How to Format Your Spec Screenplay

We saw this on the TVWriter™ WRITING & SHOWBIZ NEWSWATCH and immediately realized that our visitors deserve (and probably need) a bigger taste of this very valuable formatting info to make sure y’all visit the source. So:


HOW TO FORMAT A SCRIPT FOR THE SPEC MARKET
by ScriptReaderPro

If you’re confused by how to format a script, you’re in the right place. The following post contains excerpts from our book, “Master Screenplay Format: A Clear Guide On How To Format a Screenplay For The Spec Market.

The overall message of the book when it comes to script format, is to stay as clear and consistent as possible in order to immerse the reader into the world of the story. Rather than focus on how to format a script using dogmatic rules, the book focuses on “best practices” and script format choices.

Here are just two of the many anomalies contained in the book and our suggestions for better choices on how to format a script.

How To Format a Script Example #1: Misusing EXT./INT.

(This script format example is taken from section 2 on Sluglines)

The format EXT./INT. should be used when quickly cutting between interior and exterior locations. If you want to know how to format a script, we don’t recommend using EXT./INT. as it’s used in the following scene:

 

 

If we see Charlotte chatting on her cellphone before entering the gym, this needs an exterior slugline. Then, when she enters the gym, we’d need an interior one, like this:

 

Similarly, this use of EXT./INT. is also technically incorrect when it comes to script format:

 

This mistake sometimes happens when the writer feels a location is simultaneously inside and outside. But, using our earlier rule of thumb, can these characters look up and see the sky? Yes. And so—as with most football stadiums, tennis courts, concert venues, etc.—we’re technically still outside. So this scene should be labeled as an exterior, like this:

Read it all at ScriptReaderPro