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In this filmmakers video learn about technical Screenplay writing such as specific grammar and format.
Tags:technical screenplay format,filmmakers guide,Filmmaking Tips,how to make films,how to write a screenplay,screenplay format,screenplay layout,screenplay technical writing,thesubstream
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Hi, everybody this is Mike from the Substream.com. A couple of months ago we helped our friend Rajo make a really good short film and everybody liked it so much that they ask me to write a script for a new one. I heard he is working on it on a studio so let’s go see him and if we’re lucky maybe we can be really sarcastic to him for no reason.
Hi, Rajo! How’s it going? You got your script together? That’s spectacular! Everything is going okay? Good, you got extra pencils, what about a stapler? You got a stapler okay so you got your rising action, okay. How many climax’s you got? One, okay that’s good, that’s good. What about a dilemma? You got a dilemma. Wow! Then I guess you know what you're doing. You got your proper screen play format right? You don’t have proper screen play format. Oh Rajo, let me see what you got. Let me see it okay. Oh man this is disgusting. This is garbage. You should be ashamed of yourself. This pile of words is all wrong. I knew you needed me. We’ve got a lot of work. Well, calm down Rajo. Oh you smashed your chair down.
Look okay scripts have a very specific special format that you have to use if you want it to be read and take it seriously. It’s true. It matters would you want to walk across a bridge that was built by a bunch of dudes looking at a sketch of a napkin? No, you want to know there are blue prints and structural plans.
Well, a movie is no different from a bridge and a script isn’t just a pile of words like a short story. It’s a kind of blue print with specific rules. Okay look, calm down. It just so happens that I know how to format a script and if you like I can teach you. Would you like that? Then here we go. Okay yeah, sit down. Scripts are stories told following certain rules meaning that certain things in the story get certain kinds of formatting. Places are important as our people and the things that they say. Oddly sounds are important too but it all starts with places whatever is happening is happening in a where and a when, right?
Let’s have a look. Let’s take our script and look for where’s okay. There’s endless vast space inside the ship, around the ship and on the bridge. There doesn’t seem to be when in your story but people are doing things so we’ll say that it’s day rather than night. So we got four where’s which means in our script we have four scenes. Each scene has a scene heading also known as a slug line that tells reader whether what’s happening in the script is inside or outside, INT or EXT, where is happening and when
So we take the first where endless vast space and type EXT for exterior endless vast space and then a space, a dash and a space and then day. Slug lines always have those three chunks of information and are always capitalized like that. Underneath them we write the action of the scene which is our description of what happens on the scene then the next slug line, the next action the same for the third and for the fourth.
Our fourth scene is a little different because it has people in it that say things so we have to type it up a little differently. In the action section where we put our descriptions of people and the place and what’s happening when we type the name of the character that says something in the movie like captain Rabo Zacon here we have to type that persons name in all capital so it stands out.
Okay, it looks like one of our characters is about to have some dialogue. Just type this we first type the name of the person that is speaking in all caps. Centered it on the page then underneath you type their dialogue indented on both sides. When another person starts talking we do the same. If it’s important that we know that they’re speaking in a certain way we in put the descriptive word in parenthesis underneath their name. All scripts have to be in 12 point Courier font and any noises that the audience hears have be capitalized as well.
Well now that looks like a script. Happy now? I am. It looks a lot better already, doesn’t it? I’m really glad that we had a chance to learn together about typing scripts. Oh you’re all finished. I’m so proud of you Rajo. I know it seems really convoluted and complex but all those rules serve a good purpose. It helps people that read a lot of scripts to do it quickly and efficiently and it has a neat side benefit if everything is laid out properly each page should be equal about 1 minute screen time. That’s handy, huh? Well, good luck Rajo. I really enjoyed your script. I think your movie is going to be great and I hope that you have a lot of fun working on it. Bye, bye now.