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Montage is a screenwriting software that allows everyday people to take those movie ideas they have and make them a reality. Melding the theory that a simple user interface, combined with powerful and intuitive features, provide the best writing experience, Montage makes it easy to create, edit, and manage screenplays on your Mac. From the ability to import and export Final Draft documents, to using custom, pre-formatted templates for film, TV, and theater, Montage guides both the first time screenwriter or the seasoned veteran, from start to finish. Also available in German, Italian, Spanish, and French.

But more...

What's New

Version 1.5.4:
  • Fixed a crash in 10.6 that would occur when dismissing the template sheet
  • Fixed a crash in 10.6 that would occur when changing templates
  • Fixed a crash in 10.6 that would occur when checking spelling/grammar
  • Fixed a crash in 10.6 that would occur when right clicking on a scene in scenes view

Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later

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Montage User Discussion

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D-J Member IconReview+148
D-J
+0

No update in 2.5 years, yet it's still sold as something viable by Mariner Software.

I bought version 1.0, abandoned it very quickly. Just downloaded this "latest" version out of curiosity, still a clunker filled with bugs.

Mariner used to be synonymous with quality and focus a long, long time ago. They are so in over their head, should cut back to 4 or 5 titles maximum and do them well, rather than the 19 products they now have that are mostly old relics. Too bad, really. Their product strategy is as buggy and lacking in focus as their products.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5.4
BHarris Member IconReview+8
BHarris
+2

This was disappointing. For v2 software I expected more. Orphan characters at the foot of pages, no (CONTD) for repeated characters, no (MORE) for spanned dialog (until you print, then you see it - doesn't really help me when reading on screen), I have no idea what the point of the "fade window" feature is for. Why would you want a transparent window when writing so whatever is behind shows through? Crazy. But: The worst thing by far is that I COULD NOT work out how to turn of the colors when printed. My test script came out all looking like a rainbow! I don't mind it on screen but PRINTED? Why on earth would I want that?

I did however like the *idea* of things like the Contacts section etc. but I don't want it in this program. If I want a telephone followup contact thing I'll get one, I don't need it in here. If they spent more time getting the editing bit right and less time stuffing "features" in that I'll never use it'd be a lot better IMO.

Reply2 replies
Version 1.5.4
BHarris
+1

My mistake re: v2 as it's v1.5.4. Everything else still stands.

Willt
+0

Thanks BHarris for this. After reading your review I checked Montage and it is still in v1.5.4 dated 2009, and this is now 2014! Most other reviews have been negative as well. I really liked the idea of Montage, but I don't understand why there have been no updates in four years! Is there a developer or team at Mariner at all?

I didn't purchase.

Wheninrome Member IconReview+8
Wheninrome
+1

Let me confess from the get go here - I am a fan of Mariner so yes, this review will appear biased. And, as someone who is relatively new at writing but with a lot of experience in drawing and painting, I know that creativity begins in the brain.

I just recently downloaded Montage to try my hand at writing a screenplay.
So I tooled around a bit and found some goodies that have made me excited about writing my script. One is the full screen deal - as a painter, a blank canvas is not a threat but very appealing. And so it is with the full screen view of Montage - this nice clean area (with the color of my choosing) is very nice indeed.

Next on the goodie list is those character and location areas where you can add all sort of things about each one (including pictures which is very nice) and having it all right there is something that I know I will take advantage of.

Equally of value will be the list of folks I can send a script to (when I get up the nerve) because, well, as stated earlier - this is a new experience for me so I’ll need all the help I can get.

So overall, at this point, I’d have to say that I am a happy camper. Although, I did notice in reading the user guide (yeah - I am one that actually reads those things) - did I see correctly the copyright date of 1998-2009? Come on guys! It’s 2011! Isn’t there a newer version of Montage out there?

Reply2 replies
Version 1.5.4
Willt
+0

Thanks Wheninrome for this. I was tempted to purchase Montage after receiving a discount offer. I really like the idea of Montage but was put off by some reviews but thought that the issues must have been sorted out by now.

However, I then came across your review and the reference to the fact that it was a 2009 version at 1.5.4. I checked online and sure enough it is still the same version. I am writing this in January 2014! This is amazing!

I wonder if there is a development team/author at Marinar at all? Maybe someone is just sitting on the site taking in money for old software? I didn't purchase.

Willt
+0

Apologies if post inadvertently appeared here it was intended for BHarris.

Dennisg Member IconReview+16
Dennisg
+9

Montage is a simple, no-frills screenplay app that does its job with a minimal learning curve. My introduction to it came when I started a new script a couple of weeks ago, and I found it to be a pleasure to use.

One of its features is an auto-complete menu which, in theory, is supposed to present you with a menu of your characters' names when you type the first letter or two. Say, for example, you've got characters by the name of Carl, David, and Christine. When you select the Character style, and type the letter C, you should get a menu that displays both Carl and Christine. Unfortunately, this feature worked for me about 20 percent of the time -- the rest of the time I had to type out the complete name.

I logged onto Mariner's user forum and asked if anyone else was experiencing this problem and, if so, is there a solution. Two days later I received an email from Mariner's tech support telling me that this was the first time they'd heard of the problem -- and would I please send them the file so that they could see if they could duplicate the issue with their systems.

As you can imagine, sending a screenplay to strangers is a scary proposition. It's a proprietary document, and the thought of someone mishandling the file or even stealing an idea is enough to give anyone pause. But I took a deep breath, swallowed hard, and replied to their email with my file attached -- along with a note that requested that the file is "for your eyes only."

A few hours later, I checked back in the forum to see if anyone else had replied to my thread, and lo and behold, there was my file -- attached to a new post that contained the text of my reply email.

As you can imagine, this freaked me out, and I sent Mariner tech support another email asking them what on earth they were thinking by posting my proprietary file for all the world to see. And then I discovered THAT email was posted in the thread.

You can see how unsettling this would be. I told Mariner that they behaved cavalierly with my screenplay, that I had trusted them, and that they had betrayed that trust. Naturally, THAT email appeared in the thread, too. Finally, they explained to me that any email correspondence that begins as a forum thread will append to the original thread. Why, I asked, did you folks request my file and fail to tell me that? I would never have sent my file had I known it would be posted in a public forum.

I ended this situation by asking them to (minimally) notify people that their emails and attachments will appear in the original thread or (better yet) change their system so that emails remain private, as we would expect them to be. Mariner responded by deleting my entire thread, which I assume is how they intend to "deal" with this problem.

I've written two books and a weekly newspaper column with Mariner Write, and I'd begun my most recent screenplay with Montage. I was a very loyal Mariner software user and a long-time fan. But they behaved shamefully at every milestone in this sordid affair. They posted in public a proprietary file, despite my request for careful handling. They have apparently decided that their system of posting email correspondence in a public forum works perfectly well. They see no reason to notify people that their files will be mishandled and their trust abused. And they did what all incompetent companies do: they deleted a public thread that takes issue with how their customers are treated.

Add all this up and you can understand why I'd abandon their products. This company is not to be trusted.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5.4
Vikus Member IconComment+0
Vikus
+0

Using Montage 1.5.3 on MacBookPro on MAC OS 10.5.6

Many useful and unique functions, the ability to create your own version of a template is excellent.

I come from a respectful place when I critique so please understand I appreciate the good with the not so good

It took me ages to figure out the printing labyrinth setup

I used to copy and paste into PAGES and PAGES is amazing as a piece of software
I can clearly create page numbering system and see before I print what is the set up

Finally one night because I am a fanatic at saving pdf's.... I actually tried the old standard
ask to print, get Print dialog box, choose save as PDF

Viola I finally started to see the how the printing works because I could see the results when I opened my saved pdf

So... here is a constructive suggestion by way of explaining what happens with me

When you go to Document Properties, you can set up ONLY SOME of the print profile
such as using %p to have page numbers

Its a shame that it only creates Headers and only creates page numbers at header, but that is livable

So its not very clear but the other printing details are created in the Preferences, not Document Properties.

Each new scene starts on a fresh page!!!! this is great
It's not always needed but it is really important when I need it

Please find a more clear way for this part
Preferences has a toggle box for these two choices

Printing
Make more/continued adjustments
Make Keep next adjustments

I think it means choose either the old school way of writing 'more' at foot
then writing continued at head of next page

or move all of paragraph to following page
so I choose keep next....

Now PLEEEEASE HELP WITH THIS!!!!

when Scene Title begins on new page
Almost every time the pdf BUGS OUT

and writes the first letter of the Scene Title onto the previous page, not the beginning of the Scene Page... so the title is always misspelled and there is a silly orphan letter floating on a previous page
verrrrrry strange

I've tried many workarounds and its like chasing a cat around a room
thanks

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5.4
Thunderclap82 Member IconReview+6
Thunderclap82
+3

I was very eager to try Montage and adopt it for my main screenwriting software. While the GUI design is nice and very Mac-like, there is one big problem with the software: page breaks. By that I mean when you are writing dialog in just runs onto the next page. Proper formatting would include the characters name as it re-organizes the page. Montage doesn't do this forcing you to do it manually. But then, if you make revisions, then there are extra page breaks and have to go through and clean it up all over again. It's very time consuming and not professional enough yet to justify making it your main screenwriting program.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.5.3
frail47
+1

Montage has some very basic word processing and formatting issues that drove me away from it. I really wanted to like it, but spent more time being frustrated with it than anything else. Hopefully they'll get these issues ironed out in future releases.

frail47 Member IconComment+41
frail47
+0

The speed of importing .txt files is much improved over previous versions, but does not retain formatting as nearly as well as Movie Magic Screenwriter 6. When importing a .txt file using the Screenwriter 6 template, extra lines are interspersed, ACTION text in ALL CAPS and SCENE HEADERS without INT./EXT. are converted to CHARACTER CUES, Centered text is moved to the left, ACTION lines between dialogue are formatted as dialogue. Using the Screenplay template for this same importing reduced the page count of a 116 page script to 97 pages. Action between dialogue was included in the above character cue's dialogue.

Importing .rtf yielded similar results. At this point it would be faster for me to retype a script from scratch than to import it from a text file into Montage.

Another thing:

Why does Montage treat FADE IN: as a scene header?

Reply2 replies
Version 1.5.2
frail47
+0

Another thing I'd like to add. When writing a script, the default action of making a Character come after dialogue and then having to hit CMD-2 to go to action is a bit tedious. I like that I can edit the dialogue template so that hitting enter takes me to action and I can quickly hit tab to create a new character. Instead of assigning the tab key to Parentheticals after Character, I would suggest hitting Enter to go to Action, tab to new Character and simply typing ( to initiate the Parenthetical. Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 and Sopholces (for Windows - now defunct) did this and I believe it is much more intuitive.

frail47
+0

Correction to my previous comment:

Instead of assigning the tab key to Parentheticals after Dialogue, I would suggest hitting Enter to go to Action, Tab to Character and simply typing ( to initiate a Parenthetical. Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 and Sophocles (for Windows - now defunct) did this and I believe it is much more intuitive.

David Mutnick Member IconComment+9
David Mutnick
+9

After receiving numerous emails from Mariner Software urging me to act quickly to get their best price, I bought the program. 2 days later, it was already offered cheaper on MacUpdate. I emailed the company about this, feeling they were dishonest with their marketing. They couldn't care less. We're talking $10 here. You would think they would just refund the $10 to keep a customer happy. Instead, they were rude and didn't even offer an apology. Hey Logan Ryan..way to lose a customer and get some negative feedback over $10, you loser. All I wanted was to be treated like a valued customer.

So to sum up: Don't fall for their marketing BS. Don't expect this company to give a damn about you. Oh, the software? Spotty at best. Good for a beginner, crap for a pro.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5.1
trenino Member IconComment+7
trenino
+6

Unforunatelly people do not seem to learn from their mistakes and I am one of them. I must say I am sold to the idea of an all around program that does everything... and I really love the full screen mode. but Alas! if I have to sacrifice the stability and integrity of my work. NO! NO! No!

I was not planning to write any more reviews as I really think that non-beginners can easily sea the shortcomings of montage.

One think I will just mention and I really wonder who puts all these stars in the ratings. It is full of bugs, bugs, bugs. I just lost hours of work because there is no auto save option... There is a backup option but this does not help when the software crashes.. and believe me it WILL crash. It crashed on me while I was performing the undo command, which surprise-surprise, is buggy as well. Try to use it and you have your "action" change to "character" and all the elements swinging around.

I am very angry with them but mostly with my self that trusted my working hours to montage and traded security with an inferior product.

By the way, synopses, outlines, treatments can so much easier and hassle free be created with apple's "pages" which are as smooth as silk.
when it comes to the script itself, perhaps the template pictures are fun to play with in the preferences, but in the end it is what you write that counts...

Also,I wonder why the praising review - below, has been posted on versiontracker with another alias?

Reply2 replies
Version 1.5.1
ZenZenPup
+3

How about i reviewed in 3 places with 3 accounts that I've had for years.

What, am I supposed to create the same screen name in 3 places to keep you placated?

More like I wonder just how careless you are and what other little tidbits you have running under Mac OS X...

I can almost hear Forest Gump now...

Mariner Software, Inc. (Developer)
+5

While I'm not quite sure of your intentions, this would be the third negative post you have made about Montage. I'm certainly one for free speech and you have every right to post as many negative comments as MacUpdate allows you to post, but here is the obvious question, if you hate Montage so much why do you continue to use and slam it?

Also, for what it's worth, MacUser UK just gave Montage a 5 out of 5 star rating in their latest issue. If our product is as buggy as you claim it is, would a national, well-respected publication give it the best possible rating?

We are open to working with you through your issues but we are not interested in trying to help someone who doesn't want the help.

Logan Ryan
Mariner Software

Anthony Harmon Member IconReview+0
Anthony Harmon
+0

There are two main ways of breaking down Montage 1.5.1; first as a native Macintosh application, and second as a screenwriting application.

Under the first category, Montage is an excellent program. There are small areas where "fit and finish" need work, but these are small considerations compared to the overall stability and usefulness provided by the program. Unlike Final Draft 7, which STILL looks like an OS 9 application that has been left in the backyard to rust, Montage has all of the look and feel of what an OS X application should be.

Application menus are clear and concise, and the commands work like you would expect them to. Borrowing concepts like the "Snowflake Method" of building a story, the user is given a wide variety of informational inputs to collect and write his or her story with.

What gives Montage its most modern feel, is not the programming interface, a but a new paradigm in document and information collection; Conceptualization.

Conceptualization is where Montage's second great strength comes into play. Programs like Final Draft are the end stop for the writing process. There is no information collection, versioning or data input until the writer sets down to pen the script. With Montage, the entire process of collecting, sorting, prioritizing and enabling ideas is included into the writing process. While still outputting scripts that make the grade, the writer has so much more control and choice.

Among the best features:

Full screen editing with customizable viewing options

A wide variety of document input and viewing options; Script,Scene,Outline,Characters,Locations,Research,Tasks,Contacts,Queries,Synopsis,Title Page

Tab-access to all script elements

Several screenplay, teleplay and stage play template options for compatibility (Final Draft native and 17 other choices - even for the BBC!)

Export to 8 file formats

Import to all 18 templates

Complete element configuration

Scene navigation, keywording, annotations, A & B scripts, script lockoffs - scene numbering during production, Smart Views

Does not run on Windows!

One more thing...

The people at Mariner Software are exceeding helpful, kind and knowledgeable. You will not find that level of service from Final Draft in any way. In fact, try going through the activation process for Final Draft... not a fun experience.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5.1
user icon+0
JamesBond9408
Version 1.5.4
user icon+44
Leonledragon
Version 1.5.4
> 3 15

Ratings

Overall
(15)
Current Version (1.x)
(15)

Details

Downloads 20,026
Version Downloads 4,807
License Demo
Date 01 May 2011
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price $49.95
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