Margins

Stage direction and shot headings (also known as slug lines) have a margin of 1.7" of the left and 1.1" on the right. TWO BLANK LINES PRECEDE EACH SHOT HEADING.

Dialog has a left margin of 2.7" and a right margin of 2.4".

Character names over dialog (speaker) have a left margin of 4.1".

Parenthetical direction within dialog has a left margin of 3.4" and a right margin of 3.1".

Scenes transitions such as CUT TO: and FADE OUT. have a left margin of 6.0".

Scene/shot numbers: When a script is numbered in preproduction, the left number is placed 1.0" from the left edge of the page and the right scene number is placed 7.4" from the left edge of the page.

Top page margin is .5" (or three single lines) before the page number. A single blank line separates the page number from the body of the script, which begins with either a CONTINUED: or a new shot heading/slug line.

Bottom page margin is at least .5" (or three single lines) following the (CONTINUED) or the end of a scene.

Total page length is a maximum of 60 lines, including page number and CONTINUEDs (but not including the 3 line margins at the top and bottom of the page).

Paper size is 8.5" wide by 11" long.

Place the parenthetical direction with the remainder of the speech on the next page. For Example: SKYLAR . no blank line separates the (MORE) from the dialog) On the following page put (CONT'D) after the character name and on the same line as the name. Use of "CONTINUED" When a shot or scene continues from one page to the next. CONTINUED: is then added at the top of the next page. followed by a single blank line. break it only at the end of a complete sentence.Font Use 12-point Courier (not Courier New) or Prestige Pica. Breaking stage direction When stage direction (also known as action) is broken at the bottom of a page. break it only at the end of a complete sentence. preceded by a single blank line. directly beneath the dialog (in other words. Add (MORE) 4. when breaking speeches. Breaking dialog When a character's speech is broken at the bottom of a page. (CONTINUED) must be added at the bottom of the page where the break occurs. Also.1" from the left page edge at the bottom of the page where the break occurs. CONTINUEDs must be added as explained above. do not place parenthetical character direction before the (MORE). These are fixed-pitch fonts that yield ten (10) characters per horizontal inch and six (6) lines per vertical inch.

WILL The caramel thing is my pick-up line. CONTINUED: SKYLAR (CONT'D) (parenthetical goes here) Five more minutes and I would have got to hear your best pick-up line. (MORE) (CONTINUED) -------------------------page break-------------------------- Page 23. it's my life story. . End Example (from Good Will Hunting) Formatting parenthetical character direction "Parenthetical character direction" is specific business relating only to the speaking character. on a separate line from dialogue.See. Parenthetical character direction is placed in parens.

they should be "pulled out" and treated as regular direction: Incorrect BOBBY . Correct As he balances on on one foot aims his dart. using a colon (:) to indicate it goes with the character's next speech. Incorrect BOBBY (balancing on one foot as he aims his dart. sips a beer. and eats a handful of peanuts: BOBBY I guess I need a bulls-eye. If CAMERA MOVEMENTS or SOUNDS (which should be capped) appear in parenthetical character direction.If the direction goes more than four lines. and eats a handful of peanuts) I guess I need a bulls-eye. place it at the left margin as regular direction. sips a beer.

(as the PHONE RINGS) Dammit! I told her not to call me! Correct As the PHONE RINGS: BOBBY Dammit! I told her not to call me! Do not put another character's direction in the speaking character's dialogue. . It MUST go at the left margin. Correct GIRL You are such an idiot. (Bobby flips her off) Oh. Incorrect GIRL You are such an idiot. Bobby flips her off. that's mature.

From Bobby's POV. Formatting dialogue Words are never broken by a hyphen at the end of a line of dialogue unless it's a naturally hyphenated word. Formatting shot headings All shot headings are placed on a line by themselves with two blank lines above and one blank line below. we see JULIA enter the bar. An example of a hidden shot follows: Incorrect INT. that's mature. GOOBER'S SPORTS BAR .GIRL Oh. Bobby pretends to stab himself with one of his darts. etc. This includes any so-called "hidden" shots which may be imbedded in descriptive passages. such as twenty-three.NIGHT Cigarette smoke fills the room. Correct . point-blank.

GOOBER'S SPORTS BAR . BACK TO SCENE Bobby pretends to stab himself with one of his darts. the scene transition must remain with the shot just completed. such as an INSERT SHOT or an ESTABLISHING SHOT.NIGHT Cigarette smoke fills the room. but when used should be preceded by one blank line and followed by two blank lines. Additional examples of "hidden" shots include insert shots. wide shots. A shot heading can never stand alone at the bottom of a page without at least one complete sentence of direction of dialogue -. BOBBY'S POV JULIA enters the bar. Scene transitions Scene transitions such as CUT TO: and DISSOLVE TO: are entirely optional. When breaking pages. it is never permissible to start a new page with a CUT TO: or a DISSOLVE TO:.unless there is no direction or dialogue to go with it.INT. It must be placed at the bottom of the previous page. All of these must be pulled out onto a line of their own. and any other specific shot called for within direction. close shots. . In other words.

. Try to avoid using the word "camera.NIGHT The place is a mess." use "We follow. having suffered the insanity of a Friday night. (Instead of "The camera follows. it may appear as normal. his/her/its name should be written in all caps. Cigarette smoke floats in the air.. Character names over dialog are always in all CAPS. GOOBER'S SPORTS BAR . Capitalize major sound effects. INSERT: THE DART BOARD As a dart SMASHES into the board." Use "we" instead.. if the following is the opening scene of a movie: INT.") For example. BACK TO SCENE .Other Notes (by Dana) The first time a character is introduced in the stage direction of a script. If the name is mentioned again..

Even in his drunken state. Return to Writer's Resources . Bobby's darts still fall into the board.BOBBY plays darts in a dark corner of the bar. We follow Bobby over to a phone sitting on the bar. BOBBY Damn! I'm good! The phone RINGS. he's not too bad.

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