What are colored revisions/drafts/pages?

Colored pages are used in film and television to keep track of revisions to a script as it goes into production. Spec screenplays and screenplays in development won’t have colored pages. It’s generally only once the script is locked for scheduling and budgeting that colored pages are used. Revision order is tracked on the script’s […]

Can I use real people in my screenplay?

It is not uncommon to see a screenplay refer to a real person or use a real person as a character, but we recommend you tread lightly, as it could be considered libel. In general, it’s okay to refer to a person in his or her known capacity, ie, “…like when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook!” […]

What is a two-hander?

A two-hander is a movie where there are two main characters of roughly equal importance to the story, and whose arcs are given roughly equal screen-time. Romantic comedies and buddy cop movies are often two-handers, but almost all genres have their examples. The Sixth Sense is a thriller two-hander, for instance. More from johnaugust.com Two-hander […]

How do I express a character’s mispronunciation of a word?

If you intend for a character to mispronounce a word in dialogue, spell out his mispronunciation phonetically (using English phonetics — not IPA). If you feel your intent isn’t clear, quotation marks may help, but make sure the reader still understands if the character means to mispronounce the word, or if it is done unknowingly. […]

Can I use “CUT TO:” when moving between scenes? Do I have to?

“CUT TO:” can be a useful transition when you need to be extra-clear we’re moving to a new place and/or time. However, with the presence of scene headers, it is by no means necessary, and in modern screenplays it is often not used at all. In a 2003 blog post, John August names three situations […]