Review: Arc Studio Screenwriting Software Test

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Trouble finishing that screenplay? Maybe it’s your screenwriting software.

You prepared your fourth cup of coffee and burned an endless amount of sage, but there are still too many distractions to finally start on that screenplay brewing in the back of your mind

With 101 reasons why you haven’t finished your screenplay, finding the production method best suited for you is probably close to number one.

Arc Studio Pro is new, professional screenwriting software designed to take your next screenplay a step further than just simple text formatting and industry expectation, to keep you more focused, ready to collaborate, and equipped to create beautiful stories.

You can watch a quick introductory video of the software below:

In an industry with a million ways to tell a story, it’s hard to choose the right method to get started. Maybe you’re interested in the most standard software out there or the least expensive on the market. Or maybe you might want to work with a program that’s completely free to use, and easy on the eyes.

Either way, you might want to consider if Arc Studio Pro is the right fit to solve your screenwriting needs. Today we’re going to review what Arc Studio has to offer. Let’s dive in!

What is Arc Studio?

Whether you’re in the market for a new screenwriting program or just looking to get started, Arc Studio Pro is a fresh take on the overrated industry standards, great for beginners and the pros. 

There are many criteria that create ideal screenwriting software, but Arc Studios Pro showcases six key features that are designed to set it apart from the average screenwriting program. 

No distractions – Do you have a hard time staying focused with all the outdated distractions of classic interfaces? Arc Studio Pro’s design provides a modern look for maximum flow script formatting.

Automatic backups and time travel – Afraid of losing track of your screenplay or deleting important files on accident? Arc Studio Pro implements an automatic feature that saves your project every step of the way.

Write with others productively, in real-time – Tired of bouncing files between endless emails,  and dropboxes? Arc Studio Pro’s collaborative features allow real-time edits, and discussion integrated seamlessly into the project while you work with a team.

Automatically keeps track of comments – As an additional feature for collaboration, say goodbye to digging through a week’s worth of text messages and post-it notes searching for a specific comment from collaborators.

It’s easy to outline your story and keep track of the overall arc of your story.

Collect ideas and outline your story – If you find creating outlines a gruesome struggle, Arc Studio Pro helps craft your ideas into well-structured stories with a simple point and click.

Visualize your dramatic structure – Trouble getting those ideas to materialize as organized as they are in your head? You can easily organize all your beats into acts, tag storylines, or characters in one place.

Why Arc Studio?

It’s really easy to change the formatting

What sets Arc Studio Pro apart from any other screenwriting software on the market? I think it’s in the design. Arc Studio Pro provides access to industry-standard formatting with a sleek, intuitive, and modern interface great for real-time collaboration and creating great stories. 

Professional formatting.

Formatting your screenplay is essentially one of the most important parts of the writing process. While there are many ways to execute the perfect script, there is a specific industry standard that is acceptable for screenplay formats. 

This is why simply writing your screenplay on a beverage napkin or within an average word processor isn’t going to cut it. There are many technical elements to keep track of when writing a screenplay, and it can turn into a nightmare if you don’t keep track of them at all. 

Arc Studio Pro presents an automatic formatting feature that does all the heavy lifting. Without it, it can make it difficult for your project to maintain all the necessary elements of the average screenplay. 

For the professionals, it even provides fully-customizable functions to adjust the program’s automation to match your skill level.

Check out my article on How To Write Screenplay Format where I break down all the rules to writing a great screenplay.

A downside to writing a screenplay vs your typical short story is the necessity of repetition in scene headings, character headings, dialogue cues, and transitions. Each of these elements is part of basic screenwriting fundamentals. 

Arc Studio Pro saves you from the tedious task of adding in these elements one by one, over and over again. A few intuitive shortcuts enable the user to create shortcuts to format their text. Certain elements are automatically chosen for you based on the frequency of use and are configured at your leisure.

Interface and design.

While the formatting options are common amongst most screenwriting programs, Arc Studio Pro keeps innovation in mind with the design of its sleek, modern, and minimalistic interface. 

Traditional screenwriting programs tend to take on the appearance of their average word processing counterparts, which for some, can be considered boring and an ultimate distraction. 

The modern interface is reminiscent of popular Google and Apple programs with a prominently soft-white interface with muted-purple accents for menu selection and highlights. 

The design is comfortable for the eyes and creates a diversion-free environment for the average writer who is easily distracted during the writing process. There can be something said about the lack of random buttons and over-saturated menus to choose from on every corner of the screen.

Each element of Arc Studio Pro is carefully designed to complement the other like the simplistic taskbar located on the left side of the screen, the various minimally-populated, drop-down menus reminiscent of Google Docs, and other newer processors on the market. 

If you find yourself writing into the wee hours of the night, there’s even a night mode to give your eyes a break from the hypnotizing, fluorescent glow of the monitor.

Building a story.

Great tools for defining and keeping track of your story structure

Arc Studio Pro claims to take you a step further from just the average formatting and gently holds your hand throughout the process of building a story with its outline features. 

It’s not a deal-breaker, but creating an outline before or during the writing process can be a great asset to the organization of your screenplay. 

Outlines assist with building out the basic elements like plots, characters, and locations. They most importantly help organize story beats which can translate directly into your acts and sequences.

With one-click, Arc Studio Pro helps you form your outline within the app and eliminates the use of messy post-it notes, notecards, and knife-carved corners of your desk.

Each idea you collect throughout the creation of your screenplay populates into digital note cards which can be added to your story board.

Arc Mode.

The feature that ultimately sets Arc Studio Pro apart from its competitors is the namesake feature, the Arc Mode.

In Arc Mode, you’re given a visual representation of your screenplays timeline. This feature allows you to play with the pace and dynamic of your story without having to flip through tabs, notebook pages, or rearrange your bulletin board. 

You are given the opportunity to visualize how each beat can affect the storyline and it evolves throughout the screenplay.

Need help with understanding the important plot in your movie? Check out my article on the importance of building a plot for your screenplay.

It can look like you’re building a mathematical graph at times, but this feature lets you experiment with the structure in a new way that could be a desirable method for some in the writing process.

Great for collaboration.

Arc Studio features intuitive tools for collaboration and commenting on your screenplay

Writing screenplays can involve more than one brain and a few pairs of hands. Getting everyone to work together around one computer like a campfire story is the worst possible idea. 

Arc Studio Pro allows for easy collaboration with others, and takes the usual tedium out of the equation. 

You can invite co-authors to the project, and manage everyone’s feedback and comments in one place, real-time. No more overstuffed email chains and dropboxes since each author can work on the same page, literally, at the same time. 

Editing-at-ease.

Great tools for watching your editing history

The evil-stepsibling of writing a screenplay is the editing process. Going back and forth between a dozen versions of a screenplay each with its own confusing filename can set back the entire process for weeks, or even cause you to consider giving up altogether. 

It’s important that you find the right method for editing that is comfortable for you, and the most productive. Arc Studio Pro provides a few common features that help ease this process entirely.

One of them is automatic versioning. If you’re deep in thought and you forgot to save your screenplay in the last three hours, a version is automatically saved throughout the process to ensure you never run into the problem of losing your best scenes due to negligence and fatigue. 

Another useful feature is History, which you can use to recover different versions and edits of your script with a history tab. It records anything you might’ve lost or deleted from past versions of the script, whether it was an entire scene, some witty dialogue, or a dramatically placed comma.

How much does it cost?

Arc Studio Pro is currently free for its users. As an acknowledgment of the changing climate and lack of accessibility to tools like state-of-the-art screenwriting software, Arc Studio Pro is providing its program free of charge to everyone for the time being. You simply enter your email address to create an account, and go from there.

This offer will not last forever, but anything you create during the free period will still be accessible with export capabilities following the end of the free trial. A free plan with possible limited features will remain once the free period ends. The free period is currently set to 60 days.

This is a nice alternative to other professional screenwriting programs like Final Draft that still have a steep barrier to entry for those writers who are just starting out or who are struggling financially at the moment.

Overall? A solid option for writers – especially right now.

If you are looking for a screenwriting program with a sleek design, quality interface, and design, and with some unique features to help you build and view your story from other perspectives, then Arc Studio Pro screenwriting software is definitely worth checking out!

I really like the Arc Studio outline features. I may end up using it on the next feature I develop to truly give it a shot!


Grant Harvey is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own feature-length screenplays and television pilots, Grant uses his passion and experience in film and videography to help others learn the tools, strategies, and equipment needed to create high-quality videos as a filmmaker of any skill level.

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