How to write a script? With Rules and Discipline of ScreenWriting
Script writing is the best and most difficult process in the entire filmmaking process. So, Sripada Studios is here to help you with a few writing disciplines and formats to keep it professional.
What is a script?
A script is a document that can hold outlines of every aural, visual, behavioural and linguistic element required to narrate a story.
Why do we need a script?
The film is a highly collaborative medium and the director, cast, editor and production crew will be based on the script. So, the scriptwriter should do a good job of conveying the need. Maintain the standard and formats, layouts, and margin as it would be read by the entire crew and cast. So, let’s see the rules of screenwriting.
- It is crucial to remember that film is a VISUAL medium.
- You don’t tell your audience your story, you SHOW them.
- You must learn to write a screenplay VISUALLY.
- Write what they will SEE and what they will HEAR.
- You might love your characters and know what they are thinking, but the discipline of screenplay writing is how to show it on a screen.
- When it happens, it may be just done with a look, often improvised on the movie set.
- So just write the pictures, sounds, and speeches, and leave the rest for the filmmakers.
Do's of Screen Writing
- Do proofread your script. Spelling is very important. Don’t trust your spell-checking program, it may miss grammatical errors and won’t have some terms in its built-in dictionary.
- Do get someone else to proofread your script. A fresh pair of eyes will often catch something you continue to miss.
- Do get the best photocopy you can. No one wants to read a dirty page.
- Do use good-quality brass brads to bind your script.
- Do register your script.
- Do send a one-page (or less) cover letter with your script when you send it out. Make the letter short, concise and to the point. There are books and articles on the subject, but basically, they simply want to know what the script is about and where to reach you.
- Do follow the rules unless you KNOW a darn good reason not to.
Don'ts of Screen Writing
- Don’t create a fancy Title page with giant fonts, coloured letters, etc. A Title page has the title and screenwriter’s name(s) in the middle and your contact information (address/ phone number) in the lower right hand.
- Don’t put a quotation on the title page. Most likely, no one but you will care.
- Don’t put a date on your script, or the draft version.
- Don’t put blank pages in the script to set things apart.
- Don’t put a second page with the quotation that tells the theme of your screenplay.
- Don’t do a page of character descriptions and back story.
- Don’t include any illustrations, no matter how cute you think they are.
- Don’t put the script title on the first page of the script.
- Don’t use more than two brads, but use three-hole paper.
- Don’t use coloured paper or anything but 20-pound 3-hole punch paper.
- Don’t expect to have your script returned to you.
Here is the sample script format from our recent short film “Kannadave Mythya”
a step towards divine passion
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