Fountain (markup language)

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Fountain is a free and open-source plain text markup language that makes it possible to write a formatted screenplay in any text editor, on any device, using any software that edits text files.[1]

Fountain (which got its name from Fountain Avenue, the famous Hollywood shortcut[2]) was inspired by John Gruber’s Markdown, and has its origins in two different and non-related projects: Scrippets, developed by John August and Nima Yousefi, and Screenplay Markdown, developed by Stu Maschwitz.


In 2004, John August, who has written four screenplays for Tim Burton,[3] was looking for a Markdown-like syntax for formatting text documents into screenplay form. In 2008, he and Yousefi released Scrippets, a plug-in for WordPress and other platforms that allowed users to embed short sections of a screenplay in blog posts and forums, using formatting hinted from plain text.[4]

At the same time, Maschwitz, software director of Red Giant Software and co-founder of The Orphanage, was working on a similar but more extensive project, Screenplay Markdown, that allowed plain text to be interpreted into a screenplay format.[5]

When August and Maschwitz realized they were both working on similar text-based screenplay formats, they decided to merge their projects, and the result was Fountain. [6][7][8]


Fountain has since been implemented in several popular text editors, word processors and screenwriting applications, such as BBEdit, Emacs, JotterPad, [9] Scrivener, Slugline, Storyist, Sublime Text, TextWrangler, Trelby, Vim, Writer and many others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Echo Hub: Fountain: Scriptwriting Made Easier
  2. ^ Introducing Fountain: Asked for advice on the best way an aspiring starlet could get into Hollywood, Bette Davis supposedly replied, “Take Fountain.”
  3. ^ Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie
  4. ^ WordPress: WP Scrippets
  5. ^ Screenplay Markdown
  6. ^ Fountain
  7. ^ The Next Web: Fountain is a new markup language for writing screenplays
  8. ^ NoFilmSchool: John August and Stu Maschwitz Release 'Fountain,' a Handy Screenwriting Tool / Markup Language
  9. ^ "fountain-mode on GitHub". Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

External links[edit]