Format: Sight and Sound #screenwriting


“Essentials of Screenwriting” By Richard Walter on

A screenplay is a description of sight and sound. Format is largely placing these elements in different places.

Sound is primarily dialogue, which occupies the narrow column in center. Sight is assigned the wide column all across the page.

A screenwriter must write what is seen or heard only, never what a character thinks, feels, or knows.

There is no such thing as one official screenplay format. A screenwriter is free to choose any format that makes scripts readable, but must also suffer the swift consequences of those choices.

The cover should have title, and author. If the script is not repped by an agency, it should include postal address, email address, and phone number.

That is all. Do not include fancy covers, illustrations, or colors. Do not include WGA registration info as this translates to “I’m an amateur, don’t read my script” as only amateurs include this.

Don’t use words like original screenplay. What else would it be? You don’t need to write written by or even by.

Cutting such unnecessary elements from the cover signals that you’ve probably removed excess lines and scenes as well.

Please take a couple minutes to help fellow screenwriters by taking this survey on what topics YOU are interested in!

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