The Final Draft Story
Final Draft was co-founded in 1990 by Marc Madnick and Ben Cahan, who recognized that Hollywood lacked a word-processor capable of automatically formatting a script to the entertainment industry’s stringent standards. This led to the creation of Final Draft, a fully dedicated screenwriting software application that automatically formats your script to Hollywood’s industry standards.
Soon after after its inception, Final Draft screenwriting software became the entertainment industry standard for screenwriting and the market leader among its competitors worldwide. Final Draft continues to grow in popularity and into new markets throughout the world, and in 2013, Final Draft was awarded the prestigious Primetime Emmy Engineering Award.
In 2016, Final Draft was acquired by Cast & Crew. Based in Burbank, California, and with offices across the U.S. and in Canada, Cast & Crew is a trusted partner to major and independent film and television studios. Cast & Crew provides clients with a robust portfolio of critical services. These include payroll and residuals processing, the industry-leading PSL production accounting system and other software, as well as financial services such as production incentive consulting, administration and financing. Cast & Crew continues to accelerate its investment in technology, supported by majority shareholder Silver Lake Partners, the global leader in technology investing, which acquired Cast & Crew in mid-2015.
As the entertainment industry’s screenwriting software leader, Final Draft also plays a role in Cast & Crew’s transformation into a provider of digital payroll, accounting and production workflow management solutions.
In early 2018, Cast & Crew introduced Studio+, its latest digital product, which reinvents production workflow by providing a unified platform to simplify storage, distribution, collaboration and access – while automating many previously manual and complex processes. Built to be flexible – from pre-production to post, from small set to large studio – the system can be easily scaled to fit any production’s workforce.
Along with a seamless integration with Final Draft, Studio+ users are able to annotate and comment on any documents/files – including video – and share in real time. This makes the process of connecting scripts to video to other assets incredibly more efficient.
It all starts with the script.
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Final Draft Awards
Hall of Fame Awards
Since 2005, Final Draft has honored screenwriters at the annual Final Draft Awards. The 2019 awards were held on Tuesday, January 29th at Paramount Studios, and were hosted by Randy & Jason Sklar.
Big Break Screenwriting Contest
In addition to the Hall of Fame Awards recognizing top professional screenwriters, Final Draft created the Big Break Screenwriting Contest for up-and-coming screenwriters. The Big Break Screenwriting contest awards over $80,000 in cash and prizes for winning scripts in TV and film categories. Many Big Break winners have gone on to very successful writing careers.