a $3,333 cash award!
I've always liked OOo's open-source philosophy.
I like the fact that OOo can run on just about any platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris.
I like the fact that OOo's suite of programs will handle all my spreadsheet, presentation, math, database, image processing, etc. needs.
I like the fact that OOo is familiar; it looks and feels like software from Microsoft or Apple.
I like the fact that OOo can seamlessly import/export files in a boatload of formats, including all the popular versions of Microsoft Word.
I like the fact that OOo 3 can even open that new .docx crap.
I like the fact that OOo was chosen to replace Microsoft Office on the 58 public computers at my local library.
I like the fact that OOo will automatically pop out a PDF whenever I want.
I like the fact that OOo Writer is the only full-featured word processor that will easily format a screenplay at no cost whatsoever.
I like the fact that LibreOffice will now do everything (and more) that OOo used to do. Plus, it's also free!
And I really like being a part of this effort to help aspiring screenwriters save their hard-earned dough.
I hope you'll enjoy using the template
. (Available for movie/film, sitcom, theater/stage play, radio broadcast and audio-visual dual-column corporate video / industrial film.)