Generally, it’s best to send your scripts out as PDFs. PDFs are simple, not writeable or editable (unless you have Highland), and universally readable. With other formats, you run risks. For example, if you were to send your script out in FDX, it’s possible the recipient wouldn’t have Final Draft and wouldn’t be able to […]
How should you handle text messages (SMS) or instant messages (IMs) in screenplays?
There’s no standard rule for how one should format text messages or IMs in screenplays. As with all formatting advice, any way you handle it is okay as long as your intention is clear and you don’t confuse the reader. One simple way to handle text communication is to treat it like dialogue, but indicate […]
How should you handle numbers or confusing jargon in dialogue?
Numbers and jargon in dialogue should usually be spelled out in full, and as specifically as possible. If not, you run the risk of your actor saying something different than you intend. If you writer your scene: MARY How much is the bill? SHOP OWNER $1,329.00 We don’t know who this shop owner is, or […]
What are MORE and CONT’D used for in screenplays?
When a dialogue block is split, either by a page break or an action line, you will use the parenthetical (CONT’D) to indicate the second part of dialogue is a continuation of the first: CHRIS Blake! Get over here. He grabs his teammate’s jersey, pulls him over. CHRIS (CONT’D) This one’s coming to you. Be […]
How are lyrics formatted in screenplays?
Lyrics in screenplays are written in italics. If it is not already clear from the context that the character is singing, it’s helpful to include the parenthetical “(singing)” the first time it comes up, as foreign dialogue and other special-circumstance dialogue is also put in italics. Some writers choose to put a “/” at the […]
What is a one-step deal?
A one-step deal is a deal in which a studio hires a screenwriter to write a single draft of a screenplay, and all future work after the delivery of that draft is optional, at the discretion of the studio. These vary from more traditional two or three step deals, where the writer is guaranteed at […]