Tinderbox Training Video 33 - Tinderbox and Screenwriting, an Interview with Roberto Moreira

Tinderbox Training Video - Tinderbox and Screenwriting, and Interview with Roberto Moreira

Level Introduction
Published Date 2/25/21
Tags Tinderbox, aTbRef, 4Cs of Knowledge Exchange, Roberto Moreira, Scriptwriting, Xpos, Rules, Agents, Action Code, Adornments
Video Length 27:08
Video URL https://youtu.be/zS1QeZYlhOU
Example File N/A
Revision 1
TBX Version 8.9
Instructor Michael Becker

In this lesson, I hold an interview with Roberto Moreira, a film director, television and movie scriptwriter, and professor at the Universidade de Sao Paulo. Whether you’re a Tinderbox user or not, I think you’ll find this interview fascinating, as it illuminates the process of writing a movie or television script.

In this interview, Roberto explains how he uses Tinderbox for scriptwriting. He shares his strategy for blocking out a script into eight sequences and dividing each sequence into a series of two-minute scenes, with each scene ending at a “turning point.”

Roberto explains how no other solution can do what Tinderbox does; it helps him collect, curate, and create his stories. Tinderbox’s various views help him quickly organize scenes, figure out which sequences need more content, and build relationship maps between characters. With the application of Rules in the outline view, ha can keep track of his script’s total running time. Again, Attributes, no other scriptwriter software, helps him add nuance and insight to each scene. He can specify the characters in the scenes, the plot and location, the duration, whether it is night or day, and the level of emotion and tension in the scene. Using the OnAdd feature of adornments and inspired use of the $Xpos attribute with Outline Sort, Roberto can keep the outline of his scenes in map view and outline sort order in sync. He is also able to use agents to search and find which characters are in which scenes.

“Brainstorming characters in Tinderbox is a pleasure.” Roberto Moreira

Roberto is also very open with the challenges he has faced with learning, re-learning, and using Tinderbox. For Roberto, there is no question that Tinderbox is a powerful tool, but he is not a programmer and struggles with learning and remembering the code syntax. He admins, for some projects, especially with his classes, “I know it is possible to do in Tinderbox, but sometimes it is easier to do in Google spreadsheet.” He also notes that for him, using export code can be a challenge and, in fact, recognizes that some things are better done in other, specialized software. Roberto concludes our interview with an important self-reflection that he wishes he had learned to code earlier. He thinks coding should be mandatory in school.

“I think that, at some level, everyone needs to learn to code. If you work with knowledge, you need to learn how to transform data with code. We should learn to code at school, alongside mathematics and other lessons.” Roberto Moreira Finally, Robert, when reflecting on a conversation with Mark Anderson, leaves us with an important thought.
“Don’t ask Tinderbox to do things that it was not created to do. It is a tool for notes. If you need to write something big…that is not the function of Tinderbox†…you can use Tinderbox to understand what you are thinking, how you are imagining things…if I want to do something, I know it is possible in Tinderbox.” Roberto Moreira

I appreciate this sentiment from Mark and Roberto, and in the majority of cases I would agree. However, Tinderbox’s contribution potential is often unrecognized or appreciated as it feels unapproachable given the need to effectively wield action code and export code to do “big projects” in Tinderbox. Big projects can be done in Tinderbox, but it does take the learning of new skills and adaptation to your thinking, which is a good thing, as Tinderbox is universally recognized as a tool for [transformational] thinking.

I hope you enjoy this interview. It brings out the 4Cs of knowledge making (collect, curate, create, and contribute), the vast array of Tinderbox capabilities, but most importantly, it brings scriptwriting to life in an approachable way. I, for one, would love to take his class one day.

TBX - L Interview with Robert Moreira


Thank you Roberto and Michael - that trick of sorting by Chapter and then by Xpos is really nice! I’ve just created a new template for myself based on that idea.


@Roberto_Moreira That’s a fantastic setup that you’ve got there! I laughed when you said that you’re just a screenwriter who doesn’t know about coding. Was great to know that I’m not alone :sweat_smile: @satikusala Thanks for an enlightening interview and really smart questions and points…

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