A “logline” is a movie’s concept boiled down to one or two sentences: *On his deathbed, a father tells the story of his life the way he remembers it: full of wild, impossible exaggerations. His grown son tries to separate the truth from the fantasy before it’s too late.* A “tagline” is a short, clever […]
Are scenes that take place in cars INT. or EXT.?
Car scenes often use camera placements that are both INT. and EXT., so [INT./EXT.](https://screenwriting.io/how-do-you-label-a-scene-that-takes-place-both-inside-and-outside/) is usually appropriate for their scene headers. INT./EXT. STEVE BLACK’S CADILLAC – DAY [DRIVING] This is not a hard and fast rule. If your scene is obviously either INT. or EXT., use it. For example, if you have a movie about […]
What is sweepstakes pitching?
Sweepstakes pitching (also know as a “bake-off”) is when a studio or producer brings in many different screenwriters to pitch on the same project before deciding which one to hire (“the winner”). In most cases, sweepstakes pitching occurs when the studio owns a licensed property — such as a character or board game — for […]
What is the best way to handle flashbacks or dream sequences in a screenplay?
If you want the viewer (and therefore the reader) to know that a scene is or is part of a flashback or dream sequence, add the tag in brackets after the header. INT. TOM’S BEDROOM – DAY [FLASHBACK] If you don’t want the viewer to be immediately aware, omit the tag. This advice also applies […]
What is a McGuffin?
A McGuffin (sometimes MacGuffin or maguffin) is a device that drives the plot, but has no real relevance. A good example is the briefcase in Pulp Fiction: viewers can speculate on its contents, but the truth is it doesn’t matter what’s inside; it’s just something to drive the plot. The term is often attributed to […]
What constitutes a scene?
A scene is a unit of story that takes place at a specific location and time. If one of these changes, you have a new scene. This is two scenes: INT. PETE’S ROOM – NIGHT He turns off the lamp and quietly nestles himself under the covers... INT. PETE’S ROOM – DAY A SCREECHING alarm […]