In order to write your screenplay the industry standard format must be used.

The main formatting:

  • SCENE HEADING
  • SCENE DESCRIPTION
  • CHARACTER NAME
  • CHARACTER DESCRIPTION
  • DIALOGUE
  • ACTION DESCRIPTION
  • AUDIO DESCRIPTION

The supporting elements:

  • FADE IN
  • SUB HEADERS
  • TRANSITIONS
  • PARATHENTICALS
  • EXTENSIONS
  • MORES/CONTINUES
  • INTERCUT

PLEASE SEE THE DIAGRAM to the left [found on writersatplay.com] They have used a real screenplay to show you how these elements unfold to assist in telling your story. Follow the orange button to read the full article!

The sections that signal the elements of a script such as action or dialogue are essential to the correct portrayal of the writers vision of the final film. While traditional narrative allows the freedom for the reader to imagine nearly 100 percent of the story; it can result in wildly different ideas of what characters, locations or exact actions are taking place. Film is a visual medium. The director’s job is to imagine how the story will unfold visually, but it is the writers responsibility to ensure the story in his mind unfolds on paper as accurately as possible; with as little room for interpretation as possible. The screenplay itself should be a blueprint for how a film looks and feels visually and audibly.

Your script will eventually be the master document from production to post. The cast and crew will constantly reference each scene, character, wardrobe and action; discuss, debate and argue how they will be achieved visually based on the script and the directors vision. A vaguely written scene description just won’t be sufficient and will result in your script being tossed aside before it’s even considered.

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