There is a question I’d like to ask. Regarding grammar on screenplays, how important is it to film companies, producers, studios, etc. I was under the impression, grammar can’t be filmed, so ? Your thoughts.
I’m generally of the school that there are no dumb questions, but I think your question is dumb enough to merit front-page attention. It’s also functionally ungrammatical, which gives it a nice bonus for irony.
Of course grammar matters.
It’s bizarre and saddening that aspiring screenwriters will agonize about the perfect margins and the proper number of brads (two), without ever considering whether a question mark might be appropriate at the end of a question. Or inappropriate at the end of a vaguely declarative statement.
True, grammar can’t be filmed. But scripts are read by people, not cameras. And people deserve the best writing you can muster. That means matching your subjects and verbs, watching your tenses, and practicing careful punctuation.
But wrong is wrong. And yes, it matters.
Your question was originally posted in the comments section of another entry. A helpful reader pointed you to my lengthy missive on professionalism, which unfortunately did not meet your needs:
It didn’t answer the question. It made a vague reference to presentation and professionalism. Which means, studios, producers will assume it’s great. This is really an annoying question because it puts people on the spot about their education, grammar is at all time low in America and no one wants to discuss it. I hope I’m not dropping a bomb here.[…] He was aiming for inspiration. Inspiration isn’t an answer.
If I ever start a line of subtly demoralizing t-shirts, I now have my first slogan: “Inspiration isn’t an answer.”