BENGALURU: When Covid-19 struck India, Bengaluru-based brothers Prashanth and Praveen Udupa knew it would be a long time before their venture would be allowed to open doors again. The two are co-founders of a mini theatre called TERIFLIX, which is currently shut due to safety concerns. But instead of rueing the situation, they decided to look at the other end of the spectrum, and shifted their focus from exhibiting films to helping those involved with writing them instead.
This gave birth to Scrite – a screenplay writing software that allows screenwriters to write in Hindi, Kannada, Sanskrit, Odiya, Tamil and more. So far, they have seen 500 unique installations, including from users in France, UK and USA.Prashanth, who has written the code, says the idea came from his passion of reading and writing screenplays. “When I was trying to write a screenplay, I remember thinking how I wish the app would have responded better to me. Most tools let you write in a linear format but I wanted something that would let me visually capturing the structure of the story,” explains the 38-year-old.
While one would think that all you need to write a screenplay is a blank writing document, Prashanth explains how a screenwriting software doesn’t just provide you a canvas to pen down your story, but also gives you tools that help planning the production and pre-production stages of a project. “For example, we have tools like character report – which when chosen for a particular actor, compiles all the scenes he or she appears in, while highlighting the particular dialogues for them,” adds Prashanth.
Other features that Scrite, for which filmmaker Surya Vasishta contributed towards UI/UX, offers: Location reports (that compiles the number of day and night scenes in a particular setting, which could help in scheduling), character screen matrix reports (which chart out all the characters present in a particular scene) and more.
Currently in beta phase, the duo is seeking feedback for the open source code software, which was developed in three weeks during the first lockdown. New features are currently in the works, including one that allows for more collaboration. “Sometimes, the people who write the dialogues are not the same as the person who writes the screenplay. Multiple writers can be involved with a script so the new feature will look at making it easier for them,” he says.
The tool offers samples of screenplays of Bhinna, animated film Punyakoti, The Matrix and more, so as to help students as well. “The idea was never about making a revenue. We just want to add value to different aspects of filmmaking – be it writing or exhibiting,” says Praveen. Currently, the software (available on Scrite.io) is free to run.