Screenplay Format Demystified – How to Format a Screenplay

How to Format a Screenplay, Screenplay Format, format for screenplay, screen play format, screenplay format guide, screenplay formatting, proper screenplay format, reddit screenwriting,

Screenplay Format Demystified – How to Format a Screenplay

So you have written a story that you know is really good, but you are having trouble understanding what a proper screenplay format looks like. Why is it really necessary to format your screenplay?

Formatting helps to give credibility. A screenplay format allows the reader to be able to easily follow your story. It allows strips off long, flowery prose that novels usually have and makes the story a fast read. For examples of great scripts, download all of…

…and start reading the masters.

Formatting also helps the actors to be able to break down the story into sets and props. So how do you format your screenplay to make sure you get the audience you deserve? The good folks over at Studiobinder produced this video to help you on your screenwriting journey.

StudioBinder – (Use Coupon Code: INDIEHUSTLE1M to receive 1-month off StudioBinder)


How to Format a Screenplay

A film screenplay can look a bit complex and daunting at first, but it is all about getting to know the elements.

SCENE HEADINGS

Also known as slug lines, scene headings are used to show the camera placement, specific location, and the time. Look at this example:

EXT.WHITE HOUSE – DAY.

This is what a scene heading looks like. The camera placement is usually abbreviated to INT (interior) or EXT (exterior), followed by the location which is separated from the time using a hyphen. You may then press enter once or twice before the next element.

ACTION

This is basically a narrative description of the scene. When describing the action, be sure to only include the sights and sound that will be heard or seen by the audience.

A character’s name should be capitalized the first time the character is introduced to the screen. Names of characters who have no dialogue in the scene need not be capitalized. For example:

MARY, American lawyer, middle-aged, and drunk, Staggers in.

The sights and sounds that will be heard by the audience should also be capitalized (eg. ROAR, SCREAM).

DIALOGUE

This is an essential part of your screenplay because it is where characters are expressed. The dialogue is made up of three parts: The character name, parenthetical, and the speech of the character. The parenthetical conveys the manner in which the character presents their speech. For example:

MARY
(in a slurred voice)
Can I get another drink honey?

Download ALL the 2016-2018

Television Pilot Scripts

We are in a new golden age of television. Learn from some of the best writers working in Hollywood today. Read, Learn, Write!

Just sign up below to gain instant access. No SPAM EVER!

TRANSITION

A transition tells the editing crew how quickly they should move to the next scene. Transitions are right justified on a script. Examples are CUT TO, SMASH TO, DISSOLVE TO, etc.

SUBHEADER

Subheaders are used to time jump or move in time within the same location. A subheader is usually after an action line and is capitalized.

MONTAGE

A montage is a series of scenes strung together, often indicating memories of a person or place. To set a montage enter “BEGIN MONTAGE” at the start of the scenes you want to string together and “END MONTAGE” at the finish.

CHYRONS

These are texts that appear on a screen. To add a chyron, start an action line under a screen heading with the text “CHYRON”. For example:

OVER BLACK
CHYRON: 2:30 PM.

These are the elements you’ll need for a screenplay format. Now that you have understood how to format a screenplay, why not go ahead and finish that script? Good luck and happy writing.

Here are a few more videos to help you with your screenplay format.


Read Screenplays From Some of Our Other Highlighted Screenwriters

Some of the BEST Online Screenwriting Courses & Books available:

Courses

Books


If you liked Christopher Nolan Screenplays take a listen:

Christopher Nolan Screenplays, Christopher Nolan scripts, download screenplays, download scripts, reddit screenplays

Quentin Tarantino Screenplays, Quentin Tarantino, film director, Bruce Willis, nonlinear timeline, Pulp Fiction, quentin tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, screenwriter, screenwriting, Uma Thurman, Chris Penn, Death Proof, Harvey Keitel, Jackie Brown, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink, Nice Guy Eddie, Pulp Fiction, quentin tarantino, Reservoir Dogs, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Kill Bill, Django Unchained

screenplay, screenplays, script writing software, software, screenplay formatting software, screenplay, screenwriting, screenwriter, Fade in, Celtx, Script It!, Highland script writing software, Save the Cat Software, Aaron Sorkin, John August, film script, movie script,


Enjoyed Christopher Nolan Screenplays (Download)? Please share it in your social networks (FacebookTwitter, email, etc) by using social media buttons at the side or bottom of the blog. Or post to your blog and anywhere else you feel it would be a good fit. Thanks.

I welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the comments section below…


Get Social with Indie Film Hustle:
Facebook: Indie Film Hustle

Twitter: @indiefilmhustle 
Instagram: @ifilmhustle

YouTube: Indie Film Hustle TV
Podcast: IFH Podcast
IFH: Indie Film School

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Facebook Comments