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Tech Tips: Boneyard In the Beat Board

April 18, 2019
1 min read time

Great scripts aren’t written; they’re re-written.

But as great scripts are written, so, too, are great scenes left for dead on the cutting-room floor. Think of all the countless scenes, alternate sequences, rewrite ideas and lines of dialogue in a script that have been relegated to some long forgotten file, an older version of the current one, or even the delete key. How many times has a scene been cut but never pasted and therefore lost in the ether of a non-existent clipboard? If you’ve ever worked on a script, the answer is easy: too many.

New enhancements to the Beat Board in Final Draft 11 have made lost scenes a thing of the past. Where the Beat Board was once an outlining tool akin to a digital cork board, the Beat Board in Final Draft 11 is so much more. Beyond working in conjunction with the Story Map, having built-in image support and a wide array of colors to work with, the Beat Board is also a repository for your script. And if it comes to pass that certain aspects of the script don’t make it to the finished product, the Beat Board becomes a "boneyard": a production term used for scenes not in the shooting script or that are considered non-essential.

Here’s how to get the most out the Beat Board when writing your script:

First, change the script view to Split Screen by going to View > Split Vertically. Place your cursor in the newly created panel and go to View > Beat Board; your window should now display both the script and the Beat Board.

Highlight the portion of the script that needs to be cut and drag it directly from the script to the Beat Board. A new Beat will automatically be created, and the formatting of the scene will be retained. Rename the Beat so it’s easily identifiable and color code it as needed. Note: the scene will need to be deleted from the script.

Have an idea of what point in the story that cut scene Beat should show up again? Drag the scene Beat to a point in the Story Map and hover over the Beat marker for quick reference. Ready to bring the scene back into the script? Simply drag it right from the Beat Board to any location in the script and voila! The formatted scene is back in place.

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