What Is the Format of a Film Script?

What Is the Format of a Film Script?

A properly formatted screenplay includes labeled scene headings (time and location), actions, characters, dialogue and parentheticals (directions). Film scripts are typically written in 12 point Courier font on 8 ½ by 11 three-hole punched paper with top, bottom, and right margins of 1 inch and a left margin of 1 ½ inches. At an average of one page per on-screen minute, expect a total length between 90 pages (an hour and a half) and 120 pages (two hours).

A speculation script is a script written with intentions of being sold to a professional production company. A production script is a script for a movie that has already been green-lit and is currently in production. Production scripts contain technical information such as camera angles and transitions that should not be included in a speculation script as a separate person is hired to direct the film with their own creative vision.

The first words on the first page should be "Fade in:" followed by the scene heading which is written in all-caps. Next is the action which is a narrative description of the scene. A character's first appearance includes a description of the character and is added to the action. Character names are always written in all-caps. Dialogue is centered on the page with the speaking characters name written above every time there is a change in speaker.

A professional screenplay must include a title page attached to the front. The title page contains the title of the film and the author's name in the center, and for speculation scripts, the contact information of the author and their agent in the bottom-left corner.

Screenplay software that automatically applies the proper formatting can be purchased online but could be considered expensive as prices range from $100 to $300.