Contour
Contour 1.2.8
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(4) 4.25

Story development system streamlines movie outlining process.   Demo ($49.95)
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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
What's New
Version 1.2.8:
  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility.
Requirements
Intel, OS X 10.6 or later



MacUpdate - Contour




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Contour User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 1.x:
(4)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(4)

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burypromote

Hastings reviewed on 31 Jul 2013
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.
[Version 1.2.8]


burypromote

+1
Drea 23 commented on 15 Oct 2009
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
[Version 1.2]


burypromote
+6

+111

Lord-Lightning reviewed on 17 Dec 2008
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.
[Version 1.0]

4 Replies

burypromote
-8

+60
Uncoy replied on 29 Dec 2009
This guy is a Mariner shill. Check his profile for his intrusive reviews of everyone else's writing apps to advertise Scrivener/Storymill.
burypromote
+8

+346
Lev replied on 12 Feb 2010
Er... I agree Lord Lightning is rather enthusiastic about Scrivener. But Scrivener is nothing to do with Mariner. So the "shill" libel seems ill-founded.
burypromote
+3

+111
Lord-Lightning replied on 07 May 2011
Uncoy claims that I am 'shill' for Mariner and Literature and Latte. Well, an enthusiast for solid applications that enable the writer's craft - yes. Unashamedly! Both Contour and Scrivener are genuine breakthrough applications in their fields and have helped writers ate all levels. Look at the list of published authors who use Scrivener for example. There is nothing much else around to enable structuring a well told story of the calibre of Contour - if there was I would be happy to point out its strengths and weaknesses so other MacUpdaters could get a feel about its value.

But, if you use the Oxford Dictionary definition of Shill then I don't meet the criteria - shill, n. slang (chiefly N. Amer.).
[Perh. abbrev. of shillaber.]

A decoy or accomplice, esp. one posing as an enthusiastic or successful customer to encourage other buyers, gamblers, etc.

However, if an application meets my standards and I feel strongly about it I think I should be free to say so. If it is a dog and makes claims that testing does not support, then I should be able to say that too.

Many, many working writers will happily endorse the outstanding apps from Mariner and Literature and Latte and post warnings about lesser apps. However, you are correct, in that these are no more and no less than another working writer's considered opinions. You are also correct to hint that others may find these lesser apps useful. So I would endorse your implied exhortation to actually download and try the Demo versions and spend your 'hard earned' on the apps that work best for YOU.

Contour and Scrivener do for writers exactly what they claim - day after day after day, so paying for them is an investment in your career as a writer.
burypromote
+1

+111
Lord-Lightning replied on 14 Dec 2011
In reply to uncoy.

My point about recommending beautiful apps for writers should be set against the writers who have already adopted Scrivener and Contour. For example: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/testimonials.php

Can't see your name there...
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maman rated on 17 Oct 2013

[Version 1.2.8]



Xmack rated on 12 Sep 2011

[Version 1.2.6]


Downloads:10,344
Version Downloads:1,098
Type:Business : Word Processing
License:Demo
Date:21 Oct 2012
Platform:Intel 64 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $49.95
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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!

Worried about how to start?



Don't be. For many, it's much easier to understand the Contour system by following the breakdown of a successful movie. Contour includes several entire scripts of blockbuster movies dissected through the Contour system. And if you need even more samples of how Contour works, follow Jeffrey Alan Schechter's personal blog as he breaks down current screenplays in Contour.


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