Key terms in screenwriting

SCENE
‡ Screenplays are divided into scenes. A scene can be defined as a unit of dramatic action which takes place in a specific location in continuous time.

SLUG LINE
‡ (Scene heading) example : MARTHAS HOUSE NIGHT This tells us whether the scene is inside or outside, where it is and whether its day or night. Location will be necessary whenever there is a change of scene.

SCENE DIRECTION
‡ Always written in present tense, this contains descriptions of the characters actions and events relevant to the story. Characters names are CAPITALISED.

CHARACTER CUE
‡ The name of the character who speaks. Always capitalised and centred above their speech.

ACTOR DIRECTION
‡ In brackets under the characters name, used to describe the way, or to whom, they speak. Can be useful if the manner of speaking contradicts what appears to be the meaning or if there is potential uncertainty about who is being addressed.

DIALOUGE
‡ What the characters say.

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