Contour
Contour
2.1.2

5.0

Contour free download for Mac

Contour2.1.2

13 December 2017

Story development system streamlines movie outlining process.

Overview

Contour was developed in collaboration with Emmy Award-nominated Jeffrey Alan Schechter; Contour is a proven, fill-in-the blanks story development system that has generated millions of dollars worth of writing assignments and script sales. The software uses the same character-based structure that most every blockbuster movies uses to create well-written stories from Fade In to Fade Out. Contour shows exactly what elements need to be in a script, never leaving the question, "what comes next?"

Minimum Theory, Maximum Story - Unlike other story development systems which are either so complicated that you don't know where to start or so light-weight as to wonder, "why in the world did I buy this?", Contour is a must-have for every screenwriter. Taking your idea and using a fill-in-the blanks and intuitive approach, Contour guides you as to what elements need to be part of your story outline - you're never left to wonder, "what comes next?". That's it - fade out, roll credits.

Shhh! It's a Secret! - Contour explains the major storytelling secrets needed to craft a highly marketable movie. Your main character's journey is explained through archetypal themes - the same kind of themes used by most of the top 50 movies that have affected millions of viewers - maybe even you!

What's new in Contour

Version 2.1.2:
  • Fixes a bug printing the Guide window
  • Updates the user guide

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How would you rate Contour app?

5 Reviews of Contour

4
Lord-Lightning
17 December 2008
Version: 1.0

Most helpful

Mariner have done a fantastic polish of an excellent application previously known as Totally Write. Contour takes a 44 beat structure (called Plot Points) across a standard Feature Screenplay format. Beginning with a set of smart questions based on Dr. Carol Pearson's "The Hero Within" it guides a writer through the essential steps of a screenplay form Plot Point to Plot Point. It also lends itself to a perfect fit with a range of other professional applications such as Montage, Final Draft and Screenwriter Pro. One of its as yet unsung abilities is in Adaptation. Any book or other text, such as a stage play, could be easily worked through Contour so that only the key plot points are written up and developed in Contour then passed over to a screenwriting application for further development. In a nutshell, if you have an idea that that you want to take all the way to a finished screenplay then Contour will give you a rock solid structure for a 120 page script. There can be no more 55 page fizzers with Contour. Highly recommended.
(12)
5
Maddogiam66
17 December 2019
Version: 2.1.2
Slick app. Helped me get through some stuck points with my screenplay. This app does NOT write the script for you - you need to create - however it points you in the right direction.
(0)
4.5
sciolism-rocks
06 June 2016
Version: 1.2.8
At its most fundamental level, software solves a problem you have. Contour, software designed to get screenwriters up and running quickly, does exactly that. Bonus: You don’t have to be a screenwriter to benefit from it. Anyone writing stories could get just as much use of this as a screenwriter. One of my degrees (I have five, and apparently an addiction to school) is in French Literature, and anyone in the business of Littérature is familiar with Émile Zola. He was a late 19th-century writer known for his cycle of 20 novels called the Rougon-Macquart series. They follow a family through the years of the Second Empire. That’s the historical period where Paris, the cramped and overgrown medieval town was completely redesigned into the Paris we know today. Zola wanted to explore how several generations of a family, each generation inheriting problems from the previous, managed to get through this turbulent historical period. And Zola, well, he was a planner. He mapped out the entire family tree of the Rougons and the Macquarts before writing the novels. (Check out the 19th-century version at http://bit.ly/28e7Mtd). He spent most of his professional career working on these novels. Some are better than others, but he manages to show his genius through 20 novels that all have a similar structure. He would have been an ideal candidate for Contour: using a similar structure to develop stories that are still relevant 100+ years later. When you start writing with Contour, your story is formed by following screenwriter Jeffery Alan Schechter’s successful distillation of what makes a successful screenplay. The entire system is detailed in MY STORY CAN BEAT UP YOUR STORY!, Schechter’s book. But don’t think you need to buy his book to use Contour. The software essentially teaches you the method itself. By including familiar stories (American Beauty, Liar Liar, Star Wars, and more than a dozen others), you see how a screen story is build. It starts with Questions and an archetypes, and the software tells you how much to write when targeting a typical 120-minute movie. Each of the movie’s three acts (Orphan, Wanderer/Warrior, Martyr) is similarly detailed, with applicable plot points placed at typical story points. In essence, Contour is your framework. Your outline. In essence, your target. That’s why Zola would have felt at home. A bare outline of how a story develops can easily be used as a way to write 20 novels or 20 screenplays. After all, the outline isn’t your story, nor is it a guarantee of success. That’s still left to you, the writer. Contour just gives you a few pegs to drape your story onto so that it stays within the stricture of something that we would recognize as a movie. Other reviewers see this provided outline as constraining. I don’t. After all, if I tell you your work will have a setup followed by three acts, am I constraining you to paralysis? Of course not. And you can easily combine the minute details so that your story fits. Instead of seeing Contour as a rigorous skeleton to build upon think of it more as a tool that keeps your story moving toward the conclusion. It’s not a word processor: use Marine Software’s Scrivener if that’s what you need. Suppose that you have a writing tool that you learned years ago that you want to use. For example, http://bit.ly/1PyeBzv shows you eight ways to outline a novel. Contour doesn’t prevent you from using any of them. For example, the first method on the site is the Expanding Snowflake method. You start your story with a simple sentence that describes the story. You then expand the sentence into two or three sentences, filling in plot points and details.These sentences get expanded, and more of the story is filled in. And so on. That sounds like the antithesis of Contour’s method, which seems to develop a story from start to finish. The key value of Contour is to manage the size of your snowflake. After all, it assumes you are aiming for a two-hour product. How large should the snowflake grow in order to assure the required length? Contour tells you. Contour *is* specific in the task it solves. If you plan to write the 21st-century equivalent of Marcel Proust’s À la recherché du temps perdu, the 3,000-page work commonly known as the greatest novel of the 20th-century, Contour may not be perfect for your task. However, if you need to create a screenplay from Proust’s character- and description-filled work (which has been attempted), Contour keeps you creative while staying on target. Contour should be on every writer’s computer. And since it has both Mac and Windows versions, it’s an easy tool to fit into your toolbox.
(2)
Show comment (1)
5
Hastings
31 July 2013
Version: 1.2.8
I have been using Contour 1.2.8 to organize screenplays. It's especially helpful if you've read My Story Can Beat Up Your Story by Jeffrey Alan Schecter. I read Story by Robert McKee before Schecter's book, and Contour also works for that, but it you'll get more out of it if you've read Schecter's book. Schecter's book helps you think about how to organize your screenplay, and Contour makes it easy to implement that organization. It has a lot of example movies that show you how the concepts become concrete. The final product is a treatment. Contour is intended for the writing of a two-hour movie, but I am using it to plan a serialized TV show because it's helping me to round out my characters and organize a season. At some point I may need to take the organization out of Contour to organize one-hour shows, but I may not need to. At any rate, Contour will have helped me cover all the bases of effective storytelling. It has an internal database to record and organize those ideas that come to you in a flash. The database has a simple, one-window interface. Contour also has a button that displays your treatment as a whole and lets you edit it, helpful for when you want to focus on the flow of the entire story. I always try to describe a flaw when I write a review, but I can't really think of one.
(2)
Show comment (1)
Drea-23
15 October 2009
Version: 1.2
I just downloaded Contour and I am thrilled and relieved to have found a program like this. I have never reviewed anything here before. I will be back with tangible details in a week or so. But when I saw the beauty and clarity of Contour, something in me wished to communicate, to others, to give it a try. I can, far too easily, make my novels and stories wonderfully arcane and complicated. With Contour, I can easily discern what esoteric and decadent details will weave into my story beautifully, and which will distract from the quintessence of what I am wishing to share. Well, I will return, with more clarity but no less enthusiasm after I dive more deeply into the profound gift that is Contour. Mac Journal is also brilliant. More soon. Write well, Drea
(6)
4
Lord-Lightning
17 December 2008
Version: 1.0
Mariner have done a fantastic polish of an excellent application previously known as Totally Write. Contour takes a 44 beat structure (called Plot Points) across a standard Feature Screenplay format. Beginning with a set of smart questions based on Dr. Carol Pearson's "The Hero Within" it guides a writer through the essential steps of a screenplay form Plot Point to Plot Point. It also lends itself to a perfect fit with a range of other professional applications such as Montage, Final Draft and Screenwriter Pro. One of its as yet unsung abilities is in Adaptation. Any book or other text, such as a stage play, could be easily worked through Contour so that only the key plot points are written up and developed in Contour then passed over to a screenwriting application for further development. In a nutshell, if you have an idea that that you want to take all the way to a finished screenplay then Contour will give you a rock solid structure for a 120 page script. There can be no more 55 page fizzers with Contour. Highly recommended.
(12)
Show comments (4)
$39.96Buy Now

5.0

App requirements: 
  • Intel 64
  • OS X 10.11.0 or later

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