The BIG IDEA Your film script will begin with a big idea. Work in a group to decide 1. The kind of Film you want to make. Drama, Comedy, Crime, Sci-fi, Documentary, Romance, Sports, Action
2. What's the story.? A logline is a single paragraph that describes the big idea. 3. Make a Shot List or Storyboard - this should be in chronological order - but you can adjust it when you start filming. 4. In Hollywood a script will go through many versions before it is ready for filming. You have to get yours ready in one go - but you can change it as the filming progresses
How to Write a Script Writing the script for a short film—can seem overwhelming, but it’s manageable if you break it down into methodical steps. This is Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's step-by-step guide to creating a movie script. 1.Write your logline. A logline is a one-sentence summary or description of a movie. Loglines distill the essential elements of your screenplay—the main character, setup, central conflict, plot points, antagonist—into a concise teaser. The goal is to write an enticing synopsis to hook the reader into reading the entire script. 2.Create an outline. Film story structure typically follows a three-act structure, with a setup, inciting incident, and redemption. Begin creating a roadmap by writing down the main events of your script in sequence. You can build a storyboard in a traditional outline format over one or two pages, or, if you have the space, you can write sentences on index cards and post them on a wall to make it easier to view and manipulate the parts. Each event should be a single, short sentence. Your sole dramatic question is the force that will shape your story's main plotline or throughline. You can also create a screenwritingbeat sheet with broad strokes and descriptions of your screenplay's action and character growth. 3.Build a treatment. Consider your treatment a beefed-up prose version of your outline, which reads more like a short story. If you’re shopping your script around, a treatment is what you might use to gauge interest; it can also be an excellent exercise to see if the story works the way you’re hoping it does in your head. Your artistic vision comes into play with the treatment, so build out your world and your characters as lush as you’d like. Learn more about writing treatments in this how-to guide. 4.Write your screenplay. Writing screenplays takes hard work. Remember all the rules you’ve heard before: Show, don’t tell. Write in the present tense. Adhere to proper formatting. Try not to do too much editing while you write. Let your movie ideas flow, and then structure them once you’ve got everything on the page. 5.Format your screenplay. Script templates are easy to find online, and plenty of screenwriting software will automatically arrange your writing into a screenplay format. Final Draft is the tool of choice for most professional screenwriters. The industry standard for a script format is 12-pt Courier font, with a 1-inch right margin, 1.5-inch left margin, and 1-inch margins at the top and bottom. 6.Edit your screenplay. It may take several rounds of rewriting and revisions before you reach the final draft. Author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman describes the writing process as an explosion. “You explode onto the page—the story is an explosion,” says Neil. “And you get to the end of it, and once it's done, you get to walk around it and…look at the shrapnel and the damage it did. You get to see who died and see how it worked. That's the point where you get to think about it. You get to think about what works and what doesn't work.” How to Properly Format a Screenplay Most screenwriters use script-writing software to format their scripts automatically, but it’s essential to understand how to format your work. After learning to write in screenplay format, scriptwriting will become second nature. The fundamentals of formatting include: 1.Action lines: Align descriptions of action with the left margin of the page. 2.Camera angles: Writers do not typically include camera angles in scripts unless a camera angle is essential to how a scene unfolds, perhaps enabling the delivery of a joke or big reveal. 3.Character names: When introducing a character for the first time, write their name in all caps, followed by a short description in parenthesis. 4.Dialogue descriptions: Center any descriptions of the character’s line delivery in a parenthetical directly above the dialogue. 5.Dialogue: Write the name of the character speaking in capital letters, centered on the page, and indented 3.7 inches from the left side of the page. Center the character’s lines on the page below their name. Indent each dialogue block 2.5 inches from the left side of the page. 6.Font: An industry-standard screenplay features size 12 Courier font. 7.Locations: EXT for "exterior" or INT for "interior" should always precede scene headings. 8.Off-screen or off-camera: Signify characters who can be heard speaking off-screen with O.S. (off-screen) in film scripts. (For characters speaking off-screen in TV shows, write O.C. for off-camera in TV scripts). 9.Page margins: You should have a 1½-inch margin on the left of the page, a 1-inch margin on the right of the page, and 1 inch of white space on the top and bottom of the page. 10.Page numbers: Apart from the first page, number every script page. Typically, one page equals one minute of screen time. 11.Scene headings: Often called sluglines, scene headings belong in all caps, aligned left on the page. A scene heading appears at the top of each new scene. It includes the following information: “EXT.” or “INT.” (abbreviations for “exterior” and “interior”), the location, and the time of day. For example: “INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - NIGHT” 12.Title page: The script should have a title page with no content apart from the title and the screenwriter’s name, contact information, and representation (if applicable). 13.Transitions: Write instructions like "FADE OUT," "FADE IN," or "SMASH CUT TO" in all caps, aligned with the right margin. 14.Voiceover: Signify voiceover by writing "V.O." next to the name of the character who is speaking.
Storyboard templates Click to download 6 or 12 frame