the candler blog

Happy Birthday, Fountain

Fountain, Screenwriting, Technology, Writing

One year ago today, Fountain, the plain text screenwriting syntax, was first introduced to the world. What a year.

Stu Maschwitz kicked things off back in the summer of 2011. I edged my way in with this tweet:

That was how I introduced myself to Brett Terpstra and Stu. At the time, it felt like one of those things that would float out into the ether and disappear. Only Brett and Stu were paying attention.

Before I knew it I was in contact with Stu, Brett and Martin Vilcans, who wrote the excellent Screenplain. Brett got Screenplain working with Marked and I dove into my Cole & Haag manual to find decent measurements for the CSS.

The months of emails back and forth were inventive and thoughtful. This small little group (it kept growing) of folks from around the world were collaborating to build a rock solid syntax that, if you ask me, revolutionizes the way screenwriters write.

Last January Stu sent out an email with a nice little surprise: John August would be contributing to the syntax and the project would now be called Fountain. Then, on February 8th, 2012, the Fountain site went live, I updated the Marked package, everyone wrote an introduction and this scrappy syntax started getting the attention it deserved. John Gruber even gave it a nod.

Fountain is constantly growing. Phenomenal discussions take place on the Glassboard, apps are adding support all the time and more writers are adopting it (ahem, David Wain).

Highland is still in beta but available; it’s an amazing tool that makes writing with Fountain a reality for professional screenwriters. Fountain for Sublime Text will see some updates soon and I hope to revisit Fountain for Marked eventually. One thing I’d like to see in the coming year is more tools and workflows for collaborative writing (I’ve got some ideas on that note).

I’m privy to a few other surprises coming down the pipe for Fountain’s second year, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say: big things await.

So happy birthday to the best damn screenwriting syntax on Earth. Keep writing.

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