the candler blog

Screw Final Draft

Technology

I poke fun at Final Draft all the time, but I try to be nice and respectful. I’m done.

Fuck Final Draft.

Here’s what pushed me over the edge:

As of 16 February 2012, telephone calls to their support line will cost a cool $25.00 per call. This new premium service replaces the previous per-minute billing systems which proved unpopular with many.

I had to read that a few times to wrap my head around it. $25 a phone call? Does it come with a lap dance? Final Draft costs $250 for goodness sake. They can’t field questions over the phone gratis for that kind of money?

What really upsets me is that Final Draft doesn’t seem to understand how much better other developers are able to approach customer service than they can. You know how I got involved with Screenplay Markdown for Marked in the first place? I whined to Brett Terpstra on Twitter and he e-mailed me some code. I once had some file corruption in OmniFocus; an Omni Group support ninja e-mailed me a fixed copy of my database. LaCie, the hard drive manufacturer, once traded a series of e-mails with me over a bunk drive. None of those experiences cost me a penny.

I know, that kind of support doesn’t scale, but I have trouble believing that Final Draft has that many paying customers (with valid serial numbers) who would call in for support. What does $250 buy you, anyway?

It’s time to kill Final Draft.

If you can, don’t use it.

Try Fountain with Marked and the forthcoming Highland, or Scrivener. Or Celtx. Or Trelby. Or anything. Get FDX Reader instead of Final Draft Reader on the iPad. Send a clear message to these idiots that there are alternatives from developers that actually respect users out there.

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