Scripto, The App That Stephen Colbert Helped To Build

I’ve been a Final Draft user for more than a decade and am pretty familiar with the writing tools available for screenwriting but I had never heard of Scripto until I saw this New Yorker article.

Stephen Colbert and one of his writers, Rob Dubbin, (who likes to code on the side) spent a year tinkering with a new collaborative writing tool suitable for late night comedy news shows like their own. After a year it was in production use on their show and today it’s being used by a host of other shows too.

It’s not designed to be a competitor to something like Final Draft as it is geared not just for collaborative environments but also live (or live to tape) television production (feeding TelePrompTers etc.)

I had also never heard of what sounds like an antiquated piece of software from the AP called ENPS which is apparently used by hundreds of newsrooms. (To be fair given that it was designed around more traditional newsrooms it may work well in that use case and just be ill-suited to the different environment of late night news comedy. On the other hand, while the AP is a fine news organization, it isn’t exactly where I would think to go for cutting edge software or UX, so there’s that.)

There is not a lot of information in this short article but I did find what appears to be the Scripto web site. Clearly going for the minimalist approach there. I am fascinated by this product now and want to know more about how it’s built (it appears to be browser-based), what its features are and how much it costs.

Of course I am not a late night comedy news show. I don’t even play one on television. So I am not in the target market. But the whole project sounds cool.