SmartDraw: Making Wes Craven’s “Nightmares” Come True!

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Famous Filmmaker Uses Popular Graphics Software to Chart Character Relationships, Production Schedules, and More

It may not go “bump” in the night, but SmartDraw does help filmmaker Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street, the Scream trilogy, the recently released Red Eye, among many others) chart out character relationships, make production schedules, and plan other elements critical to his filmmaking process.

SmartDraw, the easy-to-use graphics software, is used by more than a million people worldwide to create flowcharts, floor plans, computer game designs, technical diagrams, calendars, medical diagrams, and more. Featuring more than 60,000 symbols and templates, and a simple drag-and-drop approach, SmartDraw makes easy work out of virtually any diagram.

“I use SmartDraw for many things, and keep finding new uses,” said Craven. “For example, I use it for organizational charts to lay out characters and their relationships when I start to break scripts down for production. This results in a comprehensive blueprint of characters, which is extremely handy and powerful. I can bring these blueprints to staff meetings where they are used for pitches, or when I go to a studio to speak about a script.”

Craven uses arrows of varying thickness to show each characters tie to another, and to define distinctive groups of characters. He then assigns different colors to each character’s “shape” in an org chart; for example, red for central characters, yellow for secondary characters, and so forth. According to Craven, the charts he creates in SmartDraw can help him recall important aspects of the script, long after it has been shelved.

“It’s not unusual to analyze and script, and then have it lay in a drawer for a year,” said Craven. “Suddenly, it will become hot, and it’s important to recall the key elements within minutes.”

In addition, Craven uses SmartDraw for project planning, for making calendars laying out production schedules and travel itineraries. He even used the program’s floor planning capabilities for a major remodel of his home.

“Congratulations on a fine product,” said Craven. “I’m sure I’ll continue to find new uses for it, and I always recommend it to friends.”

SmartDraw is available for a free, 30-day trial download at

About, founded in 1994, delivers professional graphics power to everyday people. With millions of users worldwide, the award-winning SmartDraw family of products continues to help users become more productive through the creation of effective flowcharts, organizational charts, timelines, Gantt charts, floor plans, technical diagrams, and more.’s free technical support, customer-driven product development, and dedication to ease-of-use make it the leading drawing software product and a key component to the popular office suite of software. For more information, please visit:


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Christine La Grange