For work this afternoon, I needed to read a screenplay written in the early 1970s. I think it’s the earliest-dated script I’ve read that wasn’t reprinted in a book.
Musical numbers are a lot like action sequences: you’re trying to convey how it’s going to feel in the final movie, not beat out every little moment.
Only very rarely do you have to do a full dead stop to explain something to readers. I’ve probably done it twice in 40+ scripts.
If you’re staying in one location — or a series of similar locations — you don’t need individual sluglines.
To me, an outline tends to be less prose-y and feature more bullet points, but there is no common consensus in Hollywood about what’s what. We use “treatment” and “outline” interchangeably.
You can use bold sluglines in your screenplay. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
A black screen is a black screen. It’s not INT. or EXT. Whether you start the film with a black screen, or you create one mid-way with a CUT TO BLACK, you can simply have your characters speak over it.
How do you go about formatting IMs and text messages in your scripts?
One hyphen, two hyphens or none at all?
An ambitious reader crunches the numbers to find how many parentheticals successful screenwriters are actually using.
Three quick answers on writing camera angles, formatting TV scripts and choosing a pen name.
Check through any of the .pdfs in the Library, and you’ll see that title pages are kept minimal: the name of the script, your name, based on (if any), and the date.
If you have a line that only makes sense one way — and it’s not the first way someone would read it — you have a couple of choices.
How to format the script for faux-documentaries like “The Office.”
For dialogue, use as few numbers as possible, and write them out unless it’s cumbersome to do so.
If it would be obvious to the viewer, make it obvious to the reader.
You may notice several variations on “continued” in screenplays.
I handed in a script today, and thought it might be helpful to talk through my best practices when finishing up a draft.
Since you released “The Variant” independently, how’d you get the nifty cover art?
First, avoid it if possible. But if you have to, here’s how.
Italics are a good choice for sign language.
Generally, no. Try to make terms understandable in context.
Kindle 2: great for books, but not ready for screenplays.
Sluglines can be more specific, but only when it’s important for the reader.
Great lesson in how comic books distinguish action, dialogue, and all the rest.