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Importing your screenplay
Importing your screenplay

Learn how to import your script and some best practices for screenplay formatting.

Brandon avatar
Written by Brandon
Updated over a week ago

Did you finish writing your script and now looking to import it into StudioBinder? Follow these instructions to get you started.

Importing your script will make it convenient to access anytime and will give you the ability to tag elements, create shooting schedules, shot lists and storyboards.

Note: Users on the Free plan will be able to import 50% of their script so they can demo the software. To import an entire screenplay, you must first subscribe to any of the paid plans.

Watch this video to see how to import your script, or read the text below πŸ‘‡

Note: If you do not see the Shooting Schedule feature, you must first enable it in your Project Features.

Import your screenplay

1 – Open your project by clicking on the name of the project.

2 – On the Project Overview page, click Import Script.

3 – Drag and drop your script file (.fdx, .fountain or PDF) or click Browse to select a file.

4 – Select a version color, and version number (and rename the file if you would like).

Why did only half my script import?

If only a few of the scenes in your script are imported, this is because you're subscribed to the Free plan, which only allows you to import 50% of your screenplay. To import the whole script, you must be subscribed to a higher plan.

What format can I import my screenplay in?

You can import your screenplay if it's a PDF, .sbx, .fdx, or .fountain file. There is no need to convert it to another format before importing it to StudioBinder.

Why does it only import 1 scene?

If you are importing a multi-scene screenplay and it only imports 1 Scene, this is most likely caused by a formatting error. For example, if your Scene Heading is not marked as such in the scriptwriting platform that you're using, then it will not consider it a "Scene" when you import. In addition, we suggest importing a script that's in .fdx format since this contains the most amount of metadata and will ensure Scenes are broken up properly.

Are the pages automatically divided into 8ths?

Yes! When you import a screenplay, we automatically create a Scene Strip based on the Scene Heading. If a screenplay has been properly formatted with Final Draft, you will immediately see the Page Count appear on the Scene Strip.

What happens when I import a new version of my screenplay?

When you import a new version of your script, a new version of your shooting schedule, shot list, breakdown, and storyboard will automatically be generated. Your work is not lost or deleted, in fact, you can roll back to a previous version of your stripboard if needed.

Why are my scenes or page numbers not showing after I imported my script?

Before you import your screenplay into StudioBinder, you should Generate scene numbers in Final Draft. This will help avoid having to edit each strip manually.

  1. In Final Draft, go to Production and select Scene Numbers.

  2. Select Remove numbers from the pop-up box, and click OK.

  3. Go to Production and select Scene Numbers again.

  4. Select Number/Renumber

  5. Select the element you want to number and Click OK.

Tip: If importing isn't instant, there may be script formatting that must be resolved prior to import.

Best Practices When importing your Screenplay

Saving time

  • Before importing your screenplay, we suggest making sure your formatting is correct in order to make the most of our software.

  • If you've made changes to your Screenplay, and don't need to start from scratch, remember that you can always add a scene manually to avoid the need to redo work already completed.

Are page lengths included when importing a .fountain file?

Currently, this is not supported.

What if I get a revised script?

Sync Screenplay

1 – From the Project Overview page, click Import Script

2 – Drag and drop your script file (.fdx, .fountain or PDF) or click Browse to select a file.

3 – Select a version color, and version number (and rename the file if you would like). Click Update Script.

Why aren't your scenes syncing?

When you import your revised script and it replaces all the old scenes with the new one instead of syncing, this could be due to the Scene Numbers not matching.

Only some of my scenes synced, why?

If only a portion of your screenplay synced, this is most likely due to your Scene Numbers not matching. To avoid having to start all over with tagging elements, it's important to ensure that the Scene Numbers match from your previous screenplay.

Can I go back to a previous version of my screenplay?

You can always swap back to a previous draft using version history.

Can I manually edit a screenplay?

Yes, from the Stripboard or Breakdowns page, click on Preview Scene for the scene you want to edit. Then click Edit Scene. You can make changes to the script, and the scene heading. Once finished click Save Scene.

If I re-import a script, will my shots be attached to the wrong scenes?

When you import a new screenplay with screenplay sync, it will simply add the newly modified scenes to your Shot List, and it will not move shots to other scenes. However, if you added shots to the Imported Scenes List, they will be associated with those specific Lists. This means that if your Scene Numbers changed, those specific shots will be available on the previous Version. In a nutshell, it will not wipe your shot list clean if you re-import, along with any script elements.

My shot list is no longer synced with my stripboard after updating the script, is there any way to re-link?

The reason that your shots are not appearing anymore with the previously associated scenes is due to the Scene Number changing. Revisit your script and ensure that the Scene Numbers are the same, that way when you sync your screenplay changes, it will maintain your shots as well.

Can I sync a PDF script?

Yep, this is totally possible! As long as the Scene Numbers are the same, it should sync successfully.

How do I add another script to be broken down without replacing the previous one?

Currently, only a single script can be synced to a project at a time. While it is possible to import separate scripts, they will be located on different versions of the project. Meaning both scripts will not appear on the Breakdown or Visualize sections of the project at the same time.

To manage multiple scripts in a project at the same time, such as Episodic series scripts, combine the scripts into a single screenplay document and import this into StudioBinder.

If you have multiple seasons and episodes, we would suggest the following Scene Number structure: Scene [season number].[episode number] (i.e. Scene Number 2.5)

Best practices when using Sync Screenplay

Sync Screenplay Window

Review the Sync Screenplay Window to verify changes that will take effect when importing a new draft.

1 – Removed scenes will show up in red.

2 – Modified scenes will be highlighted in blue.

3 – You can click on a scene to open it up and see the changes.

Importing

Make sure you’ve generated scene numbers using your scriptwriting software. Otherwise, scenes will not sync properly when you re-import future revisions.

Note: A Sync Screenplay window will appear displaying what scenes were removed or modified once a new draft is uploaded.

Is there a way to update the script without losing existing breakdowns?

Yes! If you use Sync Screenplay, it will preserve the tagged elements on your account as long as the existing scene numbers have not changed.

When syncing a new version of the script, I lost all tagged elements apart from cast members.

This is most likely because the scene numbers in your script have changed. Follow the instructions above and make sure that the scene numbers are the same!

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