How to Format a Screenplay

You need to have your screen play written down in a proper manner if you want your team to have a proper understanding of what you expect them to do. It is necessary to follow a proper screenplay formatting, so that it can be understood and applied as such.


  • 1

    Business of the Scene

    It’s the main base of the scene, as it describes the description of the entire scene including location, characters and action. It’s where you basically frame the scene in your mind, putting thoughts on paper.

  • 2

    The Character

    It refers to that character that has to say a particular line to say in a designated scene. The name of that character is mentioned before the dialogue with respect to the formatting mentioned in the step ahead.

  • 3

    Character Dialogue

    The dialogue is what the mentioned character states in the designated scene. Note down that you have to mention the character name before you write the dialogue. Keep in mind to follow the proper formatting of scriptwriting while doing so.

  • 4

    Parenthetical Directions

    This includes the body language, gestures or expressions that are required by the character to exhibit, during a scene. Every character involved in a scene has to act in a particular manner while a scene is being shot. As the characters have to perform their roles other than just stating their dialogues, the parenthetical directions state what’s expected of the characters to act like.

  • 5

    Transitional Directions

    It involves the description of any specific camera angles that you want the director or the cameraman to follow while shooting the scene. It’s done in order to explain the visualization of the scene to help developing a better understanding of the scene visuals.

  • 6

    Page Details

    The left margin of the page should be 1.5 inches, while the right, top and bottom margins should be 1 inch each. The descriptions or the business of the scene should run the length of the page once you’ve set the margins.

    The character name should be at least 4 inches from the left-hand side of the page or 2 ½ inches from the left margin when mentioned in the script.

    Meanwhile, the dialogue should start from 2.5 inches from the left-hand side of the page or 1 inch left of the margin, and ending at 6.5 inches from the left-hand side of the page or 5 inches from the left margin.

    In case of the parentheticals, the text should be 3.5 inches away from the left-hand side of the page or 2 inches away from the left margin.

    Keep that in mind that the page numbers should be on the top-right corner of the page. Don’t forget to mention the page numbers as it’s important to know the sequence of the whole screenplay.

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