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Movie Script Format

By Expert Author: Ralph Adams

Adhering to the proper movie script format is essential if you want industry leaders to take your movie script seriously. Screenwriting has a required -- not optional or recommended -- formatting standard and it includes everything from when and what to write in all CAPS, how far to indent, and what font size and style to use (always Courier 12-point font).
Screenwriting Software
Screenwriting software is available to help screenwriters focus on the story without being so distracted by issues regarding the movie script format. "Final Draft" is by far the industry leader and a necessity for all serious screenwriters. It eases issues of formatting. If you cannot afford this software, there are other free programs you can use. Although these free programs can help you with movie script format, they pale in comparison to "Final Draft." Just search "free screenwriting software." Celtx is among the most popular free screenwriting software and it is relatively user friendly.
Scene Headings
Another key aspect of movie script format is using scene headings. Scene headings such as EXT. & INT. are important indicators to let the reader know if a scene takes place in the exterior or interior. Make sure to address changes in location too, regardless of whether it moves from interior to exterior. The scene headings should also let your readers know the time of day.
Descriptions
The actions and descriptions are next in the text. Space your paragraphs according to relevancy. The character's name in CAPS needs to be in the text. Dialogue then comes into play. Once you address the location and time of day in the heading, action, character's name, and verbal dialogue between the characters, you are now starting to follow the basics of movie script formatting.
Visualize
Visualize each scene in the screenplay so it will be clear for collaborators as well as the eventual audience. Movements, scenery, and props will be shown, so try to make it visually appealing and relevant to the story. It is common for novice screenwriters to over use dialogue. Don't underestimate the power of showing aspects of the character's personality or how the character feels, rather than over relying on dialogue to communicate the many nuances of character development.
Following the proper movie script format is the first step to being taken seriously as a screenwriter. Disregarding movie script format will destroy a potential sale or recommendation. Using Final Draft, proofreading and rewriting, and working with a qualified screenwriter for hire will greatly increase your potential for success. By hiring a screenplay ghostwriter or even an experienced screenplay editor, you can ensure your screenplay will follow the proper movie script format and structure.

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