Screenwriting is one of the most complicated forms of writing, because one has to be mindful of so many different things at once – not just all the elements that make up a good story, but all the technical aspects of a film as well. Professionals use a variety of tricks to help them plot these elements out ahead of time, including traditional outlines, specialized scene boards, and mood graphing. Movie Outline 3 separates itself from the screenwriting pack by giving you access to many of these same techniques in a way that doesn't require a degree from the UCLA film school to comprehend!
Unlike your typical screenwriting software, which assumes that the user just wants to start writing, Movie Outline takes a different approach. As one might assume from the name of the software, it is set up for the writer that is starting with little more than an idea. Many screenwriting classes teach to start with the Three Act structure format and lay out an outline prior to writing scenes and dialogue, so for the beginner or the writer who prefers a more organized process, this could be very useful.
Because the format is different than one might expect, there is help for the user. There is a "Getting Started" screen that opens up when the program is loaded, though one must read through it and doesn't have the opportunity to try out all the features while reading about them. The User Guide that accompanies the software gives explanations of all the features, including a basic scriptwriting tutorial and dictionary of terms. A lot of this information is also available on the website, along with a video tour of the software. But the emphasis on structure makes it seem geared toward the first-timer, which would make an interactive tutorial even more helpful. (That, and those of us who are too impatient to read through the instructions!)