Re: Screnplay format question...

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Posted by sean at on March 17, 2003 at 17:14:30:

In Reply to: Screnplay format question... posted by RedX on March 17, 2003 at 17:05:09:

: I'm writing a screneplay (as I stated in an earlier post) and I'm not sure of the proper format. I've been putting the sluglines and action/scen description lines 1 1/2" from the left side of the page and dialogue 2 1/2" from the left side of the page. I've been keeping the dialogue all lined up with the 2 1/2" line, but is that the proper format?

There is no hard & fast, set "proper" format, per se. Consistency is more important. However, if you're asking more what the standard is, some people don't indent the description stuff at all, and, if they do, 1" is enough (I can't remember, off-hand, which one Final Draft does). 2 1/2" sounds about right for dialogue, but remember to kick it at least an inch in on the right also (to 5", or even 4 1/2").

: I haven't been putting to much of camera direction in there or the characters speech (like irritated or what not) but I do every now and then.

People generally say not to do those anyway, so you're ahead of the game on that one. Generally, camera direction should only be there if its neccessary to the reader's understanding ... now, this can mean a lot of things, but I find it generally means that, unless you're making a specific joke involving the way the camera moves, don't put those in any script that you're going to show people. And, as for parantheticals, actors usually hate them, but, in my experience, not using them results in people saying "I don't understand how they're supposed to say this line", whereas using them just makes people say "You're using too many." So, if you need 'em, use 'em.

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