Slowly but surely, we’re spreading the word about SoCreate! SoCreate Founder and CEO Justin Couto just appeared on the popular podcast The Writer’s Panel with host Ben Blacker to talk about SoCreate’s screenwriting platform and the SoCreate story.
Ben Blacker is the writer of the comic “Hex Wives”, creator of the podcast “The Thrilling Adventure Hour Treasury”, producer of the “Dead Pilots Society” podcast, and host of “The Writer’s Panel” podcast, “the definitive insider’s guide to our current golden age of television.” You can listen to current and past episodes of The Writer’s Panel here, including Justin’s interview. I’ve also transcribed the interview below for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
Ben Blacker (BB): Hey everybody, if you are a screenwriter, you’re going to want to listen to this conversation that I’m about to have with Justin Couto. Justin, first of all, tell the folks why I’m even talking to you right now.
Justin Couto (JC): We’re building a platform for screenwriting. We’re looking at changing the way that screenwriting is done for a lot of people, not for everybody. We think that there are definitely tools that people are used to, and that they may not want to switch to ours. It’s quite different, but we definitely believe that we’re on to something that’s going to really revolutionize story and the way people think about developing stories through screenplays.
BB: Interesting. I know you don’t want to get into too many specifics yet because not a lot has been announced. But let’s back up for a second and tell me a little bit about your background. How did this come to be the mission for you?
JC: It’s kind of a funny story. Initially, I’d planned on going to film school, and I was studying film and learning to write screenplays ... While I was going to school, I happened to be working at a company where I started writing software. … I was really frustrated with the way that screenwriting tools worked, how you write, how cumbersome and frustrating it can be when you’re supposed to be having fun and being creative. I just felt like the current toolset would pull me out of being creative and not allow me to do what I was trying to do. And me, being a problem solver, I started thinking … how would I do it differently? … That eventually led me to come up with some ideas on how I could build screenwriting software that would help the writer along during the process. That was a long time ago, when I was in college. … but I realized technology just wasn’t where it needed to be for me to accomplish what I was envisioning. So, I decided to put it on hold, and I ended up turning what I was making into a software system that sold a few years later. Then I started a second software company … as the sole purpose to fund [SoCreate]. We took the money from that company to basically fund [SoCreate] and get it off the ground. So that’s what we’re doing now.
BB: That’s interesting. So those other companies were the seeds of SoCreate, which is the screenwriting software company.
JC: That’s correct. My whole purpose was to fund this idea. It was just one of those things that I just couldn’t let go of it. … at SoCreate, one of the goals is to fundamentally make it so that anyone who has a really great story and is a storyteller, could start writing a screenplay without having a lot of prior knowledge of screenwriting. Even though our tool is going to work amazing for professionals, it also will work amazing for people who are just wanting to tell a story. … If we are successful like we hope, people will start to think about writing a screenplay the same way they do about writing a book. And you’ve heard lots of people say, “I have a great story, I should write a book,” right? And we feel like, why shouldn’t it be, “I should write a screenplay”? … because there’s a lot to know to try to write a screenplay. And so, we’re going to try to lower that barrier.
BB: Yeah, I think you’re right. For many people, it feels like another language. There’s a barrier to entry. So, this feels like a way that you’re going to have a software that sort of handholds the writer through the process.
JC: It doesn’t necessarily handhold them. … there’s a lot of little details about screenwriting, a lot of intricacies that you need to know in order to get it right. And we just extract that away, so you don’t really have to think about that, and when you need it, you’ll be able to discover it. … We’re going to allow people to be able to build more complex stories … The analogy that I use is if I give you a hammer and nails and some wood, you can build certain types of structures. And if you’re really, really good, you can build some amazing structures with just a hammer and nails and wood. But if I give you auto CAD, and concrete and steel, and modern tooling, you can build amazing things, right? Things that you couldn’t even imagine if you didn’t have those tools. And I think that that’s what we’re going to do with SoCreate. We’re going to enable stories that people couldn’t even imagine or think that they could write without the tools that we’re creating.
BB: That’s fantastic. And I really, sincerely love that your tagline is “Screenwriting for Everyone.” So, what is the plan to get this into the hands of people, what state are you in now, and how do people get on the list to test this or to get it when it comes out?
JC: Right now, you can go to our website at SoCreate.it and sign up for our beta list. The plan is to have a beta out by the end of this year … But it’s so different, so dramatically different, we feel that we have one shot to make an amazing impression and so we’re going to make sure that we have this as absolutely the best it can be, even before our beta is ready. … We’re going to be available in the very beginning in eight different languages, and we hope to support more as time goes on, because we truly do mean “Screenwriting for Everyone.”
BB: That’s fantastic. So once again, people can go to SoCreate.it and get on that list and hopefully be one of the beta testers, or if not, hopefully, it will be available early next year. Justin, thanks so much for taking the time to talk and I can’t wait to see what this software is all about.
JC: We can’t wait to show the world. It’s something that I’m super excited about, and I think that it’s going to really, fundamentally change the way people think about story. You can also follow us on Twitter, YouTube, and our Instagram channels. We have a lot of great content for writers and we also have had professionals demo our software so you can get some of their reactions on our YouTube channel.
BB: Terrific. Thanks so much for talking.
JC: Thank you.