SCRIPT GUIDE 2

Topics: Present tense, Grammatical tense, Past tense Pages: 5 (1604 words) Published: April 22, 2015
The Script:- Format & Layout.

The script is a blueprint, a design used in the manufacture of a film / TV programme. It is not in itself a work of literature, though a well-written script will engage the reader every bit as effectively as a good novel or short story.

Various kinds of scripts may be produced for different reasons, but screenwriters usually use the “MASTERSCENE” format. This is a form of script that contains descriptions of visuals, sound, action and dialogue, but RARELY INCLUDES ANY CAMERA DIRECTION.

Scripts (screenplays) are always written in 12pt courier.

All scripts are divided into SCENES. A scene is best described as a single chunk of continuous action within a single location. One scene ends and another begins when there is either an interruption to continuous time, or a change of location, OR BOTH.

Each scene within a script begins with a heading, which must contain the following information:

A) Screenplays often don’t have scene numbers, but for our purposes it is useful, beginning at 1. for the first scene and ascending sequentially for each subsequent scene.

B) An indication of whether the scene takes place inside or outside, abbreviated to INT. (interior) or EXT. (exterior). For this think about the audiences viewing position (i.e. where the camera is placed – If we are in the classroom with the action it will be INT. but if we are looking in through the classroom window at the action it will be EXT.

C) The location. i.e. PETER’S CLASSROOM. This should always describe a precise physical space, never an emotional state or action.

D) The time of day, this may be DAY or NIGHT, or a more specific reference such as DAWN or DUSK.

This information should be arranged to look something like this:

1. INT. PETER’S CLASSROOM.DAY.

The heading will be followed by a block of text describing the visual appearance of the location and character(s), action, and any sound (other than dialogue). It is worth noting at this point that a script reads chronologically, so if an action precedes a line of dialogue it should appear above the dialogue on the page, if the action follows the dialogue it should appear below the dialogue on the page. This is written as regular text (lower case) other than character names, which ALWAYS (other than in dialogue: see below) appear in upper case.

1. INT. PETER’S CLASSROOM.DAY.
PETER paces around in front of a blackboard covered in a semi-legible scrawl, he wears a black tee shirt and jogging trousers. The room is tatty, paint peels off the window frames and graffiti can be seen on the walls. Thirty bored looking students sit sprawled behind tables, some have their heads down as though asleep, others peer out of the windows at the clouds. At the back three students murmur and giggle. PETER stops pacing and turns to the students.

The descriptive portions of a script will be justified left, it is usual to leave a wide margin in order that notes can be made by cast and crew.

The other element of a script is the dialogue, that which the characters speak. Dialogue has wider margins than those for the description and appears beneath the name of the character who is speaking; the character’s name should be in upper case and bold. If as part of the dialogue a character’s name is spoken, then it need not be upper case. Sometimes a direction may be placed in parenthesis beneath the character name, though it is worth pointing out that this can distract the reader if overused.

1. INT. PETER’S CLASSROOM.DAY.
PETER paces around in front of a blackboard covered in a semi-legible scrawl, he wears a black tee shirt and jogging trousers. The room is tatty, paint peels off the window frames and graffiti can be seen on the walls. Thirty bored looking students sit sprawled behind tables, some have their heads down as though asleep, others peer out of the windows at the clouds. At the back three students murmur and giggle....
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