Update on the Dramatica upgrade for Mac

Hi everyone,

I got in touch with Write Brothers to ask about the Dramatica for Mac release date. I also expressed my concern about the lack of progress and the security ramifications of me holding back on the Catalina upgrade for my own Mac. I received a very gracious and thorough response — copied here below (with their permission).

Their response, which explains the upgrading process, put me at ease. Perhaps it will do the same for you :slight_smile: .


We’ve been working on the 64-bit upgrades for Dramatica Story Expert and Movie Magic Screenwriter for almost two years. We got pretty far along with the Dramatica Story Expert upgrade, then decided we had better address the more complex program, Movie Magic Screenwriter, first. That’s where we ran into a serious delay.

I think many users aren’t clear on what we’re doing here: we’ve had to COMPLETELY REWRITE Screenwriter (and Dramatica Story Expert) in order for it to be compatible with Catalina. This is no small task. The fact that we choose to give away the new versions (free upgrades) to existing users of Screenwriter 6.5 and Dramatica Story Expert 5.3 may make it look like it is just “some adjustments”, but let me assure you it has been a long, painful process.

We are committed to upgrading Dramatica Story Expert – it’s a unique program that has no equal. Thankfully we expect Dramatica’s resumed 64-bit conversion will go a lot faster than Screenwriter has, because a lot of technology we developed for the Screenwriter 64-bit update is being used in Dramatica Story Expert. In no way has Dramatica Story Expert been “discontinued.”

You are right about security being important. However, rest assured that virtually all of the security updates that get rolled into Catalina are also provided by Apple for MacOS 10.14 Mojave.

Of small consolation is there are still some major issues getting worked out with Catalina. It has been a rough update for the developers. If you’ll recall, MacOS 10.14 Mojave had serious issues until 10.14.4. At this point, Mojave 10.14.6 is very, very stable. And secure.

We do, however, have a reasonable interim solution for this that are forced into a Catalina upgrade or have bought a next generation Mac that can’t downgrade got Mojave: We packaged up Screenwriter and Dramatica Story Expert into a FREE Mojave virtual machine that can run IN A WINDOW ON CATALINA. While this is not as ideal as just sticking with Mojave, it is a fairly high-performance interim solution (especially for Dramatica, where performance isn’t even an issue). If you want to look at the steps involved, refer to this FAQ:

VIRTUAL MOJAVE ON CATALINA FAQ: Using VirtualBox to Run Screenwriter 6.5 & Dramatica Story Expert 5.3 on MacOS 10.15 Catalina

Again, this is frustrating for us, too, but the end result will be worth the wait. Rest assured we will notify you through various methods as soon as we are in beta. Until then, we are not going to guess on a release date. Thank you for your patience.

Write Brothers


Was just going to ask about this. I’m shopping for a new MacBook pro, and am eyeing the 16 inch one so I can future proof myself (+ I really hate those butterfly keys too). This gives some hope. I bid them Godspeed.

And if you could ask, hope their resolutions will be optimised for retina displays? I own both programs and they aren’t pretty on these screens in their current state.


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Hi @Khodu,

I bid them Godspeed too :slight_smile:

Check out their Answer Centre (accessible via the link) or submit a ticket: https://techsupport.screenplay.com/hc/en-us/requests/new .

They’re good at responding. Let us know what you find.


Ok so I’m officially the proud owner of a new 16 inch MacBook Pro. Yaaay! So like everyone else, I’ll try to make do with the virtual solution until they release the true updates. Cant wait!


A new shiny computer is always a joy! Congratulations! :fireworks:


Thank you very much. It’s really something. Got the base model. Figured it was more than powerful enough for my writing and also the whole idea of being future proof was quite appealing. Really can’t wait to see what my Dramatica and Movie Magic Screenwriter apps will look like once the updates roll out. The drip, oh!


My experience is that the base model is not future proof. I’ve been using Macs since apple2, and sometimes got the top and sometimes not. Either way is ok. It’s nice not to get the top so you can get another current one sooner (A graphics art teacher was lamenting that he could not rationalize getting a new machine because his much older one was still functioning so well}. I future proofed myself with my MacBook Pro 2012 retina, solid state, and it was convenient to have ended up getting retina and solid state at its beginning. My understanding is that you have 14 days to change your mind.


Thanks for the good-intentioned advice Prish.
Apple did a 180 on this one though. The Base model for this 16 inch MacBook is quite the beast.
16gb of DDR4 ram. 512gb of SSD storage(In a base model? Unheard of!), 4gb of GDDR6 Vram for the graphics card, a redone keyboard( Their absolute best ever in a laptop).
With specs like these, it’s bound to have updates for at least the next 5 years, I think.

Thanks again though. :slight_smile:


Ok people, we are live!

A bit slow but as my people say “At all, at all, is the worst possible thing that could happen in any situation”.

Game on!( at least till the true update :sweat_smile:)


Hi guys.
Quick update.
I had to move the VM Mojave supplied by Write Brothers to Parallels Desktop software. It runs a lot smoother now.
For those who already own Parallels, this is the way to go. For those who don’t own it and are inclined to having other OS run on their Macs, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s great for running windows 10 while you’re still in macOS, as well as any other OS you wish.

Here’s the link on how to convert the VM Mojave from the Write Brothers website: https://kb.parallels.com/122851

Note: I think this works only after you’ve installed it the recommended way first. Afterward, you can delete the Virtual Box files to free up space on your system.


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Does anyone know if the big update that is coming for Mac will include a mobile app?

If you have any support questions related to the availability of Dramatica Story Expert on a specific platform or operating system, please contact Customer Support directly. This is not a forum for venting any frustrations you may be experiencing while you wait.