If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at making a movie, but lack the actors, the sets, and the money to get it all going in the first place, there is a new program that will allow you to
fulfill attempt your dream. Meet Plotagon, a new program for the screenwriter in all of us. Plotagon is currently in beta testing and can actually be downloaded for free at the moment. I downloaded it myself and spent a couple of hours honing my movie-making skills.
While I didn’t spend multiple days writing my script, I did play around with the program for a good chunk of an afternoon last week. Here’s what I discovered: Plotagon is fun…but only for a little while.
When you first open Plotagon, it is a little confusing to start making your first movie. Once you figure out how to get the credits rolling, it gets easier and more tedious all at the same time. For instance, if you want someone to utter some dialogue, walk to a couch, and then say something else, you have to mess around with 3 separate menus for those 3 actions. Granted, that doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, but after a while it becomes mind-numbing.
In the free beta version of Plotagon, users have access to 6 sets and a few different characters. The sets include a pub, a living room, and a street, and the characters include various men and women. Be warned; when you write the dialogue for the characters, the ones I used all spoke with a quasi-British accent that made their words appear slightly slurred. As long as my actors were in the pub, it was okay, but it didn’t sound good in the other locations. No matter where they are, though, they all sound like they might be half-robotic.
Users can choose the words and the tone the actors use to speak them. Naturally, this sounds better in theory. For instance, you can make a character say, “Where is my coffee?” in a confused tone, or you could have them say it in an angry tone. In my experience, the tones didn’t really affect the dialogue all that much; it all sounded much the same to me.
Like I said, Plotagon was fun for a few minutes, but I quickly got fed up with having to go through so many settings just to get my actor to sit on the couch. Maybe the final version will be much simpler to use. Until then, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Plotagon stars on the red carpet.
However; with some major improvements Plotagon could be a contender in the future.
[Image via technabob]