January 6, 2016

Celtx is Now an All-in-One Video & Movie Planning System

Celtx is not just for writing scripts anymore. The popular (and free) screenwriting program is ringing in the new year with a bunch of great updates, including new video planning and collaboration tools.

Celtx has added a ton of new features to help not only screenwriters write scripts, but also help directors and creative teams work together on their projects using new story development and video planning tools. The promo video below lays out a bunch of these new goodies:

Probably the biggest addition is Celtx's new video planning tools, which allow you to collaborate with your team, making your workflow more seamless. From their press release:

Celtx has also added a powerful suite of professional-grade video planning tools. With episodic scriptwriting and asset management, groups/multi-team management, and the ability to better manage client feedback and approvals, Celtx now offers workflow management that is ideal for production companies of all types and sizes: for those producing independent films and web series, and those making advertising, product demos, and other sponsored content.

This was a powerful screenwriting program before these upgrades, but now that they've added collaborative features, as well as the ability to plan, modify, and share budgets, schedules, shot lists, and pretty much anything else you're going to need for your project, Celtx has blossomed into an all-in-one video and movie planning system -- and most of these new features are free.

Now, some of these tools don't come free (though many of them do). Celtx offers different plans at varying costs per month that give you more features. The Standard plan, which costs $10/mo includes all of the free stuff plus:

(All of the free features are in bold.)

  • Scriptwriting
  • Storyboarding
  • Index Cards
  • Snippets
  • FDX Import
  • Breakdown
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting
  • Cost Reports
  • Script Revision Tracking
  • Production Assets Management
  • iOS app: Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Index Cards, Call Sheets, Talent Sides
  • Priority Email Support

If you want the new video planning tools, you'll have to sign up for a Professional plan, which will cost you $20/mo. (That's per member.)

When I started using Celtx 8 years ago, it was largely a screenwriting program, though it did have extras that helped you with things like visualization and story organization. Today, however, Celtx has grown into software that will help filmmakers during almost every stage of production.

If you don't have much use for all the bells and whistles, you can still download Celtx for free and write screenplays to your heart's content. However, if you're looking for a program that you can use to write, plan, and collaborate with your production team, Celtx offers a 15-day free trial of these new professional-grade tools to every new signup. So, give it a whirl! If you don't like/need it, you always have the free stuff.      

Your Comment

14 Comments

I liked Celtx a lot back when it was more of an application you downloaded to your computer and wrote screenplays with. I thought of it as sort of the Firefox of screenwriting apps. But since it became a cloud based system with subscription fees, I stopped using it.
I don't know if you can still download the stand alone app, but if you can they've certainly made it hard to find on their website.

I get that they have to make money. I would just prefer it be an open source screenwriting app where you can buy plugins from them that do these other things.

January 6, 2016 at 4:08PM, Edited January 6, 4:10PM

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Mike Tesh
Director of Photography
348

I feel the same way. I liked Celtx when it was an application you downloaded to your computer and worked with. Not that having cloud options within that is a bad thing (and maybe those are paid for). But I also wouldn't be apposed to buying Celtx for a one time fee and download. While I do use Final Draft now, it was always nice to direct new filmmakers toward Celtx to help get them started in screenwriting.

January 6, 2016 at 5:22PM

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Zach Zoller
Director
81

I agree with both of you. Im using an old Celtix-version thats pretty much just screenwriting. Loving it. Im trying out Final Draft but that program has some problems with other languages. For some reason you cant typ the letters Å, Ä, Ö in Caps which really bugs me as a swede :).

January 6, 2016 at 5:40PM

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I also much preferred the desktop version of CeltX to the cloud-based web app it has become. This might sound sort of trivial, but I stopped using CeltX because the inability to see page breaks in real time while writing online drove me absolutely NUTS. Having to export a PDF or look at a print preview just to see how many pages I'd written was incredibly annoying to me. I've been using Writer Duet for a few months now and I think it's great.

January 6, 2016 at 7:32PM, Edited January 6, 7:32PM

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David West
Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor
836

I dug some of the features as it moved to the cloud. It helped in the times I didnt have a device to take with me to write but was going from home device to office device. I carried a jump drive until I needed to use the cloud feature for something that didnt get saved correctly. Was so easy for me I never turned back.

They keep making the paygate more appealing by taking away features previously available for free, thats where I can definitely agree with all of you. Its sad because they could still have alot of the model they have without charging for some previously standard features.

January 6, 2016 at 11:14PM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
784

On Mac OSX there is an app on the appstore you can buy for $20. It still has the cloud saving option which is useful.
I guess they don't advertise it too much because $20 once is a lot less than $20 a month

January 7, 2016 at 4:14AM

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I was on a feature last year that was entirely on the Celtx cloud based system -- a decision of the director...It was a horric nightmare. Pages missing from the script at random times, features locked out for no reason, and things like the schedule and shotlist randomly not functioning a huge majority of the time. It was terrible all around.

I get there are bugs in any piece of new software, but if you're going to charge for a service it needs to be as reliable as google docs. They would have been much better off, offering it for free for a few years to work out all the kinks. I would never trust a project of any scale to Celtx after my experience.

January 7, 2016 at 12:51AM

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Derek Means
Director of Photography
319

If any of you dislike the change to the cloud, I'd advise you to take a look at Trelby (Windows and Linux only). It's a free, open source, offline writing tool.

January 7, 2016 at 2:39AM

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Sander J. Skjegstad
Composer, director
62

I am with you guys, I loved Celtx when it had all these features in the desktop app. SO useful. Now, meh.

January 7, 2016 at 12:26PM

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Noah Leon
Wedding Cinematographer
99

I'll cast another vote for the standalone Celtx app and against the cloud-based junk it's become. If I'm shooting on location where there's no Internet access, I still need to see the script and production documents. Then there's the random deletions, and the features suddenly moving behind the paywall. It may be good business, but it's a bad app.

January 7, 2016 at 1:05PM

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Minor Mogul
Dilettante
579

I hate cloud-based tools.

January 7, 2016 at 1:32PM, Edited January 7, 2:27PM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator
536

I'm pretty sure this will be better than Adobe Story... That program has issues.

January 7, 2016 at 8:58PM

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Terrell Lamont
Director, Director of Photography
292

$20 per month. Seriously, this is (beside the fact I hate cloud-based tools and any forced subscriptions) waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much!

For about $50 I can have a couple prof. apps on my iPad that I can use as long as I want. And I actually use those tools. That subscription crap is why I still haven't jumped on Adobe CC. I rather pay 2k or 3k at once for the tools, but then I want them to use as long as I want without being forced to rent it from month to month.

This is the most annyoing point currently on the market: forcing people to pay every month.

January 8, 2016 at 5:10AM, Edited January 8, 5:10AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator
536

No offline option means you can't use it in a remote environment with no connection. Need to fix that if they want users to come back.

January 8, 2016 at 8:51PM

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I just got rid of Celtx. It's free so no customer service worth having. Sick of asking questions that never get answered. And it isn't free really. You're constantly pestered to join their cloud community which has a monthly subscription. It's spell checker is awful and it doesn't "auto capitalize" at the beginning of a sentance which is infuriating and makes you look like a knob when dozens of centances pop up starting with lower case letters even though you just spent best part of a day going through a whole 120 page script to make sure you got them all. Thats the sort of thing destroys flow of creativity. Purchased Final Draft now. Thank fuck.

January 13, 2016 at 4:55AM

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John Stockton
Film maker, Editor, Photographer.
344